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NLR Legal Industry News July 8, 2019: Law Firm Awards, Talent and Technology

Summer is here, but the legal industry is not taking a vacation.  This is where the National Law Review recognizes law firm hires and developments, as well as attorney recognitions.  Additionally, we report on new studies impacting the legal industry, as well as new technology attorneys and law firms can employ to maximize efficiency and innovation.  

Legal Industry Recognitions: ABA Young Lawyers, Washington Post "Best Places to Work"

Will Quick Brooks Pierce ABA
Will Quick

Law Firm Brooks Pierce announced that attorney Will Quick was selected as one of the American Bar Association’s 2019 On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers.  This honor is reserved for lawyers who show leadership and look forward in their careers as well as in the community at large, who are members of the ABA and are 36 years or younger, and earned their law license in the past five years.  

Quick has a history of involvement with the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division for many years, and he has been recognized in North Carolina for his pro bono service--serving on leadership boards, being inducted into the NC Pro Bono Honor Society and being recognized by the North Carolina Supreme Court for providing over 50 hours of pro bono service. Along with an excellent record of giving back to the community, Quick has a reputation for handling challenging legal issues.  Reid Phillips, the managing partner of Brooks Pierce, says, “He has shown a servant’s heart, giving unselfishly of his time, energy and knowledge to many organizations and causes.”

The ABA will recognize the Top 40 Young Lawyers in San Francisco on August 10th at the annual meeting.

Sterne Kessler Barista Bar
Sterne Kessler Employees Celebrate

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox was named by the Washington Post as one of the “Top Workplaces” in the Greater Washington DC area.  The paper recognizes 150 workplaces among private, public, nonprofit and government agencies, and the ranking is given to those workplaces that score the highest in an anonymous employee survey administered by Energage, LLC.  Sterne Kessler was one of seven law firms named to this list.  Since 2006 Energage has surveyed over 57,000 organizations and 19 million employees to build the world’s first CultureTech platform that combines employee surveys, reliable insights, and expert guidance designed to transform company cultures with an employee-centric approach.

The Washington Post took the time to note the firm’s diversity achievements, saying, “A more equitable approach to handing out high-level assignments has long been a focus for some law firms. At Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, which specializes in intellectual property law and has been on the 'Top Workplaces' list since it began six years ago, 38 percent of the firm’s directors are women or people of color, and technical expertise has always been a primary way people are assigned to jobs.”  In a city full of law firms, Sterne Kessler’s consistent inclusion on the Post’s “Top Workplaces” list is quite impressive.  

Morgan Lewis partner David Sanker was recognized by The Daily Journal as a Top 20 Artificial Intelligence Lawyers in California for 2019. 

Sanker works with clients in Silicon Valley to build their patent portfolios in a variety of cutting edge areas, such as AI, touch screen technology and data analytics software. The honor highlighted Sanker’s career trajectory as a software engineer with a PhD in Math, and he worked developing large-scale data processing applications before joining Morgan Lewis.

Law Firm Hires, Promotions, and Office Moves

Meredith Maxwell Jones Walker
Meredith Maxwell

Last week, Jones Walker announced that Meredith Maxwell has returned to the firm as special counsel in the Corporate Practice Group and on the Healthcare Industry Team. Maxwell spent years with Jones Walker previously as an associate in Business & Commercial Transactions Practice Group, and she left the firm to practice in South Carolina.  During that time, Maxwell added to her experience in representing health care entities, including private medical practice associations, long-term care facilities in corporate formation and restructuring.  Additionally, Maxwell has experience in mergers and acquisitions, business planning and corporate formation.

Bill Hines, the Managing Partner of Jones Walker, calls Maxwell’s return to Jones Walker “outstanding news”  and calls her experience in health care “a great resource for our clients.”  

Ryley, Carlock and Applewhite announced that Amber D. Hughes, a shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office, was elected Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Estate Planning Practice Group. Hughes extensive experience in estate planning involves tax planning for clients with taxable estates to minimize tax burden on the estate, non-probate transfers of business interests to family members, second marriage planning, to ensure all are provided for and planning for young families, designating guardians for minor children and beneficiary designations.

Scott D. Carey was recently named as chair of Baker Donelson’s Transportation Group. Carey was previously the managing partner of Baker Donelson’s Nashville office, and concentrates his practice in complex business and tort litigation.  Carey will lead a practice group of about 40 attorneys who work with industry leaders in aviation, railroad, maritime, oil and gas and automotive on a variety of issues across the spectrum, providing advice from a legal and public policy standpoint.  With memberships in a variety of organizations including Truckload Carriers Association, the Transportation Lawyers' Association,  and the Trucking Industry Defense Association, he is well-situated on a variety of issues affecting the industries.  

Matthew Lastinger HWH
Matthew Lastinger

Florida based Hill Ward Henderson, recently welcomed Matthew “Matt” Lastinger as an associate in their Corporate and Tax Group.  Lastinger has worked on mergers and acquisitions for both private and public companies and has experience with entity formation, securities reporting, corporate governance as well as venture capital and private equity.

