Corporations with benefits – Assessing the rise of US public benefit companies

Corporations with benefits – Assessing the rise of US public benefit companies

When looking for good in the world, corporate governance law is not the most obvious place to train your eye. However, there is a sizeable band of corporations – thousands, in fact – who have opted to start just there, using corporate governance as a springboard to the greater good.

Shareholder primacy, often cast as the villain in corporate scandals or blinkered business decisions, operates on the theory that the job of directors and management is to maximise returns to investors. In turn, corporate law is traditionally viewed as a contract between corporations and investors that the company will, in the balance of law, deliver the highest return. Continue reading “Corporations with benefits – Assessing the rise of US public benefit companies”

Tom Johnson, Federal Communications Commission

Tom Johnson, Federal Communications Commission

I have always been attracted to public service. A number of my colleagues from my time at Gibson Dunn had gone on to serve as solicitors general in state attorney generals’ offices. Those offices provide unparalleled opportunities, such as the chance to argue appeals and challenge areas in which the federal government has exceeded its powers and placed onerous regulatory requirements on the state. So I was very grateful to have been offered the opportunity to work in the West Virginia solicitor general’s office.

In 2017, I became the general counsel (GC) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). I am primarily responsible for two components – reviewing Commission rules and orders to ensure they are legally sustainable, and defending those actions in court. I also oversee units that deal with fraud and bankruptcy issues, as well as various internal issues like employment matters. In West Virginia, I supervised four or five attorneys at any given time. Now, I oversee a team of more than 70 lawyers, so I’ve had to focus a lot more on learning how best to allocate my time and how best to delegate. Continue reading “Tom Johnson, Federal Communications Commission”

No more firsts – Reflections of the first female counsel to the White House

No more firsts – Reflections of the first female counsel to the White House

There can be few legal roles in the US of as much significance and substance as White House counsel. And when Beth Nolan jettisoned film school for law school, she had no idea her eventual career, including serving as White House counsel for President Bill Clinton – the first female to take on the role – would be almost the stuff films are made of.

But the path to what could be termed the ultimate general counsel (GC) role was not an obvious progression for Nolan. Eschewing private practice thanks to an interest in administrative law, she found herself as a junior attorney with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), tasked with working on government ethics. Continue reading “No more firsts – Reflections of the first female counsel to the White House”

Stars and stripes in their eyes – assessing the US ambitions of A&O and Freshfields

Stars and stripes in their eyes – assessing the US ambitions of A&O and Freshfields

Nathalie Tidman looks at the struggle for the City elite as US players dominate home and away

‘People like me, making the switch from the Magic Circle to a US firm – a Kirkland, a Latham, a White & Case – did so because being a powerhouse in the US is critical to becoming a truly global law firm.’ Continue reading “Stars and stripes in their eyes – assessing the US ambitions of A&O and Freshfields”

Linklaters and A&O join Magic Circle peers in associate salary race to attract US talent

Linklaters and A&O join Magic Circle peers in associate salary race to attract US talent

Linklaters and Allen & Overy (A&O) have joined Magic Circle peers Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance to hike associate salaries in the US as competition to recruit top-flight lawyers heats up.

A&O said today (28 June) it would pay US associates a starting salary of $190,000 rising to $340,000 for associates in their eight year. The salary rises to $350,000 for lawyers in their ninth year and for senior associates. Continue reading “Linklaters and A&O join Magic Circle peers in associate salary race to attract US talent”

City of angels: Baker McKenzie launches in LA with Hogan Lovells team hire

City of angels: Baker McKenzie launches in LA with Hogan Lovells team hire

Baker McKenzie has opened its ninth US office in Los Angeles after recruiting a five-partner employment and litigation team from rival global firm Hogan Lovells.

As the firm looks to beef up its numbers in the region as part of its 2020 strategy, two of Hogan Lovells’ former partners will launch the new office today (08 March). Continue reading “City of angels: Baker McKenzie launches in LA with Hogan Lovells team hire”

Evolutionary forces – US body for legal ops hits Europe as new breed of client emerges

Evolutionary forces – US body for legal ops hits Europe as new breed of client emerges

Disruption looms as James Wood reports on first European conference for CLOC

Richard Susskind must have lost count of the number of times he has spoken about the future of law, but in his introductory remarks to the 2018 CLOC EMEA Institute gathering in London he seemed cheerfully off balance. Many of the concepts Susskind has prophesied are now realities at large US companies and even sceptics would concede that the emergence of sophisticated legal operations teams feels like a decisive shift for the industry.

Continue reading “Evolutionary forces – US body for legal ops hits Europe as new breed of client emerges”