US law firm Holland & Knight expands in Mexico with 17-lawyer group

  • June 12, 2023

(Reuters) – Florida-founded law firm Holland & Knight has added 17 lawyers, including seven partners, to its ranks in Mexico from local law firm Sánchez Devanny, the firm said Thursday.

Most of the team joined Holland & Knight’s Monterrey, Mexico, office, which the firm added through its 2021 merger with U.S. firm Thompson & Knight. Several other lawyers are based in Mexico City.

The lawyers from Sánchez Devanny specialize in areas including corporate law, international trade, tax and environmental law, and represent clients in Mexico’s industrial sector, according to Holland & Knight.

Holland & Knight said it now has 62 Mexico-based attorneys. The firm has nearly 2,000 lawyers globally.

Luis Rubio Barnetche, executive partner of Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office, said Monterrey is a fast-growing city and there is high demand for legal services in the area as more global companies move in.

Latin American and cross-border work has long been a focus for Holland & Knight. Gerardo Prado Hernández, a new partner joining the firm in Monterrey, cited that “sharp focus on Latin America” in a statement and said moving to the larger firm would help his group expand their client offerings.

A spokesperson from Sánchez Devanny, which has three offices in Mexico, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read More:

Holland & Knight to merge with Nashville law firm in first big 2023 combination

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Chinekwu Osakwe

Thomson Reuters

Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at [email protected].

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Workplace mental health first aid means more than just box ticking

  • June 12, 2023

Clare Price, Director of Clinical Services at Onebright

For years there have been discussions about mental health first aid becoming a legal requirement in the workplace, but no Government to date has implemented a policy. It was good to see Mr. Russell re-introduce a bill in parliament in January, but we have to remember that it is very rare that ‘ten-minute bills’ such as this one become law.

The one thing it has done is get us all talking and thinking about how to best support employees and inspire effective change for the benefit of individuals across the country.

Previous studies have shown that providing mental health support can save businesses up to £8 billion* a year, with 70 million workdays being lost annually due to mental health-related issues. It is clear that companies at executive level should endorse mental health first aid in their organizational culture with open arms, however, it’s introduction should not become a way to tick a box.

With the introduction of remote and hybrid working over the years, businesses have had to adapt how they support their workforce, especially those who may find it difficult to cope with their mental and emotional wellbeing.

What to consider when implementing mental health first aid

The role of a mental health first aider sits entirely outside the role of HR, or senior management. They act as the first point of contact for employees to talk to when experiencing a mental health issue, which then helps sign post the employee to appropriate resources, whether that be an organizational support such as a wellbeing service or an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or to their GP, the NHS or other recognized third sector and charity organisations.

The ease of accessibility to mental health first aiders is

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Supreme Court Faces Credibility Crisis After Chief Justice’s Wife Found To Be Paid By Law Firms

  • June 11, 2023

Many Americans believe the country’s political leaders — especially leaders of the opposite party — have dangerously extremist views, are pushing the country in the wrong direction, and in some cases are corrupt. Moreover, divisions in the country seem to have dramatically widened over the last decade and show no signs of lessening.

Skepticism about U.S. leaders has even filtered down to perhaps the most respected of all U.S. institutions, the country’s Supreme Court. Increasingly, a make-or-break characteristic of a Supreme Court appointee seems to be his or her political views, prompting many to question the impartiality of justices with lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest judicial body.

Such concerns will doubtless be magnified by the April 28 media reports that Jane Roberts, the wife of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, was paid US$10.3 million by corporations and law firms for her services as a legal recruiter who placed high-priced attorneys at those entities over the eight-year period of 2007-2014. 

At least one of the law firms (which paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars for her services) argued a case before the Chief Justice Roberts-led Supreme Court, and other law firms which paid Ms. Roberts could be seeking to do so as well. Justice Roberts has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court since 2005.

Ms. Roberts continues to work as a legal recruiter or headhunter. Judge Roberts’ most recently filed financial disclosure makes no mention of the amount of money his wife makes, nor which firms

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IBP rolls out pro bono legal aid via web portal

  • June 11, 2023

By Rey E. Requejo

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has launched its Pro Bono Portal (PBP) where indigent litigants nationwide can now avail themselves of free legal services online through the IBP’s “web-based legal aid platform.”

In its advisory, the IBP said its lawyers and legal aids nationwide have started their training.

“To avail legal aid services, a potential client can apply for legal assistance through the PBP which can be easily searched by typing ‘IBP pro bono portal‘ or ‘IBP free legal aid,’” the IBP stressed.

“The system then sends the application to the IBP Chapter concerned which can filter out the application and assign it to the member,” he said.

It also said the other important features of the PBP include “the integration of the means and merits test and its language translations to Pilipino and Cebuano.”

The IBP assured that “the PBP is free, secure, inclusive, and designed to be responsive to the needs of indigenous Filipinos while highlighting the competence and integrity of the Bar’s pro bono legal aid programs.”

