LEADER BOARD - Everybody needs at least one person in their lives who isn’t afraid to give it to them straight. Reed Smith appears to now have three. The firm, in what appears to be an unprecedented move among the Am Law 100, is forming an outside advisory board composed of three business executives to guide the international firm on strategy, Law.com’s Dan Packel reports. The group, called the Independent Strategic Advisory Board, is composed of former EY global vice chair Beth Brooke, venture capital investor Shuo Chen and longtime corporate strategic adviser Elissa Grey. The three will report directly to Reed Smith global managing partner Sandy Thomas and work closely with the rest of the firm’s senior management. Think of the board as the corporate equivalent of that friend who isn’t afraid to tell you that you have spinach in your teeth. Law firm consultant Patrick McKenna, the first non-American, nonlawyer to serve as an outside director at an Am Law 100 firm, has emphasized that the addition of outside advisers would likely help law firms expand their “cognitive diversity.” “It’s one of the huge blind spots that law firms suffer, the whole idea that we live in a bubble, we see things through our legal sense, and we don’t see things beyond that that perhaps others do,” he said.
BREYER’S SCOTUS SUCCESSOR - Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement is clearing the way for President Joe Biden to make his first appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court—and there are already a number of names in play for the seat. Biden promised during his presidential campaign that he would appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court if a seat opened up. His administration has tapped eight Black women to federal appeal courts so far, greatly expanding the pool of potential nominees. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the D.C. federal appeals court is one of those recent appointees, and is considered to be a front-runner to fill Breyer’s seat. Other nominees on the table are prominent Black women in the legal field, from California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund leader Sherrilyn Ifill. Law.com’s Marcia Coyle and Jacqueline Thomsen have the details on all nine of Biden’s potential picks.
HIGH AND DRY? - Greenberg Traurig filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit Wednesday in New York Southern District Court on behalf of Savills, a commercial brokerage firm based in the United Kingdom. The complaint alleges Savills is owed more than $9.7 million for services rendered to defendant 4Front Ventures Corp., a company that hired Savills to help establish a commercial cannabis manufacturing facility. Attorneys have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 1:22-cv-00685, Savills Inc. v. 4Front Ventures Corp. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar.