Monday, April 1, 2013

Law Firm Conflicts Charges in the News

Several stories of alleged conflicts in the news:

"Latham & Watkins faces conflict charge in antitrust class action" --
  • "Latham & Watkins is facing conflict of interest allegations from a former client that is seeking to keep the firm out of one of the biggest pending antitrust class actions."
  • "Since last summer, Latham has been defending Union Pacific Railroad Company in the case, which alleges a conspiracy among railroad companies to impose artificially high fuel surcharges on customers."
  • "But Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC and a number of related entities, which have been Latham clients, have moved to disqualify the law firm from the case. Oxbow, which has filed its own antitrust lawsuit against Union Pacific over surcharges, has argued in court papers filed last month that Latham's representation of Union Pacific in the class action 'presents a classic conflict of interest situation.'"
"Law firm's role in Detroit's financial recovery questioned" --
  • "Global law firm Jones Day could have a crucial — and perhaps lucrative — role in the fight to save Detroit from insolvency, prompting concerns about possible conflicts in the emotional debate about the city's restructuring."
  • "Jones Day was retained by the city to serve as its restructuring attorney three days before one of its partners, Kevyn Orr, was appointed emergency manager by Gov. Rick Snyder. The firm is expected to work closely with Orr to renegotiate Detroit's nearly $15 billion in long-term debt."
  • "Orr resigned from Jones Day the day after his March 14 appointment. He told The Detroit News that bankruptcy trustees typically hire their own law firms and argued that partnering with Jones Day will help because of its expertise in restructurings."
  • "Critics question both the timing of the deal and relationship to Orr. Troy attorney Ben Gonek said Michigan has several qualified firms that could do the work for less money… 'The question is: Is he using his position to generate money for his old firm?' Gonek asked."
"CBA and Gadens at centre of conflict of interest dispute in federal court"--
  • "CBA and Gadens law firm Sydney-based barrister are at the centre of major conflict of interest allegations by an aggrieved bank customer, according to News Ltd."
  • "Geoff Shannon, who is locked in a legal battle with the CBA’s BankWest over the collapse of his property development company, claims he was cross-examined in the federal court last month by a barrister who had acted for him in related matters in 2010."
  • "According to Shannon, the barrister had confidential information relating to his personal and business affairs, telling reporters the barrister’s sister worked at the law firm he was using."

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