Boies Schiller, Hausfeld Form Practice: Business of Law

Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and Hausfeld LLP are combining to create a joint practice group that will represent professional athletes.

“We saw and see a trend within the law with changes in the intersection of labor, antitrust, players’ rights and the internationalization of sports and athlete rights that led us to form the practice,” Michael Hausfeld, chairman of Hausfeld, said in an interview.

Hausfeld has handled sports-related cases such as litigation by retired National Football League players over the uncompensated use of their likenesses for promotions. The firm has also sued the National Collegiate Athletic Association on behalf of football and basketball players who have sought a share of licensing fees for televised games.

Boies Schiller has also handled prominent sports cases, such as one on behalf of the National Basketball Association players in an antitrust suit with owners over compensation claims.

Hausfeld said the joint group, which will be composed of about five lawyers from each firm, came about after a year of discussions. The two firms have worked together and opposite each other on cases over many years, he said, including working together last year on the NBA collective bargaining agreement.

Chevron Wins Dismissal of Patton Boggs Countersuit Over Ecuador

Chevron Corp. won dismissal of a countersuit by Patton Boggs LLP tied to litigation over the law firm’s involvement in obtaining a $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador ruled to be a product of fraud.

A federal judge in Manhattan earlier this year issued findings that a lawyer representing Ecuadorean citizens used bribery and fraud to obtain the award for alleged pollution by the energy company.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan subsequently granted Chevron’s request to sue the Washington-based law firm, which helped represent Ecuadorean farmers and villagers for a portion of their decades-long legal battle against Chevron.


Jones Day’s Profusek Says 2014 May Set M&A Record

Robert Profusek, head of the mergers and acquisition practice at Jones Day, says the value of M&A may top $4 trillion in 2014. Day talks with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

To listen, click here.


Mayer Brown Starts Immigration and Mobility Unit with Hires

Baker & McKenzie LLP’s recent Washington managing partner and leader of the global immigration and mobility practice, Elizabeth Espín Stern, joined Mayer Brown LLP along with two partners. She will head Mayer Brown’s new global worksite management initiative in Washington

“This initiative combines cost-efficient processing of routine visa and work-permit matters with cutting edge technology and high-level legal advice to manage and reduce risks in global migration, as well as related areas,” Maureen Gorman, partner and co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global employment and benefits practice, said in a statement.

The new global mobility team includes partners Paul Virtue and Grace Shie, who also joined from Baker & McKenzie.

Brown Rudnick Adds Federal Prosecutor Justin Weddle in New York

Justin S. Weddle, most recently deputy chief appellate attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, has joined Brown Rudnick LLP’s New York office as a partner in the white-collar defense and government investigations group.

He will focus on complex fraud-related criminal, regulatory and civil matters, the firm said.

While in his government position, Weddle led the investigation and prosecution of the billion-dollar Long Island Railroad disability fraud case, and initiated and led the criminal investigation and prosecution of professional firms, including KPMG, for marketing fraudulent tax shelter transactions in the 1990s and early 2000s, the firm said.

As a deputy chief appellate attorney, Weddle’s most recent appellate victory included a U.S. appeals court decision affirming the conviction of Rajat Gupta for insider trading charges growing out of his conspiracy with Raj Rajaratnam, Brown Rudick said.


GM Customers Pick Lawyers for Ignition-Switch Bankruptcy Hearing

General Motors Co. customers, who filed about 50 lawsuits demanding compensation for ignition-switch problems, picked three lawyers to speak for them in bankruptcy court when a judge considers the automaker’s request to pare their claims.

At a meeting in New York convened by Edward Weisfelner of Brown Rudnick LLP, about a hundred law firms for GM car owners delegated their host and two others to put their views to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber in Manhattan at a May 2 conference.

Sander Esserman of Stutzman, Bromberg, Esserman & Plifka in Dallas and Elihu Inselbuch of Caplin & Drysdale in New York were the other two lawyers selected, Weisfelner said yesterday in a phone interview.

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Lawyer Seen as India Finance Chief Woos Punjab in First Poll

India’s former trade minister, Arun Jaitley, a lawyer who has represented clients such as Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., is seeking his first win at the ballot box as finance minister.

With polls showing Narendra Modi’s BJP winning enough seats to form a government after elections ending May 16, Jaitley could soon find himself with control over the nation’s purse strings. His biggest challenge will be lowering borrowing costs and attracting foreign companies to invest in an economy that expanded near the slowest pace in a decade in the last financial year, he said in an interview.

Though untested in direct elections, Jaitley is popular with investors who see Modi as the best bet to revive Asia’s third-biggest economy.

For more, click here.