Wake Up Call: David Lat, Founder of Above the Law, Says He Has Covid-19

Two experts on infectious disease cautioned that such measures, when partial or voluntary, are not by themselves adequate to stem spread of the disease.

Persons hands typing on a laptop keyboard with USB cord running to what looks like an external hard drive. There is also a cellphone sitting next to the computer on the desk its sitting on.

In today’s column, as more firms announced remote-working arrangements for lawyers and staff in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, two experts on infectious disease cautioned that such measures, when partial or voluntary, are not by themselves adequate to stem spread of the disease. The Law School Admission Test scheduled for the end of March was canceled, and the ABA announced more event cancellations.

  • Leading off, legal recruiter David Lat, who was a founder of legal blog Above The Law, announced on Twitter that he tested positive for Covid-19. (Twitter)
  • The litigation and disputes department at transatlantic firm Eversheds-Sutherland started a global working group with 13 lawyers to help clients deal with litigation matters raised by the pandemic of the novel coronavirus. (The Lawyer)
  • Eversheds-Sutherland, whose Asian offices have been using remote work schemes since January, also said it has asked its teams in the U.S., U.K., continental Europe, and the Middle East to work remotely, wherever possible. The firm said its offices will remain operational, with “core support teams” in place, “unless circumstances or governmental advice dictate otherwise.” It said it anticipates that teams will be working remotely for several weeks, but it plans to review the situation weekly. (Eversheds-Sutherland.com)
  • As several other law firms and lawyers also announced plans to implement remote work for staff and employees, they are getting a flood of inquiries from clients about legal issues raised by the pandemic. (American Lawyer) (ABAJournal.com)
  • Morris, Manning & Martin started a Covid-19 task force including lawyers from practices across the firm. (MMMLaw.com)
  • Two experts on infectious disease said partial and voluntary remote work policies, and rotating work schedules, to reduce the number of lawyers and staff in offices is not enough to slow the spread of Covid-19. They said other measures to avoid close personal contact and disinfect surfaces and spaces can help. (American Lawyer) Meanwhile, data and risk experts said in-house lawyers need to watch out for new cybersecurity vulnerabilities linked to a sudden increase in inexperienced remote workers. (Corporate Counsel)
  • The U.S. Supreme Court delayed March argument sessions due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, Supreme Court litigators have to prepare for April argument sessions, which are still scheduled to go on. (BLAW)
  • The American Bar Association announced the cancellation of its May 7-8 spring conference of its Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and other cancellations. (AmericanBar.org)
  • The Law School Admission Test canceled the LSAT scheduled for March 30, and the April test is a schedule question mark. (Law.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton delayed their April 1 merger because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is now pushed back to July 1. (BLAW) A Troutman Sanders legal secretary agreed to drop her federal sexual harassment suit against a former male partner at the firm. (BLAW)
  • Seattle-based Perkins Coie credited stronger-than-expected performances from its intellectual property, products liability, and political law practices for its 8.5% growth in gross revenue in 2019, compared with 2018, to reach $934.8 million. Early data for the firm, which has embattled aircraft maker Boeing as a longtime client, show it posted average profits per equity partner up 6.5% to reach $1.37 million. (American Lawyer)
  • Texas-based Thompson & Knight had a record 2018, but then had a slow start in 2019 in its IP and bankruptcy practices, then capital investment in the energy sector dropped off mid-year. Early data show its gross revenue fell 3.8% to $217.9 million last year, while average PEP shrank 3.7% to just under $1.07 million. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Former Wells Fargo & Co. general counsel C. Allen Parker Jr. earned about $9.6 million last year thanks to his elevation to interim CEO at the scandal-plagued bank. (BLAW)
  • Goodwin Procter and CMS advised Germany-based Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH on its merger with Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp., a so-called blank check company advised by Kirkland & Ellis, in a deal that creates a Nasdaq-listed cancer immunotherapy company with an initial market capitalization of about $634 million. (Immatics.com)

Laterals, Moves

  • Blank Rome grabbed five more tax attorneys from Morrison & Foerster to expand its state and local tax group in New York. Senior counsel Irwin M. Slomka; of counsel Matthew F. Cammarata, Eugene J. Gibilaro, and Kara M. Kraman; and senior attorney Michael A. Pearl followed four MoFo tax lawyers who made the same jump last month. (BLAW)
  • McDermott Will & Emery added health care litigation partners Josh Simon, Warren Haskel, Dmitriy Tishyevich from Kirkland & Ellis, expanding its New York office. (BLAW.com)
  • In New York, Seyfarth Shaw added transactional real estate lawyers Jay H. Levinton and Michael J. Waters. Levinton joins as partner from Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein. Waters joins from Wachtel Missry as senior counsel. (Seyfarth.com)
  • In Seattle, K&L Gates added its third partner this year: government contracts lawyer David Y. Yang. He arrives after more than a decade at Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker in Washington, D.C. (KLGates.com)
  • Mayer Brown added transactional tax planning lawyer Andy Baik, who joins as a partner in Northern California. He was previously at Ernst & Young, where he’d spent over two decades. (MayerBrown.com)
  • DLA Piper’s Silicon Valley office added corporate partner Carole Bellis, who advises on emerging growth companies in the life sciences, energy, and tech sectors. She’s been at Wilson Sonsini and arrives most recently from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. (DLA Piper)

In-house

  • Energy company Exelon Corp., targeted by SEC and Department of Justice probes of its lobbying activity, hired former DOJ regional criminal division chief David Glockner, who was also SEC regional director, as its executive vice president of compliance and audit. Glockner, who’s currently chief compliance officer for Chicago-based global investment firm Citadel, starts March 23. (Corporate Counsel)
  • Evertas, which bills itself as the world’s first cryptoasset insurance company, said it has hired former PwC intelligence director Robert Chamberlain as its first global head of intelligence & investigations. (Insurance-Edge.net)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at [email protected]; Darren Bowman at [email protected]

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March 18, 2020, 8:01 AM