Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mergers, Conflicts & Waivers (Oh My!)

An excellent article published by the ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct
"Clearly Enforceable Future Conflicts Waivers" --
  • "We therefore set out to write what we believe to be a future conflicts waiver letter that should withstand virtually any imaginable ethical or legal attack. This article is the result."
  • "Before turning to the letter itself, we will review three authorities from 2013 that uphold future conflicts waivers. After discussing these authorities, the article will first identify the general preconditions or helpful conditions for effective future conflicts waivers and then turn to the specific draft language."
And news of conflicts causing complexities: "Mintz Levin Looks to Poach Edwards Wildman IP Group"--
  • "Ahead of a looming merger vote with Locke Lord, a roughly 20-lawyer IP group from Edwards Wildman Palmer in Boston is poised to depart for Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo as a result of a conflict between their practice representing a large pharmaceutical company and Locke Lord’s work for a generic drug manufacturer, according to five sources familiar with the matter."
  • "The Am Law Daily has learned that David Conlin, cochair of Edwards Wildman’s IP litigation practice in Boston, is head of a team that's conflicted out of a merger with Locke Lord. One of Conlin’s biggest clients is Japanese drug giant Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, whose North American unit fended off a generic challenge to its oral antidiabetic agent Actos in 2006 with the help of Conlin. In subsequent years, Conlin has continued to handle IP litigation work for Takeda."
  • "Edwards Wildman declined to identify the lawyers affected by the conflicts issue or the case that it involved. The firm did, however, acknowledge the existence of an irreconcilable conflict. 'As is the case with any law firm merger, prospective client conflicts can be an issue,' said a statement provided to The Am Law Daily by Edwards Wildman. 'In this instance, we have identified a specific client conflict that would arise from the anticipated merger. As a result, some of our colleagues will be leaving the firm. We thank them for their contributions and friendship, and we wish them well in their new endeavors.'"

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