Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr is vying to expand its reach into Washington lobbying with the addition of a Patton Boggs partner.
Jonathan Yarowsky joined Wilmer Wednesday as the chairman of the firm's legislative affairs and public policy practice, which is part of the strategic response and counseling group.
Yarowsky, a lobbyist who specializes in congressional investigations and antirust matters, started at Patton Boggs in 1998. He earlier served as special associate counsel to President Bill Clinton and general counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
Yarowsky's departure came after Patton Boggs had a poor financial showing in 2012 and lost more than a dozen partners last month. But he said his exit wasn't connected to those departures.
"I just view this as a very exciting new chapter," Yarowsky said, adding that Wilmer was "always a very special firm" to him.
Although Wilmer has a 402-lawyer Washington office that put it at No. 4 on the 2012 Legal Times 150 survey of the D.C. area's largest law offices, the firm has only a few lobbying clients.
Business Roundtable, Northeastern University, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. and Education Development Center Inc. are the firm's sole lobbying accounts, according to congressional records. But during the first quarter of this year, Wilmer only reported lobbying for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Northeastern, receiving a total of $50,000 from them.
At Patton Boggs, Yarowsky had 10 lobbying clients, congressional records show. His accounts included Microsoft Corp., the National Football League Players Association and the National Association of Broadcasters. Yarowsky said he still is talking with Patton Boggs about which clients he will continue to represent.
For Wilmer, Yarowsky said he is looking to "carefully" expand the firm's legislative affairs and public policy practice.
'We won’t be the largest public policy shop in six months," he said. "But we will have a very good one."