News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Another BigLaw merger; SCOTUS is 'more of an advocacy group,' Biden says

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Morrison & Foerster acquires litigation boutique

Morrison & Foerster is acquiring litigation boutique Durie Tangri. Thirty-six lawyers from the smaller law firm are expected to join Morrison & Foerster when the combination takes place Jan. 1. (, Morrison & Foerster press release)

Biden: SCOTUS is ‘more of an advocacy group’

President Joe Biden criticized the U.S. Supreme Court during a virtual fundraiser for a Democratic lawmaker Tuesday. Biden said he viewed the upcoming election as important because institutions—including the Supreme Court—are changing. “The Supreme Court is more of an advocacy group these days than it is … evenhanded,” Biden said. (CNN, Bloomberg Law, the Washington Post)

Shearman & Sterling forms legal operations unit for in-house lawyers

Shearman & Sterling is launching a consulting unit to help in-house legal departments in five key areas: knowledge management, process improvement, legal technology, business intelligence, and training and development. The new offering is known as Legal Operations by Shearman. (, Shearman & Sterling press release)

Bucking the trend, 5 law firms see uptick in M&A work

Most law firms with the greatest amount of deal work, based on value, are seeing a downturn in that area this year. But five law firms had an uptick in mergers-and-acquisitions work, according to Refinitiv, a company that provides information financial market data and infrastructure. The five law firms are: Hengeler Mueller; AZB & Partners; O’Melveny & Myers; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt. (

US district judge in New York dies at 88

U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. of the Eastern District of New York died Monday at age 88. Johnson is a former New York City police officer and a former special narcotics prosecutor. He was nominated to the federal bench in 1991. He was known for a 1993 opinion in which he ordered the release of 150 HIV-positive Haitian refugees held at a Guantanamo detention center. Johnson called the facility “an HIV prison camp.” (Law360, the New York Times)

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