Happy December and Happy Holidays from the National Law Review team. Please read on for our latest law firm hiring, professional recognition, and pro bono updates.
Law Firm Hiring, Mergers & Moves
On December 1st, 2021, law firms Schiff Hardin LLP and Arent Fox LLP announced plans to merge under the name ArentFox Schiff. Effective March 1st, 2022, the merger will broaden the scope and capacity of each firm, allowing more than 600 attorneys and policy professionals to more effectively provide comprehensive legal counsel to clients of all kinds. Altogether, ArentFox Schiff will have offices located in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Boston, and will see attorneys practicing in bankruptcy law, financial restructuring, complex litigation, government relations, and many other areas.
“We are merging at a time when both firms are having record-breaking years in terms of production and profitability,” said Anthony V. Lupo, Chair of ArentFox Schiff. “Schiff Hardin’s excellent reputation is a reflection of their legal talent, storied history, and a client-first approach. This combination doubles our Corporate, Finance, and Litigation capabilities, and enhances our ability to anticipate and respond to our clients’ most important business problems.”
“By joining forces with Arent Fox, our clients will benefit from the collective talents and resources of two market-leading firms,” said Managing Partner Joseph J. Krasovec III. “Both firms value creativity and client service excellence. Going forward, ArentFox Schiff will prioritize investing in legal talent and innovation that enables us to continue to be an industry leader in gateway U.S. markets.”
Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner is opening an office in Munich, Germany staffed with a team from Baker McKenzie. Patent lawyer and European patent attorney Jochen Herr is opening the office, alongside three other associates.
The team will have both dual-qualified lawyers and patent attorneys representing both infringement proceedings and EPO oppositions. Mr. Herr previously worked for Finnegan as a patent attorney trainee.
Vinson & Elkins elected thirteen new partners across a variety of practice groups. They include: Michael Gibson in Austin; Brad Foxman, Jordan Leu and Sarah Mitchell in Dallas; Robert Hughes, Damien Lyster and Crosby Scofield in Houston; Lauren Davies and Giacomo Reali in London; Lauren Kanzer, Julia Petty and Jose Sanchez in New York; and Paige Anderson in Richmond. The new partners will assume their roles January 1st, 2022.
“We are pleased to recognize the excellent service our new partners provide to their clients and congratulate them on this milestone in their careers,” said Mark Kelly, Chairman at Vinson & Elkins. “Representing eight practice groups, this year’s lawyers epitomize the spirit of collaboration that makes our firm and culture so strong. They have each demonstrated a commitment to others and a focus on innovation that will fuel both the future of our firm and the legal profession.”
Ogletree Deakins expanded its New York office with the addition of Sandi F. Dubin as a shareholder. A member of the firm’s Traditional Labor Practice Group, Ms. Dubin has experience in all types of labor and employment legal matters, including collective bargaining, disability and reasonable accommodations, discrimination and harassment investigations, wage and hour compliance, and workplace safety. Previously, she served as in-house labor and employment counsel at New York University, representing the University before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
“Sandi is a skilled counselor who possesses a wealth of experience and a proven ability to effectively manage time-sensitive and complex issues with a focus on maintaining compliance and positive employee relations,” said Stephen Macri, Managing Shareholder at Ogletree Deakins. “Her commitment to providing first-class client service is aligned with the tenets of the firm’s Client Pledge and is just one of many attributes that make her a valuable and welcomed addition to the firm.”
Jordan A. Sigale joined Vedder Price’s Chicago office as a Shareholder in the Intellectual Property Litigation group. Concentrating his practice on patent and trade secret litigation as well as alternative dispute resolution, he prepares and prosecutes patent applications in a variety of fields, including the mechanical, chemical, electrical, and electrochemical disciplines. Mr. Sigale also served as lead litigation and trial counsel in courts throughout the U.S., representing clients not only in intellectual property but in antitrust claims as well.
“Mr. Sigale is a talented litigator and a strong addition to our team. His prosecution and strategic counselling skills will be an immediate asset to our IP and IP Litigation groups,” said Robert S. Rigg, Chair of Vedder Price’s Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Litigation groups. “I am delighted that he is joining the team; his skill set will further strengthen our already diverse practice.”
Several Troutman Pepper law firm attorneys are featured in Virginia Business’ ‘2021 Legal Elite’ which highlights leading attorneys in Virginia across twenty practice areas, including 13 lawyers in nine categories:
Melissa Ruman Stewart of Winstead PC is featured on D Magazine’s Dallas 500 list, which recognizes influential business professionals in North Texas. Ms. Stewart specializes in loan transactions and real estate financing, and is the Chair of Winstead’s Syndicated Finance and Finance and Lending practice groups.
“Melissa is an outstanding attorney and member of the Dallas and North Texas business and legal community. Her involvement in a number of local organizations, including her longstanding commitment to the Dallas Symphony, really embodies one of our core tenets of giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” said Winstead’s Chairman and CEO David Dawson.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP received the Regional Litigation Department of the Year – Florida award from American Lawyer. This marks the second litigation award the firm received this year.
“We are grateful for the honor and appreciate The American Lawyer’s recognition of our colleagues’ efforts for our clients and our community,” said Mark F. Raymond, managing partner of Nelson Mullins’ Miami office.
The firm’s recognition noted varied cases such as offering access to legal services to unaccompanied minors, who are being detained in adult centers run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in South Florida, including suing for the teens’ release, as well as defeating a putative securities class action against Carnival Corp. after it was alleged the company mishandled its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Pro Bono & Legal Industry Innovation Recognition
Canadian law firm Blakes, Cassels & Graydon (Blakes) announced a partnership with The Canadian Black Standard (The Standard) to provide pro bono support and to continue diversity and inclusion efforts in the firm’s offices. Blakes will support the growth of The Standard, where they will work to develop programming and educational resources to support both organizations.
In 2021, Blakes was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. The firm has programs that foster community and networking programs, alongside the itssBlack@Blakes affinity group.
“We’re deeply appreciative of the investment that Blakes made in The Standard from our inception, providing expert counsel and legal resources that have been essential to our foundation. We know that diversity and inclusion are core values at Blakes. They walk the talk through various internal initiatives, and pro-bono support of external organizations, like ours, committed to improving disenfranchised communities,” said Anastasia Gordon, The Standard’s Board Chair & Co-Founder.
“Pro Bono work plays a significant role in what we do at Blakes and is a very rewarding aspect of my work as a lawyer. As a Black woman, working with The Standard is a particularly meaningful experience as it allows me to support a visionary group of Black women who are as passionate about contributing to the career advancement of women in our community as I am,” said Gabrielle Wright, a Blakes associate.
“For the last few years, Blakes has been ramping up its collaboration with Canada’s Black communities, notably in the legal industry. I’m excited to be expanding our involvement beyond the legal market and into the marketing industry,” said Kyle Elliott, the co-founder of the Black@Blakes affinity group and lead of Diversity & Inclusion at Blakes.
Copyright ©2021 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 347