Monday, September 25, 2017

Lateral Drama

"Atty's Ex-Partner Wins Bid To Arbitrate Trade Secrets Fight" --
  • "A California federal judge Thursday sided with the attorney accused by his former partner of stealing trade secrets and client data to launch a competing law firm, sending the matter to arbitration rather than allowing the case to continue."
  • "U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila agreed with William Paradice’s argument at an April hearing that plaintiff Zurvan Mahamedi had signed an agreement when they were partners at Mahamedi Paradice LLP that contained broad arbitration provisions that covered a wide range of potential disputes that might arise, including the trade secret claims alleged in the instant suit."
  • "But in a May 2016 lawsuit, Mahamedi and the firm accused Paradice of violating that agreement and transferring Mahamedi’s proprietary information, including billing data, legal research, contact information and strategy documents, in order to allegedly compete with Mahamedi and to attack his reputation. The complaint names Paradice as well as an information technology consultant who allegedly helped Paradice transfer the sensitive information."
"Charges Against BigLaw Atty Show Vetting Difficulties" --
  • "Alleged improper trading on client information got a former Foley & Lardner LLP partner fired last year, but the firm that hired him next didn't find out until he was charged — showing how hard it can be to unearth a lateral hire's problematic conduct."
  • "Without naming Little, Foley & Lardner said in a recent statement that it had done an internal investigation in June 2016 after learning of a partner's "trading activity" that resulted in the partner being shown the door and the firm alerting authorities. But when Bradley Arant hired Little in July 2016, chairman and managing partner Beau Grenier said the firm knew nothing of the alleged misconduct despite a thorough check."
  • "Florida bar spokeswoman Karen Kirksey confirmed on Monday that the bar has no open complaint file on Little. And he has no disciplinary record in the bar's public information system, which displays formal findings by the state's Supreme Court dating back 10 years. Did someone at Foley & Lardner have an obligation to report Little's conduct to the Florida bar? It depends on what they actually knew."
  • "While the bar rules don't speak specifically to trades on inside information about a colleague's clients, they prohibit disclosing client information to others and committing criminal or other conduct that smacks of dishonesty."
  • "Australia’s Henry Davis York and British firm Olswang both saw large groups of partners leave their ranks prior to unions with large firms. Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York announced in June their intention to join forces. Earlier this week, rival Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth confirmed its hire of five Henry Davis York partners in Sydney, as legal publications Downs Under noted the possibility of more senior exits ahead of an expected combination later this year."
  • "'To give some context, a number of these departures took place well before merger discussions began and bear no relevance to the current firm,' CMS said. 'As to be expected with a combination of our size, there were a small number of partners that were not able to accept offers as a result of conflicts or other issues. Looking forward, the combined firm is in a strong position and we are continuing to make the most of the opportunities that the merger presents.'"
  • "The loss of lawyers prior to any Big Law nuptial has become fairly commonplace in a robust lateral market. Earlier this month, Bloomberg Big Law Business reported on a group of eight Liner lawyers leaving the Los Angeles-based firm ahead of its merger with DLA Piper to form Pasich, a firm comprised of [sic, tsk tsk] several Dickstein Shapiro alums."
  • "And in early June, just before Norton Rose Fulbright completed its agreement with Henry Davis York, the global legal giant watched a group of 15 lawyers leave Chadbourne & Parke for Covington & Burling in Dubai, Johannesburg and London."

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