Juneteenth Places Regulation Corporations’ ‘Segregationist’ Names in Glare (Corrected)

Juneteenth Puts Law Firms’ 'Segregationist’ Names in Glare (Corrected)

Business practice

Signage for Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Photographer: Rebekah Mintzer / Bloomberg Law

June 19, 2020, 12:50 p.m.;; Updated: June 22, 2020, 9:03 p.m.


In today's column, recruiter David Lat recently discussed in a text interview about his slow recovery from Covid-19. King & Spalding has shifted the distribution of partners among other company-wide Covid-19 cost-cutting measures. In London, several law firms partially reopen their offices, while White & Case postpones a decision on salaries for newly qualified lawyers. The transatlantic company Withers hired two former Pierce Bainbridge process partners, including the company's ex-managing partner in L.A.

  • Following nationwide protests against Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, several law firms are closed today to observe June 19, 1865, the day when slavery effectively ended in the United States. Another result is PepsiCo Inc. changing the name of its best-selling pancake mix and syrup brand, Aunt Jemima, due to its racist stereotypes, while other companies with problematic brands have made similar announcements. About the Law Columnist Joe Patrice says the move to change a successful brand name is risky but morally necessary. He suggests that major law firms Davis Polk & Wardwell and Holland & Knight, which he says have segregationist names, should also change. (Above the law)
  • In the UK, elite companies Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer were among the large companies that recently apologized for their links to the slave trade and colonialism, a report said. (Law.com International)
  • About law founder and legal recruiter David Lat said in an interview recently that he was back at work and was slowly recovering from a severe Covid 19 case in which he spent six days on a ventilator and received experimental treatment. (New York Law Journal)
  • A table is compiled above the law to track how law firms are reopening after their Covid 19 shutdowns. (Above the law)
  • King & Spalding postpones sales of partners worldwide and opens its London office for partners only. The Atlanta-based company is also “cautious” about hiring new employees to protect its cash from the economic effects of Covid-19, according to a report. (Law.com International)
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has partially opened its headquarters in London and is working on details for the move to new premises. (The lawyer)
  • As London-based companies cut Covid's costs, the annual competition for the payment of newly qualified young lawyers in the city appears to be restrained. A report says White & Case has delayed its decision to increase the salaries for newly qualified lawyers there, making it the youngest firm to take such a step due to the pandemic. (Law.com International)
  • The American Bar Association is hosting an online training event on virtual dishes in the Covid-19 era and beyond on June 30. A CLE panel was recently published on how the law will treat science and medicine after the pandemic has subsided. (AmericanBar.org)
  • Seyfarth Shaw Health Care Group's lawyers published a 50-page paper examining what a post-pandemic landscape might look like for the healthcare industry. (Seyfath.com)
  • The global pandemic has revived an old debate over the protection of intellectual property and its effects on public access to medicines. (Financial Times)

The law firm responds to George Floyd's protests, systemic racism

  • Hogan Lovells is one of several companies that Juneteenth is currently observing in the United States. Sullivan & Worcester of Boston said in an internal message that employees can take a “floating vacation” to watch Juneteenth and that donations of up to $ 200 per person will be distributed to three organizations and nonprofits that serve the Black Support the community. (HoganLovells.com)
  • "I struggle with the coexistence of hope amid my constant fear of the safety of my black son, daughters and stepsons," wrote Greenberg Traurig's litigation partner, A. Michael Pratt, in a letter to his graduate son. (American lawyer)
  • The Pennsylvania NAACP, represented by Dechert, is suing the state for changes to electoral rules that could be disenfranchised to minority voters. (Inquirer.com)

Lawyers, law firms

  • Former national security adviser John Bolton told a federal court in Washington that President Trump's efforts to block his book are aimed at suppressing freedom of expression. (Bloomberg News)
  • Robert Schulman, a former litigation partner in Washington, IP at Hunton & Williams and Arent Fox, agreed to a three-year ban on the Bar Association after he was sentenced to insider trading in 2017. (National Law Journal)
  • The Financial Times listed in alphabetical order the 160 leading European patent law firms for 2020. (Financial Times)
  • Prudential plc, an insurance group advised by Debevoise & Plimpton, sold a minority stake in Jackson National Life Insurance Company to Sidley Austin customer Athene Holding Ltd., a pension company, for $ 500 million in a $ 27.6 reinsurance transaction Billion USD. (BusinessWire.com)

Side panels, movements

  • King & Spalding hired a trial team with four partners from Boies Schiller & Flexner in New York, which has lost 19 lawyers to King & Spalding since April and a total of at least 35 partners since February. (BLAW)
  • The transatlantic company Withers hired two former litigation partners from Pierce Bainbridge as part of their strategy to establish litigation and arbitration in the United States. The company received the former managing partner of Pierce Bainbridge in Los Angeles, Amman Khan in LA, and former Pierce partner Christopher LaVigne in New York. Both are big law veterans. Associate John Dillon, who previously worked at Khan's personal company, also joined. (WithersWorldwide.com)
  • Reed Smith hired Akerman partner and former Brazilian practice director Felipe Berer as a Miami partner for his global dispute resolution group and Latin American business team. (Daily business report)
  • The Colombian branch of DLA Piper added Paola Aldana as a partner and head of infrastructure practice based in Bogota. (DLAPiper.com)
  • Houston-based Vinson & Elkins selected Skadden's restructuring advisor, George Howard, as a partner in New York. (Velaw.com)

In the house

  • Britton Worthen, a former Kirkland & Ellis employee, the chief legal officer of electric vehicle manufacturer Nikola Corp., will receive a $ 1 salary and invest his money in the future of the fast growing startup. (BLAW)
  • Seyfarth Shaw represents Consolidated Edison Co. in New York City as the company faces a lawsuit filed by a former social security lawyer accused of firing her for her age and gender. (Management consultant) (BLAW)


  • The judge in the $ 117 million Yahoo! The privacy breach settlement has additional questions regarding the $ 30 million attorney's request. (The recorder)

Legal training

  • Fordham Law added two former Big Law attorneys to his faculty. Former New York Attorney General Bennett Capers joins as a professor and most recently came from Brooklyn Law School. He will also head the center of the school for race, law and justice. Patterson Belknap's former patent attorney, Maggie Wittlin, joins the University of Nebraska College of Law as an associate professor. (News.law.Fordham.edu)

(Corrects Paola Aldana's experience at DLA Piper's Colombia office in a June 19 story.)

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Rick Mitchell

Rick Mitchell

Freelance correspondent

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