Wake-Up Call: Arent Fox Buys Digital Land for Metaverse Office

Wake-Up Call: Arent Fox Buys Digital Land for Metaverse Office

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In today’s column, the New York court system slashed social distancing rules for criminal jury trials; London-based Ashurst re-elected its CEO for another four-year term; a small London company appointed a fertility officer.

  • For starters, Washington-based Arent Fox, headed for a March 1 merger with Schiff Hardin, said it bought property in the metaverse, making it the first major law firm to establish a significant presence in the virtual world. The firm’s president, Anthony Lupo, said the company took the move after several clients, including PwC, the Discovery Channel and NBA teams, began doing business in the digital world. (American Lawyer)
  • Citing the drop in the number of covid-19 cases, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the New York Court of Appeals said the state court system has cut social distancing requirements for criminal trials in half with jury. (New York Law Journal)
  • London-based Burgess Mee has appointed a surrogacy law specialist as its first fertility officer as the small, family-owned law firm aims to compete for talent with larger rivals. (City AM)


  • London-based Ashurst Law Firms, has re-elected its CEO, Paul Jenkins, for a third four-year term from November 1. It is based in Sydney, Australia and London. (Global Legal Post)
  • The chief legal officer of San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken Digital Asset Exchange, former Blockchain CLO and president Marco Santori, said his goal is to hire 30 lawyers in three months. The idea is to help the company achieve its goal of making a dozen acquisitions this year. (Business Insider)
  • A Minnesota attorney who was a county prosecutor is out on bail after three women who were his clients accused him of rape. (Star Tribune)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Stroock selected Baker McKenzie partner Tom Firestone, co-chair of Baker McKenzie’s North American government enforcement task force, as a partner in Washington. Firestone, a former New York federal prosecutor and resident legal counsel at the US Embassy in Moscow, joined Stroock as co-chair of his white-collar and internal investigations practice group and a partner in the national security groups, CFIUS and compliance and litigation; Dentons said former Financial Industry Regulatory Authority senior enforcement counsel Deborah Renner will rejoin the firm as a trade litigation partner in New York. She was a partner at Baker Hostetler and previously spent 14 years at the Dentons legacy firm, Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal; K&L Gates has retained former Securities and Exchange Commission Senior Counsel Keri Riemer as New York legal counsel in its mutual fund and asset management practice. Previously, she was CEO and Deputy General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase; Boies Schiller Flexner head of sports and games practice Helen Maher is leaving to join Cadwalader in New York “within the next few months”. (New York Law Journal) Paul Hastings hired co-leader of Covington’s securities and capital markets practice, Chris DeCresce, as a partner in New York and vice president of his securities and capital markets practice. (PaulHastings.com)
  • Dykema opened a five-lawyer office in Houston led by commercial litigation partners Isaac Villarreal and Andy Green, who joined from McCathern; Alston & Bird hired Katten Muchin’s tax partner, Sarah Ma, as a partner in Washington. Advises clients on tax aspects of high-value and sophisticated real estate investment trusts and securitization and structured finance transactions; Katten hired Goodwin Procter M&A and corporate transaction attorney John Corrigan as a partner in his Los Angeles private credit practice; McDermott Will & Emery has hired Latham & Watkins energy industry group global co-head Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi to be its president of Asia transactions in Singapore; Greenspoon Marder hired Ruben Gotlieb, international tax and estate planning partner, in Miami. He was previously at GrayRobinson. (GMLaw.com)
  • San Francisco-based vaccine developer Vaxart, Inc. has hired veteran pharmaceutical industry executive and insider leader Edward Berg as senior vice president and its first general counsel; France-based aerospace, defense and technology company Thales Group said its group secretary and general counsel, Isabelle Simon, will also take overall responsibility for matters related to environmental social responsibility, for which it has created a new corporate department. . (ThalesGroup.com)

To contact the correspondent for this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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