Morning Briefing: Landmark case focuses on document work

Is document work actually legal work? A lawyer says it’s not… Slater & Gordon expects boost from UK takeover… New IP partner at Corrs… KWM wins Chinese business award…

Is document work actually legal work? A lawyer says it’s not
A landmark case in the US will centre on lawyers working on document review work and must decide whether it should even be considered legal work. The ruling will have widespread impact on law firms throughout America. Under federal labour laws no overtime is paid for legal work exceeding 40 hours but a lawyer who was hired through a staffing agency to review documents on a Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom case and must now prove that the work was not ‘legal work’ in order to claim overtime.
David Lola’s argument is that the work does not include 'some engagement of legal judgment or application of legal knowledge' and should therefore not be classed as legal work. That view was over-ruled by a district court last year but an appeal is now being heard. Along with Skadden, Quinn Emanuel is awaiting the outcome as it is involved in a similar case. Contract lawyers across the US are showing their support for Lola’s case.
Slater & Gordon expects boost from UK takeover
The acquisition of the legal services arm of UK firm Quindell should provide shareholders in Slater & Gordon with a boost in earnings in the short term. The Australian-listed law firm will have a 12 per cent share of the personal injury market in the UK and managing director Michael Grech has told investors that the acquisition, which will be a separate entity, should provide good returns within the first year of ownership. Slaters shares increased 3 per cent on confirmation of the completion of due diligence and approval by the UK’s financial regulator.
New IP partner at Corrs
Corrs Chambers Westgarth has appointed IP specialist Kate Hay to the partnership. She will be based in the firm’s Melbourne office and joins from Griffith Hack. Hay is an expert in large multi-jurisdictional litigation and has advised in court proceedings involving patent infringement and revocation matters, trade mark, misleading and deceptive conduct, passing off, copyright and design matters.
KWM wins Chinese business award
King & Wood Mallesons has been recognised for business excellence in services at the AustCham-Westpac Australia China Business Awards in Hong Kong. The judges of the event, organised by the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and WestPac, were impressed by the law firm’s cross-border work and for building connections between Australian and Chinese businesses.

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