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The Latest Legal Industry News: Attorney Promotions, Law Firm Innovation & Firm Recognition

Welcome back to another edition of our legal and consulting industry news column. Below, we discuss the latest attorney promotions, lawyer recognition and law firm innovation. Keep reading for all the latest news:

Attorney Hires and Promotions

Peter W. Thomas was elected the new President and Managing Partner of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville P.C., effective April 1, 2021.  Mr. Thomas succeeds Jim Jorling, who held the position since 2016.

Mr. Thomas joined Powers in 1991 and has been a Principal in the firm since 1996. Mr. Thomas focuses his practice on disability and rehabilitation policy, Medicare coverage and reimbursement and other areas of healthcare policy.

Matthew A. Rossi joined Vedder Price as a Shareholder in their Government Investigations & White Collar defense group. Mr. Rossi previously served as Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division, where he primarily investigated and litigated violations of the federal securities laws by investment advisers, broker-dealers, large financial institutions and others. Mr. Rossi also served as Senior Counsel in the SEC’s Asset Management Unit, a specialized unit within the Enforcement Division that investigates misconduct by investment advisers, private funds and registered investment companies.

“Matt’s outstanding experience and credentials, in particular at the SEC’s home office in the Asset Management Unit and as Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel, are a great fit for our practice,” said Junaid A. Zubairi, Chair of the firm’s Government Investigations & White Collar Defense group.

Alison P. Snyder joined Romer Debbas LLP as an associate, supporting the residential real estate practice. Ms. Snyder specializes in assisting buyers, sellers and lending institutions involved in residential real estate transactions. She also has experience in pre-contract due diligence, including the review of offering plans, financial statements, and co-op/condo board minutes.

 Scott W. MacCormack was confirmed as Davis Wright Tremaine’s new managing partner, who will begin his new position this summer. Mr. MacCormack, who joined the firm in 2008, served on the Executive Committee for six years,  also chaired the firm's Compensation Committee, and served as co-chair of the firm's energy practice.

"Scott is committed to executing our strategic plan to drive growth, building on our commitment to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, and strengthening the firm's culture as we evolve how we work post-pandemic," said Jeffrey P. Gray, who was the former managing partner. "He is an excellent choice to maintain the firm's success and continue to grow it."

Attorney and Law Firm Recognition

Fourteen Gilbert attorneys were recognized on the 2020 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, which represents nearly half of the attorneys at the firm. The 2020 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll highlights attorneys in Washington, D.C. who have contributed 50 hours or more of pro bono work to those who cannot afford legal counsel. 

Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Chief Judge Anita Josey-Herring of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia said of the winners, “we salute you for using your talents and expertise to help those unable to afford an attorney.” 

All attorneys and employees at Gilbert participate in public service activities, including substantial pro bono legal work, including participation in and support of public interest organizations, community initiatives, and local educational and charitable activities. The firm makes itself available to individuals and organizations who need expert legal assistance in a wide variety of areas including immigration, family law, torts, civil rights, housing, special education, insurance, and asylum. The D.C. Chief Judges further noted that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they “saw even greater need for pro bono service in 2020.”

BTI Consulting ranked Barnes and Thornburg as No. 38 on its 2021 Client Service A-Team list, a 19-place climb from the firm’s previous ranking. Barnes and Thornburg ranked within the top 25 firms for categories such as “Deals with Unexpected Changes,” “Fielding the Absolute Best Team,” “Quality Products,” “Quickly Assessing Your Situation” and “Understands the Client’s Business.”

To determine what firms made the list, BTI Consulting conducted a survey of 350 top legal decision-makers at large organizations with $700 million or more in revenue. However, only 282 law firms were mentioned by name for the categories surveyed by legal decision makers.

Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company and a leading provider of Legal Analytics® to law firms and companies, recognized Perkins Coie as a leading firm for patent litigation defense in 2020 in its annual Patent Litigation Report. The firm ranked second for national law firms handling the most patent defense cases with 72 cases across 18 jurisdictions.

Perkins Coie also ranked as one of the top firms for petitioners in post-grant proceedings. Lex Machina develops the rankings by summarizing federal district court data from the past decade and post-grant data since the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) inception in 2012. Lex Machina’s report also highlights the top patent litigation trends from the past year.

Law Firm Innovation and Development

The Wage & Hour Guide for Employers app from Epstein Becker Green (EBG) was recently updated to incorporate employment law changes for 2021. Over 46 states and / or localities had changes to their employment laws that were effective January 1, 2021, and the EBG app was updated to track those changes.  First released in February 2012, the app provides wage and hour information on a variety of employment law concerns, including:

  • Overtime exemptions

  • Minimum wages

  • Overtime

  • Meal periods

  • Rest periods

  • On-call time

  • Travel time

  • Tips

Information on new employment law changes is organized on the app and includes citations to statutes, regulations and guidelines. 

Legal tech platform Joinder, incubated at Orrick Labs and helmed by former Orrick partner Don Keller, is now pursuing growth as an independent SaaS (Software as a Service) company. 

Joinder facilitates corporate legal department and legal service provider collaboration by creating a single digital workspace for data storage, task management, communications and document management.

Orrick Labs was launched as a way to identify solutions for problems where there was no workable solution in the marketplace.  Mitch Zulkie, Orrick Chairman and CEO, says, “Joinder is the result of our client’s demands for more insight into their records and it is just that: a better platform for legal engagement, built by a team that understands how lawyers and legal departments work together.”

Rachel Popa also contributed to this article.

Copyright ©2022 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 117
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