Davis Wright Tremaine, in a move to strengthen the firm's food and beverage practice group, announced today the addition of a new partner to its Washington office.
Charles English, who comes to the firm from Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver, where he was a shareholder and head of the food and agriculture practice, has extensive experience representing businesses and trade associations before the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture and other related agencies.
In a statement, David Wright's coordinating chair of the food and beverage practice, Jesse Lyon, pointed to England's experience with regulators as an important reason for his addition to the group.
“By adding a litigator who is well-versed in administrative law matters, we can deliver a full, cross-practice approach for our clients,” Lyon said in the statement.
In an interview Tuesday, English acknowledged the competition he faced for the position, saying that the firm's reputation and size afforded it the ability to be selective. He pointed to his "broad and deep understanding" of the complete range of food regulatory agencies as a factor the firm found attractive.
As legal representation for several food producers in western states, English said the firm's foothold in California is an appealing attribute. Additionally, he said he was intrigued by the "critical mass" of more than 30 attorneys working in the firm's food and beverage practice.
"The platform just seemed to be the right platform," English said.
He said the most pressing issues facing his clients are food safety litigation and food security, as well as class actions against producers.
"That's where the growth is, that's where the concerns are, that's where the time is being spent," English said.