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NLR Legal Industry News July 1, 2019: Law Firm Recognition, Tech and Talent

The legal industry is continuously changing and we want to share the good news about strategic hires and notable industry achievements.  We’re also looking to pass on interesting legal tech developments that aid lawyers and law firms in streamlining and growing their practices. 

Notable Legal Industry Recognitions 

The law firm of Frost, Brown & Todd was honored by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for their diversity and inclusion efforts with a 2019 Gold Standard Certification, and the firm was only one of 45 firms to receive this honor.  In order to be recognized firms had to meet a variety of criteria, including the mandatory criterion that at least 20% of all equity partners are female, or 33% or more of attorneys who became equity partners during the last year were women.  Additionally, there are other criteria that must be met, some incorporating other diversity measures including LGBT attorneys or women of color in equity partner roles.  FBT has been honored with this designation by WILEF seven times.

Construction Executive Top 50 Construction Law Firms

Carlton Fields and K&L Gates both ranked in the Construction Executive’s inaugural “The Top 50 Construction Law Firms” list. Carlton Fields’ Construction practice has received multiple accolades, including being named by Chambers USA as the No 1. Construction practice in Florida for 17 years straight.  K&L Gates has over 2,000 attorneys in offices on five continents, and was named one of the top 5 firms in the inaugural edition of the list.  The list  considered the number of attorneys working in the area, as well as the number of states where the firm is licensed to practice, the year the practice was established and percentage of the firm’s total revenue that comes from the Construction practice.

Wiggin and Dana LLP Corporate M&A practice was recently recognized by IFLR 1000 US 2019 edition as a Tier 1 firm for Corporate M&A work in Connecticut.  Additionally, five attorneys with Wiggin and Dana were specifically recognized: Paul Hughes, William Perrone, and Mark Kaduboski were named as Highly Regarded, while Evan Kipperman and James Greifzu were designated as Future Rising Stars.  

For the fourth time, Chambers USA named McDermott Will & Emery the 2019 Healthcare Team of the Year.  The health practice at McDermott earned a Band 1 ranking in the Healthcare category for the 10th year in a row earlier this year, and it is the only firm to hold that distinction.  In fact, the practice group has picked up a variety of accolades over the years, including commendations from US News and World Report and The Legal 500.  Practice Chair Eric Zimmerman says, “Our team is dedicated to helping health care companies push the boundaries of what it means to be innovative.”  

Ballard Spahr attorney Judy Mok, has been named to the New York Law Journal's 2019 Rising Stars list.  Ms. Mok has extensive experience negotiating payments transactions for some of the world's largest retailers and financial institutions. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Mok served as Senior Payments Counsel for Apple Inc.

Per Alan S. Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Consumer Financial Services Group. "Judy represents the best that our legal profession has to offer—she has a sophisticated understanding of the payments ecosystem, she leads by example, and she fosters an inclusive environment."

Legal Talent Update

Thomas Sengewalt
Thomas J. Sengewalt

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC announced that Thomas J. Sengewalt has rejoined the firm’s Denver litigation practice.  Sengewalt has experience in energy litigation and energy transactions.  Steptoe & Johnson CEO Susan S. Brewer expressed excitement for Tom’s return to Steptoe & Johnson, saying,   “His work in litigation and transactions helped some of the Appalachian region’s largest energy producers, and we know he will bring the same skill and passion to our clients in the Rockies.”  

Former Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight, Jan Lynn Owen joined Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP as a senior advisor in the financial services group.  Owen is known for her embrace of technology and using technology to foster innovation, and she worked to find banking solutions for the cannabis retail industry, working with state regulators and business owners to innovate practical and safe solutions for these businesses.  Additionally, she worked to develop fintech start-ups, working to reduce regulatory burdens in this industry while safeguarding consumer privacy. Owen says, “I knew Manatt’s financial services group would be the ideal place for me to advise and counsel businesses that face a number of complex regulatory and marketplace challenges in today’s rapidly evolving new economy.”

