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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
COMPLACENT - Law firms are resting on their laurels. So says Altman Weil, which has released its Law Firms in Transition survey. Dylan Jackson reports that while demand and gross revenues were up last year, law firms have stopped aggressively pushing for the cost-effective services that clients are still demanding. The study found that just 54% of law firm leaders say their firm’s urgency to change is higher now than it was two years ago. Only 22% of firms made a serious effort to change work processes.
THE ENFORCERS - SEC enforcement actions remained at near-record levels through the first half of fiscal 2019, Sue Reisinger reports. Of the 52 actions against public companies and subsidiaries during the period ended March 31, some 67% were against the finance, insurance and real estate companies. And although critics are challenging the legality of the process, the SEC filed 100% of the actions as administrative proceedings.
ONWARD - Despite the crushing $2 billion jury verdict in a Roundup cancer case earlier this week, Bayer—owner of Roundup-maker Monsanto—is adamant that the fight has just begun. As Amanda Bronstad reports, Bayer attorney William Hoffman, a partner at Arnold & Porter in D.C., says the defense was “hamstrung by evidentiary decisions.” Law professor Jean Eggen observes that the way Bayer has “dug in” to litigate the cases means that its lawyers are convinced they have the evidence to show Roundup doesn’t cause cancer. The jury on Monday was the third to find that Roundup caused plaintiffs to get non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Previous juries awarded $289 million and $80 million in similar trials.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
POSERS - Linklaters has been targeted by cyber scammers for the third time this year. Rowan Bennett reports that emails claiming to come from Linklaters were sent to a client of the Magic Circle firm, requesting that funds be paid into a “subsidiary bank account.” The latest incident comes just over a month after a scammer, posing as a Linklaters HR director, attempted to con job seekers out of $1,500. In February, messages were sent from email addresses ending with “@liinklaters.com,” asking the recipient to resend an invoice and “inform exact amount due for payment.”
WHAT YOU SAID
“I’ve resolved to try to ditch this mindset of ‘what comes next?’ It feels like the fastest route to burnout—a path well-traveled by many in the legal profession.”