U.S. President Donald Trump pauses after signing executive orders in the Hall of Heroes at the Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump pauses after signing executive orders in the Hall of Heroes at the Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg

Wake Up Call: Will Trump Hire a ‘Tough Washington Lawyer’?

• Better get a “tough Washington lawyer” to help with growing legal complications, a longtime private attorney for Trump said he advised the White House. (Washington Post)

• Mayer Brown partners picked litigation partner Sally Davies to be the firm’s first female London senior partner. (The Lawyer) Appointed for a five-year term starting July 1, Davies replaces Sean Connolly, who is stepping down after 10 years and will continue as a partner. And Simpson Thacher & Bartlett will have its first non-U.S. managing partner in London, as private funds partner Jason Glover takes the place vacated by Gregory Conway. Conway left the role in March after 10 years, and plans to stay as a partner. (Legal Business)

• Sweden’s top prosecutor has decided to drop a seven-year investigation of rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The decision possibly leaves the door open for Assange to emerge from self-imposed exile in Ecuador’s London embassy. (Bloomberg, Financial Times) But he’s not in the clear just yet. The U.S. Justice Department recently said it was reconsidering whether to charge Assange for his role in the disclosure of highly classified information. (New York Times)

• In the SEC’s biggest insider-trading settlement since Trump took office, billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman agreed to pay $4.9 million to settle charges, with no impact on his ability to keep running his fund. The settlement is significantly lighter than what Cooperman was said to be facing before Donald Trump entered the White House. (Bloomberg)

• Loeb & Loeb’s Deputy Vice Chairman Ken Florin, a firm lifer, has been selected by the firm’s partners to take over as chairman when current chairman Michael Beck’s term expires in February 2018. Florin, 50, has been involved in building the firm’s collection of New Economy boutique practices that range from social media and privacy through entertainment and financial technology. (BLB)

• It’s a touchy issue for government contract lawyers, how to pursue new clients without angering the ones you have. An increase in client conflicts is forcing law firms and big contractor clients such as Boeing,General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman, to reevaluate how they handle conflicts, and their relationships with each other. (BLB)

• When Baker McKenzie partner John Rowley got attacked by a group of teenagers in the Washington, D.C., metro last week, he was rescued by a man who said he was a law student at George Washington University. But Rowley, a former prosecutor, said he didn’t get the student’s name. (Legal Cheek)

 

Law Firm Business

• So maybe high-earning law firm partners won’t be getting that big Trump tax cut after all. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Senate yesterday that not all businesses currently classified as pass-through entities would see their rates slashed to 15 percent under the White House’s tax plan. (Bloomberg)

• Houston plaintiffs attorney W. Mark Lanier punched back against charges that he failed to disclose payments to two expert witnesses in a 2016 trial against Johnson & Johnson, by alleging that a defense expert failed to disclose $1 million of payments. J&J is seeking a new trial after a jury awarded a $502 million verdict for alleged defects in a hip implant made by its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. (Texas Lawyer)

• David Sanford, the lawyer representing female partners in three gender bias lawsuits against major law firms, said he has already helped female partners recover tens of millions of dollars in confidential settlements of other cases. (Am Law Daily)

 

Legal Market

• Both sides of Wells Fargo & Co.’s $142 million settlement over its fake-accounts scandal made last-ditch efforts to salvage the class-action pact after a federal judge voiced misgivings about some of its terms. (Bloomberg)

• Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW agreed to pay $553 million to resolve consumers’ economic-loss claims over recalled Takata air bags in multidistrict litigation consolidated in Miami federal court, plaintiffs attorneys said. (Daily Business Review, Bloomberg)

• Facebook Inc. won the dismissal of two lawsuits brought by victims of terror attacks and their families who claimed the social media giant helped groups in the Middle East, such as Hamas, by giving them a platform to air their incendiary views. (Bloomberg)

• Uber Technologies Inc. threatened to fire the man at the center of its legal battle with Alphabet Inc., telling its top driverless technology engineer to either deny taking files from his former employer or turn them over. (Bloomberg) Uber renewed a bid to move its driverless-car trade-secrets fight with Waymo into closed-door arbitration. (Bloomberg)

• U.K. criminal-defense lawyers panned Prime Minister Theresa May’s election promise to scrap the Serious Fraud Office, which has been responsible for probes into Libor rigging and bribery. (Bloomberg)

• Deutsche Bank AG is close to an agreement with former executives at Germany’s biggest bank to have them help pay for U.S. fines the lender suffered because of past misconduct. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

The Trump Administration

• President Donald Trump’s election has been a boon for backers of a controversial plan to pump billions of gallons of water from a Mojave Desert aquifer to Southern California — including one of the president’s nominees. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Treasury chief Mnuchin responded to criticism over the department’s appointment of a banking-industry lawyer as acting comptroller of the currency, telling senators that Trump has picked a candidate to be permanent head. (Bloomberg)

• Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told senators he knew Trump planned to fire FBI Director James Comey before he wrote his memo criticizing Comey’s actions. (New York Times)

• Opinion: Trump’s pick for FBI director is less important now that Robert Mueller has been named special counsel to investigate Trump-team connections to Russia. (Bloomberg View)

• Trump’s top trade negotiator, former Skadden partner Robert Lighthizer, came out of the gate sounding like he wants to fine-tune the North American Free Trade Agreement, not blow it up as some feared. (Bloomberg)

• The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee said Thursday that ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn hasn’t responded to a subpoena from the panel in its probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• France’s highest court dismissed Bernard Tapie’s bid to overturn a ruling by ordering the repayment of about 405 million euros ($450 million) to a company set up to manage former state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais’ debts, months after IMF chief Christine Lagarde was convicted of negligence in a parallel case. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Peter Charlton left his job as Clifford Chance managing partner a few months ago to become managing partner at London litigation boutique Joseph Hage Aaronson. He’s already on the move again. (The Lawyer)

• Kirkland & Ellis poached Skadden corporate partner Daniel Dusek for its Hong Kong office. (Asian Lawyer)

• Robert Cornish Jr., who recently joined Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker’s Washington, D.C., office as of counsel, is an expert on alternative investment, broker-dealer and EB-5 fund formation, among other things. He also knows his barbecue. (Am Law Daily, Wilson Elser)

 

 

 

Technology

• Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. and other social media companies may face a new tax in the U.K. should Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives get re-elected, to pay for measures aimed at making the internet safer. (Bloomberg)

• A federal judge overseeing a class action against Target Corp. approved, for the second time, class certification in a $10 million data-breach settlement. (National Law Journal)

• In a new consolidation of the eDiscovery market, Lighthouse eDiscovery said it has acquired San Francisco-based e-discovery company Discovia. (Legaltech News)

• A California federal judge’s recent decision regarding a fantasy horse racing website could be a warning sign for fantasy sports operators facing lawsuits in other big states, lawyers said. (The Recorder)

• With negotiations scheduled to resume next week, European authorities continue to resist a U.S. initiative to expand a laptop ban in airline cabins by questioning the potential safety risks. (Bloomberg)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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