Crowell & Moring has added a partner to its advertising and product risk management practice in Washington.
Christopher Cole, former advertising litigation chairman at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, will co-chair Crowell's practice with Bridget Calhoun.
Cole has handled matters on topics including advertising and media controversies, unfair competition, green marketing, compliance and risk prevention. He has defended clients before the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general during enforcement proceedings. His clients span the industries of food and beverage, media, telecommunications and consumer products.
In an interview, Cole said that he was attracted to the firm in large part because of its regulatory chops and the opportunity to co-chair a recalibrated practice. Cole said that the firm has incorporated advertising into its product risk management to offer a new set of services to clients.
"Crowell had for some time a product risk management practice which is a soup-to-nuts product life cycle, risk management practice from design and inception to safety issues to use and environmental impacts and even to the ultimate disposal of the item," Cole said. "The idea was to marry that to the advertising practice. Crowell has been investing and planning in this practice for a long time."
Cole added that the firm is moving "aggressively" to recruit additional attorneys, particularly those who have experience dealing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or in advertising law. "We are actively looking and talking to people as we speak," he said.
Cole pointed to the hiring of partners Cheryl Falvey and John Fuson as evidence of the firm's long-term investing and planning of the practice. Falvey and Fuson were the former general counsel to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and former associate chief counsel at the FDA, respectively.
Cole said that his clients looked favorably upon the news of his move to Crowell and that many were impressed with the new array of services offered.
"Marketing products is riskier than ever before," Cole said. "The idea was to develop a group that covers the whole sea of risk."