Wake Up Call: Troubled Crypto Firm Celsius Changes Legal Team

July 11, 2022, 1:40 PM

In today’s column, the legal sector has added 35,200 jobs since June 2021, new data show; Akin Gump’s UK junior lawyers got a big pay hike, thanks to the rising dollar; and insurance litigation is on the rise.

  • Leading off, struggling crypto lending platform Celsius Network has replaced Akin Gump with Kirkland & Ellis to advise it on its restructuring options, the Wall Street Journal reports. Celsius, which froze withdrawals in June, had hired Akin Gump restructuring attorneys but was reportedly resisting their recommendation to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (WSJ) The problems of Celsius, which is also accused of fraud in a lawsuit, come as the crypto sector faces a deepening “winter.” (Bloomberg News)
  • The legal services sector added 35,200 jobs from June 2021 to June 2022, according new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sector added about 3,000 jobs from May to June 2022. (ABAJournal.com)
  • In a new salvo in the war for legal talent, Akin Gump hiked its pay for UK junior associates to 179,000 pound ($213,900), “the highest in the land” in Britain. The hike is based on a change in Akin Gump’s dollar-to-pound exchange rate of the Cravath standard for junior associates, according to a report. The firm was previously paying 164,000 pounds. (Roll on Friday)

Lawyers, Lateral Moves

  • Insurance litigation rose about 47% from 2017 to 2021, fueled in particular by business interruption disputes stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. (Daily Business Review)
  • Norton Rose Fulbright said its Brussels office appointed antitrust and competition partner Miranda Cole its new head. Cole joined the firm earlier this year after about 13 years at Covington & Burling. The Norton Rose’s Brussels office also brought in antitrust and competition partner Alexandra Rogers from White & Case, where she’d been for nearly 14 years. (NortonRoseFulbright.com)
  • Former Barrick Gold Corporation head of legal for Latin America and Asia Pacific Francisco Balduzzi joined Womble Bond Dickinson as corporate and securities partner in Houston. He advises on cross-border M&A, transactional, and disputes within the energy and natural resources and mining sectors. He earlier spent over a decade in-house at consulting and engineering firm Wood; Skadden Arps named London-based partner Lorenzo Corte as co-head of global transactions, replacing Scott Simpson who died in May. (National Law Journal)
  • Denver International Airport and the city’s attorney office named city assistant general counsel Everett Martinez as the airport’s new general counsel and executive vice president. Everett, a former public finance attorney at Greenberg Traurig and Kutak Rock, will oversee a team of 18 attorneys and legal professionals. (FlyDenver.com)

Technology

  • Lawyers who use TikTok say the platform’s benefits for self-promotion and brand creation outweigh its data privacy risks, but they do take precautions. (Legaltech News)

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/wake-up-call-troubled-crypto-firm-celsius-changes-legal-team

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