BOUGHT AND OLD – Boomer-aged lawyer exits and the lack of succession planning at smaller and solo firms are great for business… if your business is buying law firms. Over the last two decades, the primary means of growth for California-based CunninghamLegal has been through acquisitions of other trust and estates law firms—23 in total over the last 20 years, CEO Jim Cunningham told Law.com’s Justin Henry. Indeed, the firm owners that have sold to him have been boomer-aged attorneys seeking an offramp from the profession and others accepting judgeships who need to divest from their firm. “People are exiting the practice at the same time as there is a surge in demand,” Cunningham said in an interview this week. “That has resulted in tremendous wage inflation in the trust and estates practice. It’s really hard in many markets to attract and retain talent, so if you’re just a solo practitioner, it makes sense to cut a deal with someone in town to provide a steady stream of work.”
IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN – Ask any global company and their legal department, and they will tell you that ESG is a top priority. But, as Law.com’s Heather Nevitt writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, companies now find themselves in an ESG vise— with global in-house leaders often being the ones squeezed. On the one hand, investors and stakeholders expect ESG progress with measurable KPIs. At the same time, however, plaintiff lawyers and regulators are keeping an eye on companies’ every move, looking for any signs of “greenwashing” through misleading or false statements of their environmental stewardship. “Businesses are tuned into the conduct that puts them in the crosshairs of greenwashing allegations and have adjusted appropriately,” Nevitt writes. “But, views on climate change have evolved rapidly, and as such, we are likely to see continued pressure on businesses to accurately and verifiably disclose the impact of their product or service. Greenwashing litigation will evolve, but in some shape or form is likely to be here for the foreseeable future.” To receive the Law.com Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.
ON THE RADAR – QuantumScape, a developer of lithium-metal batteries for electric vehicles, filed a petition in Delaware Court of Chancery on Thursday requesting validation of an Amended Certificate of Incorporation. The petition, which arises from a 2020 shareholder vote on QuantumScape’s de-SPAC transaction with Kensington Capital, alleges that the Delaware Court of Chancery’s Dec. 2022 decision in Garfield v. Boxed Inc. has caused shareholders to challenge the validity of the transaction. According to the suit, at least nine similar petitions have been filed since the Boxed decision. The case is 2023-0157, In re QuantumScape Corp. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar.
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