Top Legal Industry News June 2021: Attorney Hiring, Law Firm Pro Bono Recognition & Legal Industry Innovation
We’re back with another edition of our legal industry news roundup. Read on for the latest news on law firm attorney moves, pro bono work and recognition, innovation and inclusion.
Law Firm Moves
Rick Pearl rejoined Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP as a partner in the Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group at the Chicago office. Mr. Pearl is a nationally recognized authority on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) matters. Mr. Pearl is a member of the ESOP Association’s Public Policy Council and Valuation Advisory Committee. Mr. Pearl previously worked for Drinker, Biddle & Reath from 2016-2018.
“Rick is a trusted adviser with a successful track record in high-stakes ERISA and ESOP litigation. His experience working with businesses across industries on ESOP matters will be a great value to our clients as we guide them through complex ERISA and valuation issues,” said Jeremy M. Pelphrey and Philip J. Gutwein of Faegre Drinker.
Kevin Halloran joined Quarles & Brady’s Indianapolis office as partner in the firm’s Business Law Practice Group focusing on transactional taxation, specifically mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Halloran additionally provides analysis, financial and tax modeling, and advice on deal structuring for both financial and strategic acquirers and has extensive experience structuring stock and asset acquisitions, corporate mergers, reorganizations and dispositions.
"We are excited for Kevin to join our Indianapolis office and to make an immediate contribution to the firm and our clients," said Joel Tragesser, Indianapolis office managing partner. "Kevin brings extensive experience in handling tax aspects of M&A deals and deal structuring for corporate clients."
Venable LLP added Thomas E. Perez as a Partner in its Washington, DC office. Previously, Mr. Perez was the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the secretary of labor, and assistant attorney general for civil rights under President Obama.
“Tom is extremely well respected nationwide for his deep knowledge and successful track record on public policy issues at every level of government. He has served as a trusted advisor to many of our country’s leaders and been at the center of issues impacting American businesses and their employees. I am confident that our clients will benefit from his experience and counsel,” said Stu Ignis, Venable LLP’s Chairman.
Stroock added White Collar/Securities Litigation partners in its Litigation and Government Affairs and Regulatory Services (GARS) practice. SEC enforcement lawyer Richard Morvillo joined Strook in Washington, D.C., while partners Scott Morvillo, and Ellen Murphy will be based in New York. Each new partner draws on experience before government agencies, lawmakers and regulatory bodies to counsel clients on complex civil and criminal investigations.
“Our clients will benefit greatly from the collective experience of Richard, Scott and Ellen with white collar cases, and particularly their work with securities and the financial services industry,” said Firm Co-Managing Partner Alan Klinger, who heads the GARS practice. “Their move deepens our securities, white collar and traditional litigation bench.”
Mr. Morvillo will lead Stroock’s White Collar & Investigations practice. A former branch chief with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, he is a nationally recognized authority in SEC enforcement and other white collar matters. Mr. Morvillo has been a part of several high-profile cases, including securities matters involving Enron, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Liberty Media, Capital One and Prestige Brands.
Scott Morvillo, a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, regularly represents clients before district courts and regulatory bodies, focusing on matters involving securities fraud, public corruption, bank fraud, bribery, wire and mail fraud, accounting fraud, health care fraud, insurance fraud and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Ms. Murphy’s practice centers on advising financial institutions, public and private companies, boards and executives in a variety of regulatory, criminal, internal and civil investigations and litigations, including extensive experience with both civil and criminal trials as well as mediations and arbitrations.
Amelie Metivier joined Stikeman Elliott as a partner in the Corporate group of the Montreal office. Ms. Metivier regularly acts for companies, underwriters, and investors in a variety of corporate law matters and advises on disclosure obligations, corporate governance matters, and other securities law issues.
“Amelie is highly regarded for her outstanding track record of bringing exceptional expertise and value to clients on significant domestic and cross-border transactions. Her addition to the team will provide even greater depth to our strong corporate practice,” said Warren Katz, Stikeman Elliott’s Managing Partner.
