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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
BIGGER FOUR - If you need further evidence that the Big Four are marching into Asia: KPMG has launched a law firm in Hong Kong and plans to open another in Shanghai later this year, John Kang reports. PwC and EY both expanded their Hong Kong law firms in 2018, and Deloitte is preparing to launch a firm in the city this month. KPMG’s Hong Kong operation, called SF Lawyers, joins the auditor’s global legal services network and forms an association with KPMG Law in Australia.
MORE MEN - The Trump administration has announced its first wave of federal court nominees in the new year, and continued a trend that has predominantly pushed males to the bench. Among the new male nominees for seats on Texas, Arizona, Louisiana and North Dakota trial courts: Sean Jordan, co-chairman of Jackson Walker’s appellate practice, for the Eastern District of Texas; and Michael Liburdi, chair of Greenberg Traurig’s litigation practice in Phoenix, for the District of Arizona. The president regularly has turned to law firm partners for court posts.
COUNTERPOINT - The company Jay-Z is suing over the sale of his Rocawear line says the rapper’s recent criticism of the American Arbitration Association’s lack of diverse arbitrators is simply a serial litigant’s tactic. Dan Packel reports that in a filing in New York state court, lawyers from Blank Rome representing brand management company Inconix call Jay-Z’s assertions about the lack of minority arbitrators “dubious, indeed offensive.” In November, Jay-Z and his attorneys at Quinn Emanuel successfully delayed an arbitration in the case after Jay Z said he was unable to identify a single African-American arbitrator on the large-and-complex cases roster qualified to preside over the arbitration.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
TALLY HO - As Kirkland & Ellis continues its push into London, it’s set to add Weil Gotshal tax partner David Irvine. Rose Walker reports that Irvine’s move marks the second lateral boost for Kirkland’s London base so far this year, after it sealed the hire of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity partner Adrian Maguire last week. Last year, Kirkland launched a London intellectual property practice by bringing aboard a team from Allen & Overy. Kirkland also is preparing to open its second continental European office in Paris after recruiting a pair of Linklaters partners.
WHAT YOU SAID
“There’s a little bit of, ‘You can get there from here’ in all of their stories.”
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