2020 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#2
- Firm Culture#29
At a Glance
“The people are kind, welcoming, and collegial.”
“Level of responsibility.”
“The work/life balance is highly manageable.”
“We could be more progressive on teleworking.”
“The pressure and stress.”
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.
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 focus on issues involving FDA, the IRS, the FAA, the FCC, and any number of other multi-lettered agencies. With this Washington-focused practice, its no wonder that the firm has numerous former government officials among its ranks.
Covington counsels across myriad industries, including aerospace; consumer brands; digital health; energy; financial services; gaming; life sciences; media, internet, and technology; mining and metals; sports, and transportation.
The firm is well known for its white collar team, which boasts more than 100 lawyers—including former high-profile government lawyers—and sits comfortably within Vault’s top five firms for White Collar Defense & Internal Investigations. Clients regularly call on the firm to handle matters involving crisis management, False Claims Act, internal investigations, regulatory issues, shareholder litigation, whistleblower claims, and much more.
One simply can’t discuss Covington without mentioning its robust sports practice. With more than 50 years of experience, Covington’s sports law department is an all-star team in and of itself. The group has represented the likes of MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, USGA, USTA, to name some. The firm has also counseled college sports leagues on a variety of matters and advised both the pros and colleges on their broadcast contracts. The sports practice is multi-faceted, but Covington lawyers meet the challenge, handling everything from antitrust and collective bargaining to financings and insurance to media rights and regulatory affairs to sponsorships and tax—plus much more.
Giving Associates a Voice
At Covington, when associates speak, people listen. The firm’s associate advisory committee includes both associates and partners and provides an outlet for associates to offer opinions on firm decisions. The firm also offers a confidential outlet for associates to request advice through the “associate ombudspersons.” The ombudsperson is a senior lawyer to whom associates can go for confidential advice.
News & Awards
Called an “extraordinary intervention” using “an unusual strategy” by The Wall Street Journal, Covington helped Qualcomm secure a U.S. Presidential order compelling Broadcom to “immediately and permanently abandon” its proposed hostile takeover of Qualcomm in March 2018. The order, based on findings by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, marked total victory for Qualcomm in its bid to remain an independent company. The American Lawyer named Covington among its 2019 “Dealmakers of the Year” for its work on this matter.
Led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Covington conducted an independent assessment on civil rights, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The public report evaluated the company’s efforts in each of these areas and included recommendations to strengthen Starbuck’s current programs, policies, and initiatives.
Covington advised Merck on its €2.1 billion acquisition of Antelliq Group, which is focused on animal identification, traceability and monitoring solutions. The increasing use of digital technology in animal agriculture is driven by the growing demand for food traceability and safety and to optimize disease prediction and treatment. The transaction highlighted Covington’s deep regulatory expertise in life sciences and its cross-border strength with lawyers from eight offices and three continents assisting on the transaction.
Covington secured major victories for the University of California — and the nearly 700,000 “Dreamers” — by securing a nationwide injunction ordering the government to reinstate the Deferred Action for Child for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and then protecting that win in the Ninth Circuit.
- In May 2019, Covington secured an order for the release of 24 Ukrainian servicemen and three naval vessels detained in the Black Sea from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas.
- Covington has long represented the National Football League in a variety of high-profile antitrust challenges over the years, including against the AFL in the 1960s, the USFL in the 1980s, and a variety of entities more recently.
- After allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at Uber, Covington conducted a workplace assessment of the ride-sharing company in 2016, leading to a series of recommendations to improve Uber’s culture, promote fairness and accountability, and establish processes and systems to ensure compliance.
- “Firm of the Year” - 2018 (Law360)
- “California Litigation Department of the Year” - 2018 (The American Lawyer)
- “D.C. Litigation Department of the Year - 2019 (The National Law Journal)
- “Dealmakers of the Year” - 2019 (The American Lawyer)
- “Pro Bono Hot List” - 2019 (The National Law Journal)
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 662-6000
Chair, Management and Executive Committees: Timothy C. Hester
Hiring Attorneys: Benjamin Block, Ranga Sudarshan (DC); Dan Shallman, Ashley Simonsen (LA); Jack Bodner, David L. Kornblau, Amy Wollensack, Chris Yeung (NY); Ingrid Rechtin (SF); Kurt Calia, (Palo Alto) | Daniel Cooper, Hilary Prescott, Mark Young (London); Peter Bogaert (Brussels); William Park (Seoul); Eric Carlson (Shanghai); Timothy Stratford (Beijing); Bruce Wilson (Dubai); Philipp Tamussino (Frankfurt); Ben Donovan (Johannesburg)
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
1K - 1.5K
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
Summer Associate Offers:
124 out of 124 (2Ls) (2018)
No. of Summer Associates:
130 total (124 2Ls; 6 1Ls) (2018)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Advertising and Consumer Law
Antitrust & Competition Law
Appellate and Supreme Court
Communications & Media
International Trade/Export Controls
Litigation and International Arbitration
Privacy & Cybersecurity
Securities & Capital Markets
White Collar Defense & Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.