It said the training of lawyers and their legal aids is being done by the American Bar Association-Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). The training started last April 20.

“The PBP was developed by Justice Connect, a non-profit company based in Australia which supports organizations in various jurisdictions including inter alia, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Germany,” the IBP said.

“The development of the PBP was made possible through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported ‘Access to Justice and Support for the Rule of Law’ program of ABA ROLI,” it added.

It also said that the technology of Justice Connect “effectively and efficiently connects clients and pro bono lawyers and law firms in a system that

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Funding to support growth plans at tech firm

  • June 10, 2023
Mattias and Robin Kaneteg
Mattias and Robin Kaneteg

A BGF-backed, lead generation technology company headquartered in Manchester has secured funding from alternative finance provider ThinCats as it plans further expansion in the UK and Nordic markets.

Founded in 2017 by Robin and Mattias Kaneteg, Firstborn Group connects consumers and providers with financial service products. Mattias Kaneteg is also the founder of web hosting business, Miss Group, which received more than £19m from BGF, before its successful exit in 2020.

Firstborn Group, then known as ROI Media, has been backed by BGF since 2020, growing rapidly in that time through a buy and build strategy to acquire several brands and the development of a sophisticated database of more than 500,000 customers through which Firstborn Group can market products directly.

The funding will help the business leverage its extensive database, allowing Firstborn Group to target customers directly via SMS and email, offering a range of financial services.

The business will also look to continue its buy and build strategy following the integrations of four acquisitions since 2020; Raketech a consumer finance platform, Firstborn Capital, Effective Marketing and Uni Finance.

Dave Parr and Michelle Heptinstall led the deal team from ThinCats and Dave Furlong at Cowgills advised the business. Squire Patton Boggs provided legal support on the transaction.

A spokesperson for Firstborn Group said: “We have already experienced outstanding growth as our customers have seen success in generating quality leads from working with us. With the investment from ThinCats and the backing from our partners at BGF, we will continue to invest in our product development and improve the service we offer to our customers as we continue our growth across Europe.

Dave Parr, director for business development at ThinCats, added: “It’s fantastic supporting ambitious and growing businesses like Firstborn Group. Management has a clear vision

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News Briefs: LGBTQ legal professionals mobilize to ‘Legalize Drag’ :: Bay Area Reporter

  • June 10, 2023

Legal professionals in the LGBTQI+ community will take the stage at Oasis Saturday, April 29, for “Legalize Drag,” a fundraiser for grassroots organizations in Tennessee. The state recently passed a law banning adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors from taking place on public property and in the presence of those under 18 years of age.

The law also deems “male and female impersonators” adult cabaret performers. The law was supposed to go into effect April 1 but a federal judge has temporarily blocked it, saying it was likely “vague and overly broad” in its restrictions of speech, as Reuters reported.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) also signed legislation banning gender-affirming care for trans youth, as the BAR previously reported.

Given those developments, as well as the over 400 other anti-LGBTQ bills facing legislative action across the country, local drag performers and legal professionals Michael Trung Nguyen and Ari Jones decided to organize and host the fundraiser, a news release stated.

Jones, who identifies as nonbinary, performs in drag as Pop Rox. The release stated that they saw the need to raise funds and showcase legal professionals who also perform in drag as a way to fight back against the legislation. Jones is a director at Berkeley-based Oasis Legal Services, which works with queer asylees and other immigrant survivors of trauma, the release stated.

“The criminalization of drag presents a unique hardship for queer legal professionals and others who have to pass background checks and prove a certain moral standard in order to be licensed,” Jones stated. “The idea that I could lose my law license if I lived in another state simply because I dress a certain way or lip synch to a song is a clear violation of the First Amendment to our Constitution.”

The show will also

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Law Firm Seeks Congressional Inquiry Over Hyundai, Kia Thefts – Dealer Ops

  • June 9, 2023

Law firm said past automaker testimony before Congress resulted in <a href=action on vehicle safety issues. – IMAGE: Pixabay/Arcaion” loading=”lazy”/

Law firm said past automaker testimony before Congress resulted in action on vehicle safety issues.

IMAGE: Pixabay/Arcaion

A California law firm representing some Hyundai and Kia owners in lawsuits against the carmakers over thefts is urging Congress to take action on the issue.

It’s the latest development in a series of pushbacks against the South Korean brands to more aggressively address the thefts of models without immobilizing antitheft technology as standard.

Multiple major U.S. cities have sued the automakers, about two dozen attorneys general have urged them to take stronger action about the thefts, and 18 states have asked a federal regulator to recall the 2011- to 2022 models in question.

Now MLG Attorneys at Law has written a letter to Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell to take up the matter as chairwoman of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The firm said in a statement that the committee has previously brought automakers to testify before Congress, resulting in action on vehicle safety issues.

