WHITE & CASE & CHANGE: The winds of change are blowing through White & Case as the firm renews its focus on 16 global practices and firm power shifts from individual offices to 14 regional groups, reports The American Lawyer. "The day of the brick and mortar approach to building a global law firm is over," firm Chairman Hugh Verrier says in an exclusive interview with The Am Law Daily. The White & Case move stems from a four-month review by the consultancy McKinsey & Co.
HOW TO BUILD A JUDICIARY, STEP ONE: President-elect Barack Obama's national security advisor, James Jones, says the success of military action in Afghanistan hinges on bolstering the judiciary and police force there, according to this report in The Wall Street Journal. If you haven't peeked at Legal Times reporter Marisa McQuilken's series titled "Afghanistan: A Struggle for Justice," it's an in-depth must-read that explores how law firms, public officials, and Afghan lawyers are working to establish a functional justice system in a country plagued by political strife.
$40 MILLION FEE DISPUTE UNRESOLVED: The New York State Court of Appeals said a Manhattan court should get more information before deciding whether a firm's fee of $40 million for five months of work is reasonable, the The New York Law Journal reports. The appeals court, which refused to grant a motion to dismiss Graubard Miller's fee request, remanded the case to Manhattan Surrogate's Court. The New York Law Journal reports the contingency fee and other payments have been in dispute for more than three years. Here's the court's opinion.
THE YELLOW BADGE CREW STRIKES: The men and women in yellow badges traveling from one federal office to the next—agency review teams for President-elect Barack Obama—are hunting for information, reports The Washington Post. The review teams are examining budgets and initiatives and policies to reduce the friction as the Obama administration takes control. Lisa Brown, counsel to Vice President Al Gore and outgoing American Constitution Society executive director, is supervising the agency-review teams. Brown has been tapped to serve as White House staff secretary.