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29 July 2022, 12:26

In today’s column, the labor market and earnings for 2021 law graduates were about as good as they’ve ever been; meanwhile, most law firm executives in a recent survey said they had no plan to limit rising compensation; and Weil won a reprieve after Roe v. Wade for North Dakota’s only abortion clinic.

  • In the lead, the former chief of staff of the United States Department of Labor Rachel MondlMayowho was previously an associate of Gibson Dunn, was promoted to general counsel and executive vice president of Little Rock-based financial services firm Stephens. She most recently served as Associate General Counsel and Senior Vice President of the firm. She replaces David Knight, who is retiring after 34 years. (Businesswire)
  • The extraordinary demand for legal talent puts the labor market and earnings for 2021 law graduates among the strongest on record, and it seems likely they will remain strong over the next couple of years. According to a report by the National Association of Law Placement, by 2024, however, a significantly larger glass of law school degrees will inevitably produce a downward curve in wage and employment trends. (NALP.org)
  • At the same time, a new survey report on law firm profitability, most of the 74 law firm executives who responded said they had no plan to deal with the impact of rising talent compensation on profits from their practices. The report, by legal technology firms LawVision and Iridium Technology, now part of London-headquartered BigHand, says it suggests the legal industry’s war for talent could continue, if not intensify. (BigHand.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Weil said he obtained a temporary restraining order blocking North Dakota’s trigger law banning abortion in the state on behalf of his pro bono client Red River Women’s Clinic, the only abortion clinic in the state. (Weil.com)
  • A Manhattan federal judge sentenced disbarred attorney Jason Birnbaum to three years in prison for securities fraud related to his now-bankrupt litigation finance company, Cash4Cases. (Justice.gov) New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams was acquitted of tax evasion charges by a federal jury on Thursday. (NOLA.com) (ABCNews.go.com)
  • As global accounting giant Ernst & Young seeks to to break up its auditing and advisory business, a potential sticking point is what to do with regulated firms such as EY Law, which has about 3,400 legal professionals globally, the report said. (FinancialTimes)
  • Britain’s top trademark law firms are making progress in closing their average hourly gender pay gap. However, progress is very slow and some companies have even seen their pay gap widen, says a report. (Global Brand Review)

Laterals, moves, internals

  • London-based chipmaker Arm support appointed its acting general counsel since February, Spencer Collins, to the Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Collins, a former White & Case tech and M&A lawyer, in October 2021 became managing partner and general counsel of Arm’s parent company, SoftBank Investment Advisers; film and television production company Bad Robot has added general counsel to its list of roles for its head of business affairs, Grace Del Val. She is a former Skadden attorney and has interned at Sony Pictures and other entertainment companies. (Deadline)
  • Allen & Overy arbitration partner based in London Kate McGill Davies leaves to join Skadden, Arps as the two companies compete for talent. (Global Arbitration Review) Squire Patton Boggs hired public finance and infrastructure associates Ayana Parteein Brooklyn, New York, and Chrystie Swiney, in Falls Church, Virginia. They are Squire’s first two fellows in the Diversity Lab OnRamp program which provides a one-year paid fellowship to help women re-enter the legal profession after taking time off to raise their children; Winstead said real estate and financial shareholder George Crafts is its new office managing partner in Houston; intellectual property boutique Knobbe Martens said trial attorney Brian Horne succeeded his partner David Weiss as head of the firm’s Los Angeles office. patent lawyer Andrew Merickel succeeds his partner Adeel Akhtar as head of his San Francisco office. (Knobbe.com)