Covington & Burling LLP at a Glance


  • “Work/life balance”
  • “Good opportunities for junior lawyers”
  • “Respect from partners”


  • “Introverted”
  • “Path to partnership unclear”
  • “Unpredictable hours”

The Buzz

  • “DC’s finest”
  • “Top litigators”
  • “Nerd alert”
  • “Stodgy”

About Covington & Burling LLP

This "brain trust" law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business-that business being antitrust, litigation, corporate, IP and regulatory work, with particular strengths in the sports, insurance, life science/pharma, export controls, data privacy, energy, tech and media/entertainment industries.

Counsel of Record

Judge J. Harry Covington and Edward B. Burling founded their firm in Washington, DC in 1919, with a (then unique) concept of a firm focused on regulatory issues. Since that founding, it would be hard to find many members of the Fortune 200 that have not worked with Covington. The firm played significant roles in many of the leading legal matters that arose from the New Deal. Later, in the 1950s, Covington lawyers wrote the key briefs in the Steel Seizure cases. As the federal government expanded, so did Covington, with a particular emphasis on issues involving FDA, the IRS, the FAA, the FCC and any number of other multi-lettered agencies.

This unique mix of work attracted an astonishingly talented array of young lawyers to the firm, many of whom have gone on to senior positions in the government. Both Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, and Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, were Covington partners, and Lanny Breuer returned to the firm in 2013. And Covington's lawyers are bi-partisan. Mike Chertoff, the first head of the Department of Homeland Security, joined Covington after leaving the Bush Administration. John Dugan, who was the Comptroller of the Currency during the financial meltdown of 2008, was a partner before his service as Comptroller, and has since returned to the firm. Retired Republican Senator Jon Kyl and Democratic Representative Howard Berman are recent arrivals.

The strong team of lawyers assembled by Covington continues to attract some of the largest companies in the world as clients. These days the firm's clients include JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Wells Fargo, Merck, Eli Lilly & Company, AstraZeneca, ExxonMobil, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, Abbott Laboratories, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, to name just a few. The practice has moved far beyond government regulation, and the firm's lawyers now focus broadly on litigation, white collar, corporate transactions, intellectual property, antitrust, international trade, and regulatory issues.

Formerly Local, Now Global

Early on, Covington eschewed typical BigLaw expansionist tendencies, maintaining just one office in Washington, DC. In 1988, the firm opened its doors in London-a strategic move followed two years later by the establishment of a branch in Brussels to focus on EU competition, regulatory and litigation work. The firm grew its domestic presence in 1999 with the addition of offices in San Francisco and New York, and in 2008, Covington set up shop in Beijing, San Diego and Silicon Valley. Offices in Shanghai and Seoul opened during 2012 and 2013. And the firm does work elsewhere around the globe, including in Latin America, India, and the Middle East.

Worldwide White Collar

Before he became Attorney General, Eric Holder led a Covington team that helped client Chiquita Brands International reach a deal with federal prosecutors, who accused the fruit producer of covertly paying paramilitary militants to protect its holdings in Colombia. Covington was recently ranked as having the third-largest white collar practice in the United States. Its team of nearly 100 white collar lawyers represents clients in a broad array of prosecutions and investigations, both in the United States and internationally. Lanny Breuer and Mythili Raman, both recent heads of the Criminal Division at DOJ, are at the firm.

Check the Scoreboard

With more than 45 years of experience, Covington's sports law department is an all-star team in itself. The group, which includes former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, has represented dozens of teams, leagues and sponsors in transactions, litigation, media rights, antitrust, contract, labor and tax law matters. The firm represented the NFL before the Supreme Court in the American Needle case, and advised the NFL throughout the media tumult provoked by Michael Vick's arrest and eventual suspension. Covington knows its way around the baseball diamond too-the firm counseled retired pitcher Roger Clemens as he dealt with allegations of steroid use and a federal indictment for perjury and represented Major League Baseball in the development of its proprietary television channel. Not surprisingly, Covington alums Jeff Pash and Rick Buchanan are currently general counsel to the NFL and NBA, respectively. The firm has also counseled college sports leagues on a variety of matters, and advised both the pros and colleges on their broadcast contracts.