Law Firm Pro Bono Work & Civil Justice Recognition
The Arent Fox Center for Racial Equality and Howard University School of Law’s Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center announced the production of policy recommendations and research papers to address institutionalized racism in the United States. Howard Law School Professors and Arent Fox attorneys will work together to identify, research and present policy analysis and research projects on systemic racism and racial injustice.
“We are immensely proud to be partnering with Arent Fox. Through this initiative, we will be able to create a nationally recognized partnership that brings important research and thought leadership to initiatives that can support our goal of moving this country closer to racial equality,” said Professor Justin Hansford of Howard Law School.
Their first joint project will be the Mike Brown Project, which aims to help pass legislation to provide mental health services to families and communities affected by police violence.
“As the former Chair of Arent Fox, one of the initiatives I am most proud of is the founding of the Arent Fox Center for Racial Equality. In a time when our country was under tremendous stress from the global pandemic and protests sparked by systemic inequalities, our firm collectively responded in a meaningful way. This partnership with Howard Law is a key part of the work we are doing and will help address issues surrounding racial injustice,” stated Mark A. Katz of Arent Fox.
DLA Piper received a 2021 Beacon of Justice Award from National Legal Aid & Defender Association. This year’s award honors law firms whose pro bono work has helped to address racial disparities in 2020, regarding civil rights and other issues that have racial significance. The National Legal Aid & Defender Association recognized DLA Piper for their racial justice work and for their efforts with Compassionate Release Clearinghouse to assist incarcerated individuals with serious medical conditions during the pandemic.
“We are proud of our efforts to advance racial justice through our compassionate release pro bono work,” said Lisa Dewey, a pro bono partner at DLA Piper. “Assisting elderly, terminally ill, high-risk prisoners by providing them with representation and advocacy, and ultimately helping many of them obtain compassionate release, is rewarding and crucial work, and we look forward to continuing to help these vulnerable individuals.”
The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 included Hunton Andrew Kurth LLP’s Alyson Brown on its Virginia’s 2021 list. This association celebrates the legal excellence of African American attorneys who demonstrate superior leadership, reputation, influence, and stature in their communities.
Ms. Brown represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law before federal and state agencies, counsels on compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws, and represents clients in employment based litigation.
Legal Industry Innovation & Law Office Workplace Honors
“Our commitment to inclusivity, diversity and supporting our team has remained a priority and has allowed us to maintain our strong workplace culture,” said Connie Lahn, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s Minneapolis office. “We take great pride receiving this recognition again in 2021, especially amid the major changes we have all experienced in the workplace this year.”
Barnes & Thornburg earned the Top Workplace distinction in 2020 and 2009. In 2020, Barnes & Thornburg partnered with local nonprofit All Square to promote diversity, inclusion, and racial justice, awarding the foundation a grant.
"Barbara is an impressive up-and-coming leader," said Miller Canfield CEO Megan Norris. "We are tremendously proud of not only her work in the firm, but also her deep commitment to serving the community."
Ms. Moore is an associate in Miller Canfield’s Employment and Labor Group. She previously worked at the National Housing Law Project and was a legal intern for the Michigan House of Representatives. Ms. Moore is a member of the Board of Directors for Dégagé Ministries, a nonprofit serving people experiencing homelessness.
The New York Law Journal selected IMS Expert Services as a nominee for 13 of its Best Of reader’s favorite categories for 2021. The categories are selected by New York’s attorneys, judges, law firm officers, in-house counsel, and others throughout the U.S. legal industry, and encompass nearly 70 categories overall.
The New York Law Journal nominated IMS Expert Services for the following categories:
Best Trial Consulting
Best Company for Remote Trial Services
Best “Hot Seat” Trial Technicians
Best Overall Expert Witness Provider
Best Expert Witness Referral Service
Best Demonstrative Evidence Provider
Best Forensic Experts
Best Forensic Accounting Provider
Best Corporate Investigations Provider
Best End-to-end Litigation Consulting Firm
Best Jury Consulting
Best Online Jury Research Provider
The winners will be announced in a late September edition of the publication.