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The last quarter of 2013 saw Covington & Burling bulk up their European life sciences group with significant hires in Brussels. This commitment to increasing the strength of the firm’s life sciences practice is just one of a number of key practice areas that the firm aims to expand further.
|COVINGTON & BURLING|
|Banking||1||Labour & Employment||1|
|Business Crime Defence||2||Life Sciences||19|
|Corporate Governance||1||Private Client||1|
|Corporate Tax||5||Product Liability Defence||3|
|Franchise||1||Sports & Entertainment||3|
|Information Technology||3||Telecoms & Media||4|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||1||Trade & Customs||3|
|Insurance & Reinsurance||8|
Recent hires to the financial regulatory and international arbitration practices also highlight the firm’s growth capabilities as it continues to assert its global presence. From its bases in Asia, Europe and North America, Covington & Burling retains its core values of “a deep commitment to our clients” with “an emphasis on teamwork”. A significant number of lawyers also have previous government service experience including working for the White House and European Parliament, and the firm prides itself on its ability to provide advice and representation across a broad array of legal services and continuing public service representation through pro bono work.
|Total Listings in WWL||73||Established||1919|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||800|
|Number of partners||261||Number of offices||10|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Covington & Burling’s life sciences practice is globally renowned and members have cross-disciplinary experience working on transactional, regulatory and intellectual property matters. Clients include multinational pharmaceutical companies, trade associations and biotechnology and medical device companies. Chair of the firm’s product liability and mass torts practice Mike Brock is an “excellent litigator”. In 2013, he led the trial team that defended BP from claims by the US government in the high-stakes oil spill case following the disaster off the Gulf of Mexico. Peter Bogaert is managing partner of the Brussels office and has a wide-ranging life sciences practice. He is recognised for his “superb” work in the regulatory sphere and has “unparalleled” knowledge of EC and national laws. Grant Castle has considerable expertise coordinating regulatory projects worldwide and is recommended for his “first class advice”. Co-chair of the food and drug practice group Peter Safir is recognised for his regulatory work. He works primarily in the pharmaceutical industry and is praised for his “dedication and drive”.
The firm’s insurance practice consists of over 100 lawyers and focuses on helping corporate policyholders maximise their insurance coverage. William Skinner has represented Fortune 100 and 500 policyholders and stands out for his “top quality advice”. John Buchanan is currently serving as lead counsel in a number of coverage cases involving environmental liabilities. He is considered a “go-to” advocate for many. William Greaney is a “talented” lawyer with experience representing policyholders in disputes arising under first-party property policies.
The competition practice is considered “world class” and features former high-ranking DoJ and Federal Trade Commission officials. Co-chair Deborah Garza practices in all areas of antitrust law and is an “authority” on competition matters. Partner co-chair Thomas Barnett works with the firm’s white-collar practice from the DC office. His extensive experience includes representing Facebook in obtaining merger review clearance for the acquisition of Instagram. In Brussels, Damien Geradin specialises in the overlap between competition law and intellectual property. He is an “expert” on the application of competition law and regulation in the network industries and also features in our telecoms and media guide.
Covington & Burling’s tax group has wide-ranging expertise across a number of different industry sectors including finance and sports. Co-chair of the practice Reeves Westbrook deals with both counselling and tax controversies. He is praised for his “commercial acumen” in dealing with the needs of large corporate taxpayers. The “intelligent” Dirk Suringa practices in the area of international tax planning and is praised for his “in-depth knowledge” of various domestic and international tax structures.
The firm’s communications and media practice works with policymakers at the Federal Communications Commission and counts among its representative matters leading the Coalition of Broadband Users and Innovators before the FCC and Congress with regards to deregulation policies. Yaron Dori is co-chair of the firm’s communications and media practice group and practices in the area of telecommunications, privacy and consumer protection law. His knowledge of the industry is “astounding” according to sources and he is recognised for his “strategic thinking”. Mace Rosenstein’s practice focuses on traditional media, new media, regulation and compliance and he co-chairs the media, internet and technology industry group. He has represented a number of private equity firms in acquisition matters and counts Microsoft among his big-name clients.
The firm’s dedication to pro bono work is reflected through its pro bono programme, managed by two full-time and two part-time US attorneys and encompassing a wide range of areas. Lawyers are given the opportunity to participate in a six-month rotation programme and work at three DC-based legal service organisations. The firm’s public service work has been recognised by a number of US journals and magazines and this year 51 per cent of the firm’s DC attorneys reported 50 or more pro bono hours.
Diversity is a key commitment at Covington & Burling and the firm has a diversity committee charged with ensuring that it remains a key consideration in programmes and initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining the ‘best & brightest’. Key features of the 2013 diversity calendar included the annual women’s forum summer reception and the Covington litigation team’s nine-week-long bench trial challenging New York’s ‘stop and frisk’ policies.
Covington & Burling will continue to strengthen its existing international offices in key practice areas and industry sectors, maintaining its reputation as a firm at the forefront of technological, regulatory and legislative developments.
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