Faegre Baker Daniels moved their Denver location down the street to the Hines Building, in the Theater District and near Union Station.  The firm occupies the 34th, 35th, and part of the 36th floor of the building. The firm has been in Denver for nearly forty years, and this move provides the firm and its employees with the opportunity to work in a convenient downtown setting with a fresh work environment.

Jones Day recently announced the appointment of Colleen Laduzinski as Partner-in-Charge of the Firm's Boston Office.  Laduzinski has served on the Firm's Advisory Committee since 2013, and has worked with the Jones Day New Attorney Academy for the past five years in her role as the new attorney practice chair. 

Laduzinski has been an attorney with Jones Day for her entire legal career, she joined the firm in 2000.  As a partner in the firm’s tax practice, she advises clients on structuring advice for tax and debt, as well as advising on capital markets transactions, bankruptcies, and private equity and M&A deals as well as litigation.  Laduzinski has plans for the Boston office of Jones Day, focusing around growth mirroring the growth in industry in Boston.  Per Laduzinski: "our Boston Office has had tremendous success since it opened in 2011. My goal is to continue to drive the expansion of Jones Day into Boston to meet the needs of our clients and other companies growing in Boston and worldwide.”

Legal Technology & Research

Proventi Sox Complinace Quote

The global consulting firm Protiviti announced the results of its 10th annual Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance Survey, highlighting the challenges with SOX compliance and technology solutions companies have adopted and how they have risen to the challenges of SOX compliance. The survey spoke with 693 audit, compliance and finance leaders and professionals at U.S. public companies, across a variety of industries and was conducted with support from AuditBoard, a leading cloud-based audit, risk and compliance software company, during the first quarter of 2019.  A main finding of the survey showed that 47 percent of audit teams have not adopted technologies that can simplify and make the process less time-consuming.  Additionally, the survey indicates that costs have edged downward slightly, but remain significant.  Time spent on compliance activities continued to rise compared to the 2018 survey, with 59 percent of companies that reported an increase indicating the number of hours went up by more than ten percent.  Brian Christensen, executive vice president and global leader of Protiviti’s internal audit and financial advisory solution, points out that “the good news is that the technology required to ease SOX compliance processes is here,” and he suggests companies look to the solutions available and identify what would work best on their processes. 

computer pricing law firm

Intapp recently announced the launch of Intapp Pricing.   Intapp Pricing is designed so firms can quickly and efficiently scope, price, resource, budget, and monitor engagements with increased flexibility and accuracy, and integrates with Intapp’s other client lifecycle solutions.

“Clients today are asking professional services firms — especially in the legal realm — to provide more value and clarity in their engagements,” said Jose Lazares, Vice President, Product Strategy and Product Management at Intapp. “To meet this challenge, forward-looking firms are embracing a modern, technology-based approach that leverages artificial intelligence to mine and analyze their existing data to derive accurate pricing strategies.”  

“Much of engagement pricing is based on less-than-accurate data, where assumptions and decisions without insights to true effort often are the basis to budget overruns.  Furthering the profitability impact is visibility, or lack thereof, to activity and scope; without real-time monitoring of budget to actuals, the chance to adjust and react limits the chance to manage overages before they become a problem,” said Jill Nelson, Senior Director for Product Management at Intapp. 

Intapp Pricing solves these challenges by providing intelligent, data-driven insights to help teams price and resource engagements with accuracy and for optimization. As a result, firms are now able to price competitively and meet client requirements, while delivering profitable work.

lawyers not communicating

New data released by Reflektive reveals that 42% of legal services employees don’t find 1:1s with managers productive, and at the same time want more feedback and career conversations with their managers.  The problem is they don't know how or where to start. The survey of 1,000 U.S. employees found that employees who have productive 1:1s with their managers are twice as engaged as those who don’t and are three times more likely to stay at their companies over the next two years.  

The key to keeping your team in place is to ensure managers have the capability, support and resources they need to effectively coach and develop employees. 

In response to this need, Reflektive recently announced their new 1:1 solution enables managers and team members to have better conversations through:

  • Structured conversation starters
  • Improved collaboration through the platform, email, Slack or mobile
  • 1:1 agenda for constructive discussions
  • Trackable conversations to allow easy follow up

Reflektive’s new and improved employee retention tools come at a critical time when unemployment rates are at historic lows and employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges that organizations of all sizes face.


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About this Author

Eilene Spear legal news editor and writer at the National Law Review
Operations Project Manager & Lead Writer

Eilene Spear is the Operations and Projects Manager for the National Law Review.  She heads the NLR remote publication team as the Lead Writer and assists in a variety of capacities in the management of the National Law Review.

As Lead Writer, Eilene writes extensively on a variety of legal topics; including legal marketing topics, interviews with top legal marketing professionals and the newest trends in legal marketing.  Additionally, Eilene writes on issues affecting the legal industry, such as women attorneys and the challenges they face,...

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