UPDATED AT 1:05 pm Covington & Burling has snagged four Washington-based Howrey partners, including the co-chairmen of the firm's antitrust and white-collar practices.
Effective Monday, Covington adds white collar co-chairman John Nields Jr., a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and former chief counsel to the House committee that investigated the Iran-Contra scandal.
Nields handles antitrust cases as well, successfully defending Schering-Plough Corp. in an suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission challenging the settlement of two patent lawsuits.
In 2000, he served as president of the DC Bar.
“There’s no finer firm in the city than Covington & Burling,” said Nields, who spent 31 years at Howrey and called that firm’s pending dissolution “a very sad thing.”
Antitrust practice co-chairman Alan Wiseman joins Covington after 37 years at Howrey. He represents Union Pacific Railroad Co. in a multidistrict class action alleging price fixing of freight fuel surcharges. In another class action, he is defending a leading freight forwarder against price-fixing allegations.
Wiseman said the group was drawn to Covington in part because of the combination of antitrust practice leaders Thomas Barnett and Deborah Garza.
“The future of antitrust is in global enforcement,” he said. “The two of them are the most recent heads of the Antitrust Division, and have a wide network.”
Also making the move is Jason Raofield, who focuses on antitrust and commercial litigation. He recently defended Intel Corp. in a monopolization case brought by Advanced Micro Devices, as well as another client in a monopolization investigation by the Department of Justice.
Rounding out the group is antitrust partner Andrew Lazerow, who began his career as a summer associate at Howrey in 1998. He’s worked on antitrust class actions, securities fraud class actions and other complex commercial disputes.
Additional associates from Howrey may join the group at Covington.
“This group significantly expands the depth and breadth of our antitrust and white collar defense practices,” said Timothy Hester, chairman of Covington’s management committee, in a news release. “It builds on Covington’s plan to strengthen an already outstanding litigation team in both the United States and Europe.”
Howrey partners on Wednesday voted to dissolve the firm effective March 15.
Winston & Strawn has reportedly extended offers to many Howrey partners. Nields said joining that firm was not an option due to unresolved client conflicts.