MLG said it’s leading a class-action lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia over the thefts. It said it’s now representing a growing list of personal-injury cases related to the thefts.

The carmakers have expedited measures intended to prevent thefts and help vehicle owners get their models insured, including speeding up a software update and working with insurer AAA to insure affected models. But the increasingly loud pushback from various corners maintains they’re not doing enough.

LEARN MORE: States Seek Recall of Theft-Prone Hyundai, Kia Models

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Tennessee providing employment, legal aid resources as part of Second Chance Month

  • June 9, 2023

Tennessee groups and agencies are collaborating throughout April to help formerly incarcerated people and justice-involved individuals — a term some agencies use to describe anyone who has ever been charged with a crime — find jobs and get legal aid.

An upcoming event planned in western Tennessee is aimed at providing employment services to people who have encountered difficulties finding jobs because of the stigma that experts say comes with a criminal record. This event is a part of National Second Chance Month, which has been recognized annually every April since 2017 and serves to highlight the roles of individuals, communities and agencies in supporting formerly incarcerated people.

to support justice-involved individualsTennessee’s Office of Reentry (OOR) scheduled multiple Second Chance Hiring and Resource events throughout the state.

The last of the three resource fairs will be at the Clarksville American Job Center on Friday from 9 am to 2 pm

“An event like this one helps address these barriers and more by bringing together not only employers but also local and state supportive services,” Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Chief Communications Officer Chris Cannon said. “The Office of Reentry hopes that these events will also allow conversations and connections to occur between stakeholders in the reentry field to further their effectiveness.”

Cannon said justice-involved individuals can face several barriers to getting jobs, including discrimination due to a previous criminal history, lack of education or job training opportunities, financial barriers, physical or mental health issues and legal restrictions.

At the event, attendees will have a chance to meet prospective employers and connect with community resources and consult with legal aid services about record expungement.

One group that will be represented at Friday’s resource fair is the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, which provides Tennesseeans

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Almost 700 jobs to be saved as AxiomDWFM buys collapsed law firm Ince

  • June 8, 2023
London and Birmingham-based AxiomDWFM is to rescue the legal business of the collapsed Ince Group, saving close to 700 jobs. (Pixabay / Laneyslaney)

London and Birmingham-based AxiomDWFM is to rescue the legal business of the collapsed Ince Group, saving close to 700 jobs. (Pixabay / Laneyslaney)

London and Birmingham-based law firm AxiomDWFM is to rescue the legal business of the collapsed Ince Group, saving close to 700 jobs.

The Ince Group — once London’s largest listed law firm — announced that it would enter administration earlier this month. The 150-year-old company formerly known as Gordon Dadds Group said a lengthy auditing process, after BDO LLP determined there were “matters outstanding” with its accounts in Hong Kong, put “increasing pressure” on its cash flows.

The Aldgate-headquartered business, which employed over 700 staff and had revenues of over £100 million in the year to March 2021, was at one point the largest listed law firm in the UK.

The deal will only cover the group’s legal arm, which will go by Ince & Co, and not its other business such as financial advisory services. However, a spokesperson said the amount of jobs saved in the acquisition would be close to 700, located around the world.

Donald Brown, CEO of the Ince & Co. legal business, said he was thankful his team had secured new ownership, but also hit out at previous management of the wider group, which he took over the day-to-day operations of after administration.

“This acquisition of the Ince businesses will give the firm, our team and our clients a simple and clear corporate and capital structure under professional, knowledgeable and robust ownership,” he said. “We are underpinned by a group of immensely talented lawyers with deep expertise in our key sectors.

“After taking over the management of the PLC group, it quickly became apparent that we needed to address a series of poorly structured and executed transactions

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Brooklyn woman, Legal Aid Society calls for better tenant protections

  • June 8, 2023

An East New York woman is in jeopardy of losing her home, and she and members of the Legal Aid Society are calling on Albany to put protections in place for tenants to not be victimized without good cause.

The apartment has been home to Camey King for over a decade, and she received an eviction notice in March to vacate her apartment. She says her rent payments are on time, and that she only recently learned her home had a new landlord.

The Legal Aid Society told News 12 that the home King lives in went into foreclosure back in 2016. According to a report filed in the foreclosure case, the new owner, SKZF 737 Mazel LLC, had purchased the property at 737 Alabama Ave. for $525,000, but the deed was effective dating back to Oct. 2021.

Three months after receiving the eviction notice, King was in housing court, hoping his cries would not fall on deaf ears after being told he needed to leave for no reason.

The Legal Aid Society is representing King in her case while calling on Albany to enact ‘good cause’ legislation to ensure that tenants in unregulated units have basic protections against unwarranted evictions and increasing unreasonable rent.

King’s current vacate deadline is May 15, and her lawyers say the goal is to ask for time for King to find a new place to live.

News 12 has reached out to the owners of the property and is awaiting a response.

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