Top Legal Industry News for September 2021: Law Firm Pro Bono, Hiring & Innovation
Welcome back to another edition of the National Law Review’s legal industry news column. Read on for the latest news on law firm pro bono, innovation and hiring as selected by the National Law Review editorial team!
Law Firm Hiring & Moves
Jones Walker LLP expanded its State & Local Tax (SALT) Team with the addition of Alysse McLoughlin as partner. Ms. McLoughlin has experience in tax planning, state tax litigation, and other financial services, and she has previously served as the head of state tax for Barclays Capital and state tax counsel for Lehman Brothers. She has also been ranked in Chambers USA since 2017 for her tax law expertise.
“We have known Alysse and have respected her professionalism and talent for years,” said Bill Backstrom, leader of Jones Walker’s Tax Practice Group. “We are thrilled to welcome her to our team. Her background at a multinational investment bank, a global financial services firm, and the IRS is a huge asset to our SALT team. We look forward to working with her and seeing her immediate impact in support of our clients’ interests.”
David M. Hill joined Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine as an associate attorney. Previously, he served as a judicial extern and a law clerk in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Wyoming’s Fifth Judicial District Court respectively, and obtained a Master’s degree in Business Management and Supply Chain Management.
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP added corporate attorney Lisa R. Jacobs to the firm’s Philadelphia office as a partner. She worked with a diverse array of clients, including health care service provider groups, food and beverage conglomerates, and professional sports teams, and practiced in fields such as private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance.
Pierce Atwood welcomed Nicholas Gladd as a partner in their Energy Law practice in the Washington D.C. and Portland offices. Mr. Gladd brings a wealth of knowledge on energy regulation and has held positions with FERC’s Solicitor’s Office and the Energy Bar Association.
“Nic’s deep and broad energy law and litigation expertise will help us serve our growing roster of utilities, energy project developers, energy marketers, investors, and more. We are fortunate that Nic chose to bring his talent and expertise to Pierce Atwood, and we look forward to having him join our team of highly-skilled energy lawyers,” said Pierce Atwood Energy Practice Group Chair Jared S. des Rosiers.
Pro Bono & Recognition
Good2BSocial is one of the fastest growing private companies, according to Inc. Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, which looks at small business growth in America. The 2021 companies are ranked based on their growth from 2017-2020.
“We’re very excited to make our first appearance on the Inc. 5000. It’s particularly significant that we made the list now given the challenges so many companies endured and overcome due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We thank all our employees, clients and partners who have supported us along the way,” said Guy Alvarez, Good2bSocial’s founder and CEO.
“The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled. Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people,” said Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. Magazine.
Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) Labor and Employment Section Steering Committee selected Sherin and Lodgen’s David I. Brody to serve as the co-chair for the 2021-2022 term. The committee plans the association’s Labor and Employment section activities and develops policy initiatives.
Mr. Brody represents individuals in a wide range of labor and employment matters before federal and state courts in Massachusetts and has been a member of the BBA’s Labor and Employment Steering Committee since 2018.
Matthew Sarna of DLA Piper received the 20/20 Partners Young Leader Award from the Business Bankruptcy Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) Business Law section. The award is reserved for attorneys who demonstrate commitment to business bankruptcy, involvement in the community, professionalism and leadership. Mr. Sarna was one of 19 recipients.
Mr. Sarna focuses on corporate bankruptcy and restructuring matters, andhelps debtors pick up the pieces left from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Sarna is also involved in pro bono matters and helps veterans obtain discharge upgrades through the National Veterans Legal Service Program.
Legal Industry Awards & Innovation
The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) elected new board leaders and members for 2021-22. The IADC focuses on legal reform and attorney professional development.
IADC members represent some of the largest companies in the world, including members of the FORTUNE 500, and are leaders in corporate and insurance law.
The new board leaders are:
Clarke Silverglate, P.A.
Adams and Reese LLP
New Orleans, Louisiana
• Immediate Past President
Ellis & Winters LLP
Greensboro, North Carolina
• Vice President of Insurance
Thomas F. Lysaught
QBE North America
The new IADC board members (three-year terms) are:
Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP
San Francisco, California
CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz
Kenney & Sams, P.C.
Americas Lodging Investment Summit selected Vedder Price’s deal to sell the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel property led by Michael M. Eidelman, Shareholder and Chair of the firm’s Insolvency, Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization group, as its Single Asset Transaction of the Year.
The United States District Court for the Central District of California appointed Mr. Eidelman as Special Master overseeing the sale of the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel, which the United States Government sold to recover illegally laundered funds from a major international money laundering scandal known as 1MDB. The scandal allegedly involved the embezzlement of billions of dollars from the Malaysian development firm 1MDB. The hotel property sold for $100 million to EOS Investors after a competitive auction involving 50 competing bids.
“The Vedder Price team is honored to be recognized by The Americas Lodging Investment Summit,” Mr. Eidelman said. “We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the sale. The transaction highlights both our industry knowledge and hard work.”
Ward and Smith created a new service covering mandatory workplace vaccines and potential exemptions to mandatory vaccination policies. The new service allows North Carolinians to speak to an attorney on the issue of mandatory vaccines through a phone call or virtual meeting for a flat fee of $300.
"A real concern, from the numerous calls we've fielded about this issue, are from individuals who are stressed over the possibility of losing their jobs and livelihoods should they choose not to get vaccinated," said Labor and Employment attorney Ken Gray. "That's why we developed this service. We regularly help employers craft workplace policies and help them understand their rights, as well as the rights of their workers. With this service, individual employees can also understand their rights and move forward with correct information under the law here in North Carolina."
Employees may be exempt from the requirement if they have a disability or religious beliefs, but those exemptions have their limits.
“Not all employers are covered by the ADA or Title VII. Plus, the accommodation process is different for every workplace, depends on an employee's circumstances, or can change based on the needs of the business. For example, accommodations may be different if a company decides to have that employee work remotely."
Those interested in contacting Ward and Smith for more information can call 800-998-1102.
Jackson Lewis launched a video training series covering Title IX team training obligations and addressing sexual misconduct allegations for higher education institutions. The training includes May 2020 Title IX regulations and the July 2021 Title IX guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.
“Providing truly effective annual Title IX team training can be challenging, but it is essential to ensuring fairness, compliance and campus safety,” said Josh Whitlock, principal in Jackson Lewis’s Charlotte, N.C. office and creator of the new video training series. “Individuals who serve as coordinators, investigators, hearing officers, appellate officers and advisors in matters involving sexual misconduct allegations have an often daunting and always impactful role. Their training must address complex and shifting legal requirements and prepare them to navigate sensitive situations with skill and care. This series offers a comprehensive, efficient, cost-effective and versatile solution. Our team poured deep thoughtfulness and literally hundreds of hours into creating the training content and platform, we are proud of the value that the series offers, and we have received great feedback from the dozens of schools already using it.”
The course includes seven modules for training, 15 hours of practical breakdowns, real-world examples, quizzes and other interactive elements and on-demand access on any device with unlimited sharing within the institution.
Rachel Popa also contributed to this article.