My vote for this week’s most intriguing headline: ”Almost all Anglo-Saxons’ — DLA Europe partners lament ‘UK-centric’ senior partner race”
It appeared in Legal Week and the subject was who was likely to be elevated to the top dog spot at DLA: “ The emergence of three London corporate lawyers as favourites to succeed Juan Picon as DLA Piper senior partner has prompted concerns among some continental partners about the continued Anglo-centric direction of the firm.”
At first, I thought, wow, worries about Anglo-centricity! Those DLA partners must be super-progressive if they’re complaining about having another white male ruler.
Alas, the concern wasn’t about lack of ethnic diversity. The good folks at DLA were worried about geography—namely, that its new leader was coming out of its London office, which struck some of them as rather provincial for an international firm. Most of the article was about the internecine politics of jockeying for power in a big law firm—who’s in/out, who’s deserving, who’s annoying, etc.
In fact, lack of ethnic or gender diversity didn’t seem to enter the picture at all, though there was one woman (Bonella Ramsay, co-chairwoman of the firm’s life sciences group) who’s mentioned as a long-shot contender. One partner told Legal Week: “DLA has a poor track record in promoting women, so her election would be a powerful testament to the partnership’s willingness to address that.”
It would be a powerful testament, but who’s in the mood for that?
Speaking of provincial Brits: This is a bit of a shocker. An astounding number of senior partners in U.K. law firms voted for Brexit, reports The Lawyer: ”A new survey of our readers also shows that over a quarter (26 per cent) of managing and senior partners voted for Brexit. This is a higher percentage than the average leave vote in the legal market of 18 per cent.”
That’s also in contrast to the vote of lawyers in Britain overall, in which “an overwhelming 82 per cent of UK-based lawyers voted to remain in the EU in the referendum.”
It would seem that these pro-Brexit senior partners and managing partners would be voting against their own interest, assuming they include those in the Magic Circle and other firms that have European Union business. To put it all in context, can you imagine if 25 percent of managing partners and managing committee members voted for Donald Trump because they’re smitten with his anti-NAFTA stance and his grand plans for the Mexican wall?
You don’t just get rainmakers and charmers. Dentons learned that lesson after it merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens last year.
RollOnFriday reports that Denton “placed a partner on a leave of absence and banned him from the premises after it was made aware of allegations that he engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour with female employees.” The firm also issued a statement confirming the suspension, stressing that the “inappropriate behaviour were made against a Maclay Murray & Spens partner about 15 months ago, more than a year before its merger with Dentons.”
Guess Dentons wants to make clear that the alleged naughtiness didn’t happen under its watch. You can’t blame ‘em. Still, it’s Denton’s mess now.
Dumbest lawyer of an Am Law 100 firm, so far this year. You might remember this bozo: Former Dentons associate Michael Potere, who was arrested this summer and charged with plotting to extort $210,000 and a piece of art from his former firm in Los Angeles. (He was accused of downloading sensitive documents from the firm, then threatening to leak the information to Above The Law.)
Potere has cut a deal, according to The Recorder. The upshot is that he’s now been sentenced to five months in prison. The prison sentence is nothing compared to the long-term ramifications: a conviction on his record, ruined career and the stamp of utter stupidity.
Kellyanne Conway knows how to control her man. By that, I mean her boss Donald Trump—not her hubby George Conway, a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, who seems like a perfectly sensible guy.
According to a new book, Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press and the War Over the Truth, by Howard Kurtz (no, not the one by Michael Wolf), Conway often uses a mother’s touch in her dealings with the president of the United States (remember, she has four kids).
So what soothing words does she say to Trump when he’s agitated and on the brink of doing something rash? “You’re really big. That’s really small.”
I bet that might work with a lot of guys.