Feinberg Day Alberti Lim & Belloli LLP in Menlo Park, California is increasing its intellectual property punch with the addition of five intellectual property attorneys, including two new Partners Robert Kramer and Russell Tonkovich.  The firm will undergo a name change and be called: Feinberg Day Kramer Alberti Lim Tonkovich & Belloli LLP.  Kramer and Tonkovich each have assembled an impressive resume of awards and a history of winning verdicts in significant patent infringement cases.  Tonkovich is a medical doctor as well as an attorney.  Additionally, Feinberg Day is also adding attorneys Kate Hart, Aidan Brewster and Nick Martini to their IP focused law firm.  Feinberg Day was founded in 2011, and has a reputation for assisting clients in monetizing their patent portfolios.

Christopher B. Monahan
Christopher B. Monahan

Winston Strawn announced the addition of Christopher B. Monahan to their Washington DC office. Monahan works with clients on compliance with International Traffic in Arms regulations, the Export Administration Regulations and sanctions programs under OFAC and FCPA.  He assists clients with internal investigations and compliance reviews, and he helps clients in determining jurisdiction and export control classification of their products and technology.  Monahan will join the firm as a partner in the White Collar, Regulatory Defense & Investigations Practice.

Legal Technology News

Legal Services Link recently launched  ioRefer™ Referral Software designed to streamline the referral process within law firms, bar associations, legal networks and corporate law departments.  ioRefer’s interactive database helps attorneys looking for assistance on a particular projects to quickly post and distribute staffing needs notices either within their law firm or within a broader legal network.  Conversely law firm attorneys or network professionals with extra capacity can search the database for staffing needs on specific projects.  ioRefer for Corporate law departments simplifies the process of retaining qualified law firm talent via targeted matter postings or by searching an intuitive, current directory  of qualified professionals. 

Attorney and co-founder, Matthew Horn: “ioRefer solves the ineffective, outdated, manual processes used to refer and staff client matters and helps balance the workload distribution of matters to qualified professionals who are looking to take on more work.  For law firms it keeps client matters from being sent outside the firm and at the same time helps lawyers become more interconnected with their colleagues.”

FunFai Founder
Cheryl Kaufman

Alliance Legal Solutions recently launched, a technology enabled lending platform that improves access to financing for small firms.  Fundafi's business model is designed to nurture a law firm's growth much like a private equity firm would do for an emerging  business. Fundafi has deep knowledge of small law firm practices gained during 8 years of experience working with thousands of law firms. Alliance Legal Solutions was founded in 2011, by Cheryl Kaufman, a graduate of Wake Forest School of Law. 

Over three billion images are shared online each day, and around 85% of them are unlicensed, with estimated revenue lost at more than $600 million daily,  as reported by  COPYTRACK  and summarized in its recently released  2019 Global Infringement Report.  

Some of the more interesting findings from the 2019 report reveals that the U.S. is the world leader in image theft comprising 22.96% of worldwide theft.  But less obvious is the #2 offender, Panama, a country with four million inhabitants, comprising a 6.76% share of global image theft. This anomaly is likely the result of “Privacy Protection Services,” who registers site domains in Panama to mask the owners’ personal information. China, considered by many to be the world leader in authorized  use, comes in third place with a surprisingly small 6.57%.

Business Email Compromise Caused Losses

Cyber Special Ops, LLC, recently announced a new delivery model for cyber services called Concierge Cyber™ which is modeled after the growing practice of concierge medicine.  It includes à la carte or bundled service offerings. same day appointments, phone or email access on evenings and weekends, and pre- and post-breach services as needed at pre-negotiated rates. Breach response services are provided by My-CERT™, a team of highly credentialed legal, information security, credit and identity restoration, and public relations specialists 

Per Kurtis Suhs, founder and managing director of Cyber Special Ops, LLC: "Currently only 2 of 10 organizations have purchased cyber insurance, and their policies may not cover theft of monies. So, who do organizations call in the event of a wire fraud loss on a Friday evening? Concierge Cyber makes it possible for organizations of all sizes and budgets to have immediate access to world-class cyber risk management support. The My-CERT™ team provides expertise, experience and agility to effectively respond to a cyber incident under the protection of attorney-client privilege."

Notable legal industry news?  Submit your stories for consideration in the National Law Review’s Legal Talent and Tech Update.

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