Wake Up Call: Linklaters Lawyer Tied to Insider Trading Case

•  Federal authorities in Boston arrested the husband of a New York Linklaters associate, accusing him of making $120,000 of illegal trades on information he got about two corporate mergers his wife helped handle at the firm. The arrested man, Fei Yan, is a Chinese researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Linklaters said it has suspended the associate, who was not named as a defendant by the SEC or federal prosecutors. (Am Law Daily) (Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report)

• Public interest journalism site ProPublica dropped a new bombshell on President Donald Trump’s legal team in the Russia investigations. It reported that current and former employees of Kasowitz Benson Torres, the firm founded by Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz, told it that Kasowitz has struggled with alcohol abuse and made employees uncomfortable with his behavoir when drinking. The article suggests that could be why Kasowitz still lacks a security clearance to access government secrets, which he would need to defend Trump. (ProPublica) Kasowitz denied the allegations in ProPublica’s report and a representative for him said Kasowitz “has not struggled with alcoholism” and that much of the report was “false and defamatory.” (Am Law Daily)

• CenturyLink Inc. is already facing a $12 billion lawsuit alleging that it saddled customers with expensive unwanted services, now Minnesota is suing the telecommunications company over its billing practices. The complaint comes as CenturyLink is in the midst of a $34 billion merger with Level 3 Communications Inc. (Bloomberg)

• Kirkland & Ellis snagged another former senior Securities and Exchange Commission official in Washington after taking on two of them earlier this year. Alpa Patel became a partner at the firm, after leaving the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, where she oversaw rule making on private fund advisers. (BLB)

• A diverse range of lawyers allows the legal profession to have a “better exchange of ideas and generate more innovative thought,” says MasterCard general counsel Malvina Longoria. Bloomberg BNA recently talked to Longoria about the company’s efforts as a signatory to the American Bar Association push to include more women and minorities in the legal profession. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

 

 

 

Law Firm Business, Laterals & Moves

• Law firm leaders’ reactions ranged from confidence to concern after 25 general counsel from major companies announced their plan to share data about their experiences dealing with outside counsel. One business of law expert said the project will produce “winners and losers,” and some firms could get “cut out of work.” (Am Law Daily)

• Bracewell said longtime Baker Botts trial partner David A. Super has joined the firm as a partner to lead its civil litigation practice in Washington, D.C. The Houston-based firm said Super is its fourth significant hire in Washington in the last three months. (Bracewell)

 • Cozen O’Connor said it expanded its life sciences practice with the hire of former Reed Smith member Melinda Rudolph. Rudolph joins the firm as a Philadelphia-based “member” in its corporate practice group, where she will advise life science companies and service providers on commercial and operational issues, with a concentration in technology licensing and transactions. (Cozen.com)

 • Holland & Knight said international tax attorney Stewart Kasner has joined its Miami office as a partner in its private wealth services group. Kasner left Baker & McKenzie where he was a partner in charge of its Miami tax practice group. (Hklaw)

• Workplace law firm Jackson Lewis said it has started a blog by which its lawyers, statisticians and data scientists will give companies tips and insights on the world of analytics as it relates to the “workplace and beyond.” The idea is to help companies leverage technology and data science strategies and disciplines to overcome challenges and achieve long-term business goals, it said. (Jackson Lewis Data Intelligence Reporter)

 

 

 

Legal Market

• A partnership between hotel union and industry leaders is funding private sting operations against Airbnb in New York City, aimed at forcing the company to downsize in what is its biggest market by exposing that it breaks the law. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• A recurrent theme of Jesse Eisinger’s book The Chickenshit Club is that the government is terrible at prosecuting white-collar crime and always has been. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

Regulators

• The Federal Trade Commission said its new liability protections for employees sued for job-related activities are aimed at resolving legal uncertainty that could intimidate staff and stifle their “creativity.” The president of now-defunct med-testing company LabMD, who is suing two FTC attorneys, accuses them of destroying his company. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

• The rise of global technology superstars like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are creating new challenges for competition watchdogs. A Q&A. (Bloomberg)

• Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc agreed to pay $5.5 billion to settle the second of three major U.S. mortgage-backed securities probes the government-owned lender must overcome before it can fully return to the private sector. (Bloomberg via BLB)

 

 

 

The Trump Administration

• Keker, Van Nest & Peters lawyers, a former judge, and an advocacy group have teamed up to file a federal lawsuit alleging the Trump campaign had a role in last year’s hack of the Democratic National Committee. (National Law Journal)

• Do Donald Trump Jr.’s recently tweeted emails regarding a meeting with a Russian lawyer show violations of federal election law? It depends on whom you ask. (Law.com) (New York Times)

• Trump’s nomination for Wall Street’s chief watchdog, Randal Quarles, is a positive sign for big banks. As a Davis Polk partner, Quarles worked on mergers including the one that created JPMorgan Chase & Co., and he has been a critic of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the U.S. regulatory response to the financial crisis. (Bloomberg)

• Trump’s nominee to be chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., James Clinger, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday, citing family obligations. (Bloomberg)

• The financial disclosure for the Trump administration’s new CIA general counsel, Courtney Elwood, included routine stuff like the $2.9 million in income she received last year, her clients, and investments. But Elwood, a former partner at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, went further, reporting furniture the firm paid for back in 2007-2008 and that she planned to bring with her. (National Law Journal)

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Google won its fight against a 1.12 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) French tax bill after a Paris court rejected claims the search-engine giant abused loopholes to avoid paying its fair share. (Bloomberg)

• Does U.S. copyright law when a monkey takes its own selfie? A federal appeals court heard arguments on the “monkey see, monkey sue” question yesterday. (The Recorder)

• A monitor’s report detailing HSBC Holdings Plc’s compliance with a 2012 agreement with U.S. prosecutors to fix faulty money-laundering controls isn’t a judicial document and shouldn’t be made public, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

Technology

• Verizon Communications said a third party provider’s configuration mistake caused a cloud data leak that exposed personal and account data of 6 million of Verizon’s customers. (Dark Reading)

• The man running Sweden’s biggest security firm was declared bankrupt this week after his identity was hacked. (Bloomberg)

• Apple Inc. will establish its first data center in China to speed up services such as iCloud for local users and abide by laws that require global companies to store information within the country. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• United Airlines Inc. is unveiling a new technology platform that it will use to manage the problem of oversold flights–and, in the same breath, turn them into a profit opportunity. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Legal Education

• North Carolina’s Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law has raised about $15,000 on a crowdfunding page, and hopes to raise $40,000, after running out of discretionary funds to support recent graduates prepare for the July bar exam. (ABA Journal)

 

Miscellaneous

• The author of  “James Franco and Me” said he kind of hoped to hear from the real James Franco about his work, and that the actor might even show up for a performance. Instead he got a cease-and-desist letter from Franco’s lawyers. (New York Times)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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