Morning Briefing: Diversity held up by the ‘usual suspects’

by Steve Randall13 Aug 2015
Diversity held up by the ‘usual suspects’
The general counsel of US-government-backed mortgage corporation Fannie Mae says that diversity is often a case of lawyers choosing to work with the “usual suspects”. Brian Brooks told Bloomberg that because the lawyer is likely to call on someone he has used before or someone he socialises with it means that “if the only lawyers I’ve seen in the last few days look like me, then everybody else is going to get excluded.” In order to address the issue Fannie Mae’s legal department introduced a program to find “diamonds in the rough” and giving new names more exposure. The department already scores highly for diversity with a majority of women and 41 per cent from ethnic backgrounds.
Law firm launches updated cloud computing app
International law firm Bird & Bird has launched the third version of its cloud computing app which allows suppliers and users of cloud services to easily determine whether they are legally compliant. In a good example of how law firms are using new media to bolster their brand position, the app, first developed in 2013, provides answers to frequently asked questions across 19 jurisdictions. Issues of consumer protection, data protection, data portability, intellectual property, liability, security and the use of the cloud by the public sector are all covered.
US law firm cuts London office team
Mintz Levin has closed its European patent prosecution practice following the departure of its former head. After 11 years with the US firm Julian Crump left to firm his own boutique, Beresford Crump, and three IP lawyers have also left to join rival Cooley. The remaining team of four at Mintz Levin will provide corporate practice while the firm will offer clients patent prosecution through other firms including those that their former colleagues have joined.
Nestle hit with $99 million law suit over noodles
The Indian government is suing food giant Nestle over a scare which has already cost the company in reputational damage. The government wants $99 million in damages on behalf of consumers after a regulator found Nestle’s noodles to contain high levels of lead and MSG. Nestle India has refuted the claims and demanded that the products be retested; the results are not yet public. Reuters reports that the lawsuit claims unfair trade practices, the sale of defective goods and the sale of a product without approval. Nestle said that it does not add MSG to the noodle product Maggi.