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Fee Tracker: Big Legal Bills for Gibson Dunn

By Brian Baxter |

The Am Law Daily's periodic tabulation of notable fees earned—or owed—to Am Law 200 firms on a variety of engagements starts off with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which is reaping the benefits from its work in New Jersey's Bridgegate scandal. The firm is also representing the Garden State in a sports gambling case and counseling the American Foundation for Equal Rights in a high-profile gay marriage fight in California. And that's not even including what the firm is seeking for advising energy giant Chevron.

Skadden, Simpson Top First-Quarter M&A Rankings

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

The two firms outpaced their Am Law rivals in terms of the total value of their corporate clients' global transactions in the year's first three months, according to rankings released this week by Bloomberg, Mergermarket and Thomson Reuters. Both firms bolstered their totals by grabbing roles on two of the quarter's biggest deals.

map of Africa

With Growth in Mind, Dentons, Others Eye Africa

By Brian Baxter |

Global 100 legal giant Dentons is the latest international firm to bet on Africa's growing economic power, announcing Wednesday its opening of new offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg by joining forces with South African alliance firm KapdiTwala and revealing plans to launch another outpost in Francophone Africa later this year.

Fabrice Tourre

The SEC's Internal Battles over Goldman Sachs Probe

By Susan Beck |

In the Abacus case, the Securities and Exchange Commission secured a $550 million settlement from Goldman and a civil fraud verdict against former Goldman VP Fabrice Tourre. But one senior SEC lawyer thought the agency wasn't aggressive enough, newly released transcripts show.

High-Frequency Trading Could Prove Tricky to Police

By Isobel Markham |

High-frequency trading is difficult to fit into any of the boxes traditionally used to categorize different types of securities fraud, which could make it very difficult to regulate or police, according to the New York Times.

IPO With Paul Weiss Link Delayed Amid 'Flash Boys' Furor

With the storm kicked up by Michael Lewis' new book about high-frequency trading continuing to swirl, Virtu Financial—a high-speed trading outfit headed by former Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison corporate partner Douglas Cifu—has pushed back its planned initial public offering. Paul Weiss is just one of several Am Law 100 firms with ties to the controversial industry.

Susan Levy

Jenner Managing Partner Levy Leaves for Northern Trust

By Brian Baxter |

Susan Levy, who has spent her entire legal career at Jenner & Block and became its managing partner in 2008, will leave the Am Law 100 firm as of May 1 to become general counsel of Northern Trust Corp. The Chicago-based financial services giant is a Jenner client.

Drones and other remote controlled toys are displayed for sale in a Brookstone Inc. store.

Brookstone Bankruptcy Yields Roles for Half-Dozen Firms

By Brian Baxter |

K&L Gates is serving as lead debtors' counsel to the specialty gadget retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware on Thursday as part of a plan to sell itself to Spencer Spirit Holdings. The proposed $146.3 million deal has pulled in Am Law 200 firms Stroock, Greenberg Traurig, and Choate, Hall & Stewart, as well as two regional shops.

Two Major Pharma M&A Deals Yield Big-Firm Bonanza

By Brian Baxter |

Weil, Wachtell, Shearman, Simpson, Latham and Davis Polk all got the year's second quarter off to a strong start by grabbing roles on one of two big pharmaceutical deals announced Monday: Irish specialty drugmaker Mallinckrodt's $5.6 billion cash-and-stock purchase of California's Questcor Pharmaceuticals and India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries' $3.2 billion buy of struggling rival Ranbaxy Laboratories.

The Churn

The Churn: Cooley Woos Mintz Levin IP Team, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Cooley poaches a six-lawyer intellectual property group from Mintz Levin, a former federal prosecutor who left the Justice Department amid controversy moves to Baker Botts, and O’Melveny brings back a former associate who has been a key legal adviser to President Obama since his run for the U.S Senate in 2004. The Churn is constant. Please send all announcements to thechurn@alm.com.

Private Equity Giants Tap Kirkland for Two Big Deals

By Brian Baxter |

The firm is advising Blackstone on its Ipreo Holdings buy and Madison Dearborn on its sale of Nuveen Investments.

Profit Pressure Prompting Firm Leaders to Swing Ax

By Julie Triedman |

Six Am Law 200 firms have now confirmed layoffs of staffers this year.

The Churn

The Churn: Ten McKenna Partners Join Sheppard Mullin, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

Sheppard Mullin adds 10 McKenna Long partners in Southern California; three patent litigators land at O'Melveny; and Weil hires a Goldman Sachs restructuring specialist. The Churn is constant. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.

