The Am Law Daily reported in 2009 on PLC's decision to open a New York office to broaden its client base among Am Law 200 firms. At the time, we reported that 99 of the top 100 firms in the U.K. utilized PLC's services, which provide practice tools and other training sessions that inform transactional lawyers on different ways to structure deals and how to work most efficiently when retained by corporate clients.
Slaughter and May corporate partner Charles Randall is leading a team from the firm advising PLC on its proposed sale to Thomson Reuters, a transaction that is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, pending regulatory approval. Terms of the sale were not disclosed and lawyers involved on the deal either declined or did not respond to requests for comment on how much Thomson Reuters is paying to acquire PLC, whose U.S. arm is staffed with an array of former Am Law 200 lawyers. (PLC's advisory board is a murderers' row of prominent U.S. lawyers.)
In the second major legal services-related deal announced this week, a spokesman for K2 Intelligence says that the New Yorkbased investigative and risk analytics firm has turned to Gunderson for counsel on its acquisition of corporate intelligence shop Thacher Associates. Robert Gunderson Jr., a founding partner of the firm who is also advising Current TV this week on its sale to Pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera, confirmed his firm's role advising K2.
David Sharrow, a Gunderson partner and the head of the firm's technology group in New York, is listed in federal trademark records as a representative for K2. He did not return a request for comment about K2's proposed purchase of New Yorkbased Thacher Associates.
K2 is headed by the father-and-son detective duo of Jules Kroll and Jeremy Kroll. The elder Kroll, an attorney whose career of corporate investigative efforts was profiled in The New Yorker in 2009, founded K2 that same yeara year after he left the risk consulting firm he founded and a sold to Marsh & McLennan for $1.9 billion in 2004. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz subsequently advised Marsh & McLennan on its sale of Kroll Associates to risk consulting and information services company Altegrity for $1.13 billion in 2010.
K2 teamed up with data analytics provider Palantir Technologies last October to expand its services in the legal technology market, according to a sibling publication Law Technology News. (Palo Alto, Californiabased Palantir, which once received $2 million from the Central Intelligence Agency's venture capital arm, made headlines two years ago when it was caught up in an e-mail hacking scandal involving so-called hacktivist group Anonymous, Hunton & Williams, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and two other technology companies.)
In breaking the story about K2's purchase of Thacher Associates late Wednesday, The New York Times's DealBook noted that K2 has grown to 120 employees as government regulators and large companies are increasingly turning to independent bodies to monitor businesses and other entities dealing with accusations of wrongdoing.
Ten years ago, a wave of corporate scandals proved to a be boon to private investigative shops like Kroll that worked hand-in-hand with Am Law 100 firms to conducte internal probes and issuing reports, according to a report at the time by sibling publication the New York Law Journal.
If the recent spate of settlements by large banks and other regulatory actions are any indication, that cycle appears to be repeating itself, as last year Pepper Hamilton bolstered its own investigative expertise by acquiring the consulting and law firms run by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
Thomas "Toby" Thacher IIa former assistant district attorney in Manhattan who served as inspector general of the New York City School Construction Authorityserves as president and CEO of Thacher Associates, which he founded in 1996.