Media Monitor
November 9, 2015
A digest of the week’s news of note:
From the most buzz-worthy and blogged-about, to the leading business, innovation and legal industry headlines.

Legal Education/Careers


Corporate Counsel

  • 4 Habits of Highly Effective Legal Departments: Legal departments have implemented certain customs into their daily routines to ensure that they are operating at an efficient, cohesive and cost-effective pace. Here are the 4 main habits of highly effective legal departments, and how they’re improving the legal industry. (CC, 11.6)




  • Rx for Rite Aid: A New General Counsel: Jim Comitale is moving up in ranks of Rite Aid, post Walgreens merger announcement. He’s been appointed to senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. (CC, 11.5)






  • Reaching out: When companies want to expand globally, in-house legal departments need to be part of the process. (IC, 12.1)


  • In-house interview: Alex Simpson, Asda: Technology is becoming central to supermarket Asda’s business, and the company’s general counsel is looking for creative external counsel to match. (TL, 11.9)


  • In-house interview: Evelyn Styles, Hays: Evelyn Styles has had an unusual career that has seen her move between roles at private practice and in-house teams before finally finding a home as UK and Ireland general counsel for recruitment company Hays. (TL, 11.9)




  • Dentons Ups the Ante in Global Growth Gamble: With its announcement of new planned megamergers in Australia and Singapore, Dentons sent a clear message: Bigger is better. But the latest deals also highlight the uncertainties of Dentons’ aggressive growth strategy. (AL, 11.3)



Wall Street

  • Barclays Sued Again Over Dewey & LeBoeuf Capital Loan: Kenneth Freeling, a former Dewey & LeBoeuf litigation partner now of counsel at Covington & Burling, is suing Barclays, the British banking giant that financed capital contributions for partners at the now-defunct firm. (AL, 11.8)



  • Study: Data analytics for information governance picks up: The legal industry has been slow to adopt technology solutions in its field as a whole, but it’s on pace to turn that reputation around. So says Phil Favro, director of legal education and resources for the Coalition of Technology Resources for Lawyers (CTRL), the group behind a recent study identifying data analytics trends in the legal community. (IC, 11.5)


  • AI and the law tools of tomorrow: A special report: Axiom’s Sandy Devine shares her perspective on the intersection of technology and the law: With respect to AI, there is certainly a lot of hype on its application to legal. Our focus is not on how to replace legal judgement per se, but rather how to take routine tasks off the plates of lawyers and contract professionals, and how to enable these individuals to render better and more consistent judgement.”  In addition, the Axiom/Dell deal is referenced and Axiom is heralded as a leader in using technology to remodel the legal process. (LB, 11.3) 


  • The In-House Lawyer Survey - Buying IBM: According to a Legal Business survey of in-house counsel, Axiom was named the number one non-law firm provider of legal services having the strongest proposition for company clients, for the second year running.  This year, it was followed but the Big Four.  (LB, 11.3)


Legal Education

  • Bucking Trend, Cornell and Fordham Launch New Programs: At a time when many law schools have reduced class enrollment in response to a decline in applications, two schools are going against the trend. Cornell Law School and Fordham University School of Law in recent weeks both have announced the creation of two new masters programs for lawyers. (BL,11.4)


Law Firms/Lawyers/Corp Counsel


  • Meet the Lawyer Who’s Putting Uber on Trial: With a raft of lawsuits challenging Uber and other startups that summon workers at the touch of an app, attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan has become one of Silicon Valley’s most influential—and controversial—figures. (WSJ, 11.4)


  • World’s Largest Law Firm is About to Get Bigger: The world’s largest law firm is about to get even bigger. Dentons catapulted to the top of the heap earlier this year through back-to-back mergers in China and the U.S. The firm has just unveiled plans to combine with two other firms in Singapore, Australia. (WSJ, 11.3)


  • General Counsel for Al Jazeera America Appears to Be Unlicensed: David W. Harleston, an executive who serves as general counsel for the media company Al Jazeera America, has had a busy year. But according to court officials, there are no records that indicate Mr. Harleston is licensed to practice law in New York State, where Al Jazeera America has its headquarters. (NYT, 11.9)


  • Microsoft Shakes Up Legal Team, Names New GC: Microsoft Corporation said on Friday that it had reorganized its in-house legal department and named a new general counsel. Effective immediately, Horacio Gutierrez, who has worked at Microsoft since 1998 and focused on international legal work in Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, will assume the role of general counsel, Microsoft said on Friday. (BL, 11.6)



  • Diversity Leader to Join Duane Morris: Joseph K. West, the current president and chief executive officer of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, will join Duane Morris LLP as a partner in the firm’s trial practice group in Washington in January. (BL, 11.5)



  • In Tight Market, Lawyers Using More Products: Law firms are purchasing even more products and platforms to help their attorneys manage cases, keep track of time and stay sharp, according to the market research firm Outsell. (BL, 1.5)


Wall Street/PE

  • Deutsche Bank to Pay $258 Million and Fire 6 in Settlement: Deutsche Bank agreed on Wednesday to pay $258 million and fire six employees to resolve investigations by state and federal banking regulators into its dealings with countries like Iran and Syria in violation of United States sanctions laws. (NYT, 11.4)