The Las Bambas copper mine in Peru.

Global Quartet Dig Into $5.85 Billion Copper Mining Deal

By Brian Baxter |

Dentons, White & Case, Linklaters and Clifford Chance are advising on the sale of Peru's Las Bambas mining project.

The Churn

The Churn: Bingham Hedge Fund Duo Defects, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Two prominent hedge fund partners and a privacy practice cochair have left Bingham McCutchen.

Akin, Milbank Help Broker Big Matzo Swap

By Brian Baxter |

With Passover approaching, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy grabbed seats at the table as The Manischewitz Company—one of the few remaining matzo makers in the U.S.—saw its ownership transfer from one privately held entity to another.

Exclusive: Ex-SEC Lawyer Speaks Out on Agency Failings

By Susan Beck |

Senior writer Susan Beck interviews James Kidney about what he sees as the SEC’s misplaced priorities.

Legal Sector Added 700 Jobs in March

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

The industry has now added 2,300 positions since the start of the year, despite enduring a stagnant month on the employment front in February, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Churn

The Churn: Another Weil Defector, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

A Delaware-based litigation partner leaves Weil for DLA Piper; Mintz Levin lands three IP attorneys in Boston; and, a Utah U.S. attorney returns to Sidley Austin. The Churn is constant. Please send all announcements and releases to thechurn@alm.com.

Simpson, Latham Lead on $5.4 Billion Gates Sale

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

The Blackstone Group has agreed to buy industrial manufacturer Gates Global from current owners Onex and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is advising Blackstone on the deal, while Gates, Onex and CPPIB are being represented by Latham.

Citi Taps Shearman Amid Banamex Inquiry

By Julie Triedman |

Shearman & Sterling is leading an internal investigation for longtime client Citigroup Inc. in connection with an alleged $400 million fraud at the bank's Mexican subsidiary, Banamex, The American Lawyer confirmed Thursday.

Dealmakers of the Year: Francesca Odell, Cleary

By Chris Johnson |

Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas company was planning a record-breaking offering, and it likes to work fast. So it called Odell.

Dealmakers of the Year: Jason Kyrwood and Alan Denenberg, Davis Polk

By Chris Johnson |

Davis Polk lawyers played key roles in both the biggest transaction of the year and the most publicized one.

A customer browses books at a Barnes & Noble Inc. store.

Liberty Taps Baker Botts for Barnes & Noble Stake Sale

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

The firm is advising Liberty Media on the reduction of its stake in book retailer Barnes & Noble from 17 percent to 2 percent.

Dealmakers of the Year: Steven Slutzky, Debevoise

By Chris Johnson |

Advised by Slutzky, Verizon stunned the markets with a $49 billion debt offering that set the stage for the year's biggest acquisition.

Lawyers Line Up for European M&A Deals

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

A host of lawyers land roles on three major European transactions, led by the $23 billion sale of Vivendi's French mobile phone unit to Luxembourg-based cable operator Altice. Meanwhile, the world's two largest cement-makers, Paris-based Lafarge and Switzerland's Holcim, will merge to create a company with more than $44 billion in combined annual sales, and Sweden's Alfa Laval will pay $2.2 billion in cash to acquire Norwegian pump-maker Frank Mohn.

puppy kitten and food bowl

Jones Day, Skadden Land on Mars' Pet Food Deal

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

M&M's manufacturer Mars is paying $2.9 billion in cash to acquire Procter & Gamble's pet food business, which includes the brands Iams, Eukanuba and Natura. Skadden is advising Mars while Jones Day takes the lead for longtime client P&G.

Dealmakers of the Year: Carl Sanchez, Paul Hastings

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

The key to Shuanghui International's successful pursuit of Smithfield Foods? Being willing to walk away.

Davis Polk, Cahill, S&C Handle Year's Biggest IPO to Date

By Brian Baxter |

Three years after first filing to go public in a bid to repay a $17.2 billion federal government bailout, Ally Financial, the former finance arm of auto giant General Motors, raised nearly $2.4 billion in an IPO Thursday that sees principal investor the U.S. Treasury Department slash its stake in the company. Davis Polk & Wardwell, Cahill Gordon & Reindel and Sullivan & Cromwell are advising on the offering, the latest to hit surging U.S. capital markets in recent weeks.

Bob Profusek

Dealmaker of the Week: Jones Day's Robert Profusek

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

Profusek and fellow M&A partner Peter Izanec led the Jones Day team advising Procter & Gamble on the $2.9 billion sale of its pet food business to Mars Incorporated.