Smooth Sailing on Troubled Seas

During the recent financial crisis, Covington was one of the few major law firms that had no layoffs of lawyers or staff. Instead, Covington promoted nine associates and counsel to partner in 2013, fifteen in 2012, ten in 2011, six in 2010, ten in 2009 and twelve in 2008.


April 2014

Former DOJ Criminal Division Chief Mythili Raman Joins Covington 
Mythili Raman, most recently Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, joined Covington as a partner in the firm's litigation and white collar groups.

January 2014

Covington Defeats $3.5 Billion Claim in LCD Antitrust Case
Covington scored a major victory for several of the world's largest liquid crystal display manufacturers by persuading U.S. District Judge Joan B. Gottschall of the Northern District of Illinois to dismiss antitrust claims asserted by Motorola Mobility, Inc. Motorola sought $3.5 billion in damages based on allegations that the defendants overcharged it for liquid crystal display panels used in its mobile phones. Judge Gottschall found that U.S. antitrust law does not apply to 99 percent of the antitrust claims brought by Motorola against the defendant LCD makers, which include Samsung, Sharp, AU Optronics, LG Display, SANYO, Toshiba and HannStar.

November 2013

Covington Advises NHL on $5 Billion Canadian Broadcast Rights Deal
Covington advised the National Hockey League in negotiating its twelve-year, $5.2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for national broadcast and multimedia rights to NHL games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final, in Canada. The agreement is the largest media rights deal in NHL history and the largest-ever sports-media rights agreement in Canadian history.

Covington Helps Secure Change in FCC Foreign Investment Policy
The Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved a request by the Coalition for Broadcast Investment to relax a long-standing cap on foreign investment in broadcast companies. Covington represented the coalition in a two-year effort to secure greater opportunities for foreign investment in broadcasting companies under the Communications Act of 1934.

September 2013

Covington Advises Microsoft in EUR 5.44 Billion Nokia Transaction
Covington advised Microsoft Corp. in its purchase of substantially all of Nokia's devices & services business. Under the transaction, Microsoft will also license Nokia's patents, and license and use Nokia's mapping services. The total transaction price is EUR 5.44 billion in cash - or more than $7 billion.

May 2013

Covington Secures Victory in Arizona Racial Profiling Case 
A federal judge ruled that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) unlawfully targeted Latino drivers and passengers in Maricopa County, Ariz. and ordered an end to the practice of using race as a factor in law enforcement decisions.

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Covington & Burling LLP

1201 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20044-2401
Phone: (202) 662-6000
Fax: (202) 662-6291


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chair, Management and Executive Committees: Timothy C. Hester
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 900

  • Employment Contact
    Washington, DC
    Ellen Purvance
    Director, Legal Personnel Recruiting
    Phone: (202) 662-6200
    Email: New York
    Nicole Carney
    Director of Legal Recruitment
    Phone: (212) 841-1066
    Email: California
    Gabrielle Hall
    Human Resources Manager
    Phone: (415) 955-6810
    Email: London
    Philippa Crompton
    Human Resources Manager
    Phone: 44 (0) 20 7667 2091
    Email: Brussels
    Wendy Van Gijsegem
    Office Manager
    Phone: 32.2.549.5237
    Email: Beijing, Shanghai & Seoul
    Ellen Purvance
    Director, Legal Personnel Recruiting
    Phone: (202) 662-6200

  • Base Salary
    U.S. Offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    8th year: $280,000
    Summer associate: $3,080/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    68 out of 69 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Advertising & Consumer Law
    Antitrust & Competition Law
    Communications & Media
    Defense, Homeland & National Security
    Electronics & Information Technology
    Election & Political Law
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Energy & Natural Resources
    Federal-State Programs
    Financial Institutions
    Food & Drug
    Government Contracts
    Health Care
    Insurance Coverage - Policyholders
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    Life Sciences
    Media, Internet & Technology
    Privacy & Data Security
    Public Policy & Government Affairs
    Securities/Derivatives Litigation & Enforcement
    Strategic Risk & Crisis Management
    White Collar Defense & Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • London
  • Seoul
  • Shanghai
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