Covington & Burling LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Humane hours”
  • “Collegiate and respectful firm culture”
  • “The offices are stunning”

Downers

  • “Difficult to have a specialized practice”
  • “Lack of control over hours”
  • “People are a bit too introverted”

About Covington & Burling LLP

This "brain trust" law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business-that business being antitrust, litigation, white collar defense & investigations, corporate, IP, export controls, data privacy and cybersecurity, and regulatory work, with particular strengths in the sports, insurance, life science/pharma, 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, former U.S. Attorney General, and Lanny Breuer, former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, were Covington partners before they worked for the Obama administration. Breuer returned to the firm in 2013 and Eric Holder rejoined the firm in 2015. 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 also at the firm.

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, 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, project development and finance, 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. The firm opened an office in Los Angeles in early 2015 and closed San Diego to reorient its focus in Southern California. And the firm does work elsewhere around the globe, including in Latin America, India, Africa, and the Middle East. In 2017, Covington added a number of new lawyers to its existing project development and finance practice, and with the group's arrival, opened offices in Dubai and Johannesburg.

Worldwide White Collar

Covington's 115-lawyer white collar team boasts former top government lawyers who handle high-profile matters world-wide, including two former heads of the DOJ's Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer and Mythili Raman. Arlo Devlin-Brown, former Chief of the Public Corruption Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the S.D.N.Y. joined the firm in 2017. In 2015 Lanny Breuer, successfully represented Hyperdynamics Corporation in an investigation conducted by the Justice Department into potential violations of the FCPA related to its business activities in the Republic of Guinea. Covington recently helped AB InBev secure a declination notice from the DOJ in an FCPA investigation regarding the company's business partners in India and is currently handling a highly publicized internal investigation at Uber.

Check the Scoreboard

With over 50 years of experience, Covington's sports law department is an all-star team in and of 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.

IN THE NEWS

May 2017
Ever Expanding

Covington opened new offices in Dubai and Johannesburg-and expanded in London-with the addition of more than 20 project finance, corporate, and dispute resolution lawyers, deepening the firm's capabilities in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Covington has long helped clients around the world navigate their most difficult legal and business issues in foreign markets. The office openings were a progression of the firm's strategy to build a leading projects practice that leverages other important areas of the firm, including global dispute resolution, government affairs and public policy, anti-corruption, export controls, corporate, international tax, and energy regulation.

Spring 2017
Winning Big

Covington delivered "a rare courtroom defeat" for the SDNY U.S. Attorney's Office in February. After a seven-day trial, a jury in Manhattan delivered a complete verdict for its clients in a high-profile civil forfeiture case that also earned Covington coverage in the New York Times. Covington's product liability team won its 14th straight appellate decision for Roche and has successfully defended every trial victory on appeal, and reversed every adverse verdict, worth more than $100 million in judgments. Covington also won summary judgment for Bayer, wiping out more than 1,200 suits alleging harm from one of its leading products.

December 2016
March Madness

Covington advised Turner Sports in the extension of its rights to distribute the March Madness basketball tournament through 2032 via a partnership with CBS Network across a variety of platforms. The firm also represented Riot Games in a first-of-its-kind long-term commercialization partnership with BAMTech to deliver professional League of Legends eSports content in regions around the world.

August 2016
A Round for the White Collar Team

Covington continued to represent clients in some of the most complex, high-profile matters in white collar. Notably, the firm helped AB InBev secure a declination notice from the U.S. Department of Justice in an FCPA investigation regarding the company's business partners in India. The firm also handled a highly publicized internal investigation at Uber.

July 2016
Protecting the Cyber

Covington formed a Cybersecurity Incident Response Team and expanded its capabilities to manage legal investigations into multiple concurrent cybersecurity incidents on an international scale. Covington has investigated and handled the legal response to many of the most complex and high-profile breach incidents to date, ranging from the largest drawdown of ATMs in U.S. bank history and large international financial crime breaches to dozens of advanced persistent threat attacks covering personal, proprietary, and government data to criminal breaches impacting the information of more than 50 million users, among many others.

June 2016
Clash of Clans

Covington advised Tencent Holdings, a leading provider of internet service in China, in connection with its acquisition of a majority stake in Supercell from SoftBank for $8.6 billion. Supercell has brought four major games to market - Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Boom Beach and Hay Day. The deal provided Tencent with an ever-stronger presence in mobile gaming and adds to its already robust mobile portfolio, which includes the top smartphone app in China.

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Covington & Burling LLP

One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 662-6000

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chair, Management and Executive Committees: Timothy C. Hester
  • Hiring Attorneys: Anna Engh, Anne Lee (Washington); Jack Bodner, David L. Kornblau, Loretta Shaw-Lorello, Chris Young (New York); Tammy Albarrán, Donald Brown (San Francisco); Dan Shallman (Los Angeles); Kurt Calia (Silicon Valley); Simon Amies, Daniel Cooper, Natalie Walter (London); Peter Bogaert (Brussels); William Park (Seoul); Weishi Li (Shanghai); Timothy Stratford (Beijing)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 1,055

  • Base Salary
    U.S. Offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,465/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    83 out of 84 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Advertising & Consumer Law • Aerospace, Defense & National Security • Anticorruption/FCPA • Antitrust & Competition Law • Appellate and Supreme Court • Class Actions • Communications & Media • Congressional Investigations • Commercial Litigation • Corporate • Data Privacy & Cybersecurity • Electronics & Information Technology • Election & Political Law • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation • Employment • Energy & Natural Resources • Environmental • Federal-State Programs • Financial Institutions • Food & Drug • Government Contracts • Health Care • Insurance Coverage - Policyholders • Intellectual Property • International Trade • International Arbitration • ITC Section 337 • Life Sciences • Litigation • Media, Internet & Technology • M&A • Nano-Technology • Patent Office Trials • Privacy & Data Security • Product Liability & Mass Tort Defense •  Project Development &Finance •  Public Policy & Government Affairs • Research Universities, Museum & Cultural Institutions • Restructuring & Bankruptcy • Securities/Derivatives Litigation & Enforcement • Sports • Strategic Risk & Crisis Management • Tax • Trade Secrets • Transportation • White Collar Defense & Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • San Francisco, CA • Silicon Valley, CA • Washington, DC Beijing • Brussels • Dubai • Johannesburg • London • Seoul • Shanghai