Bloomberg Law
July 2, 2019, 11:19 AM

Wake Up Call: Covington & Burling is Joe Biden’s Pick for Campaign Counsel

  • Covington & Burling is former Vice President Joe Biden’s new law firm for his presidential campaign, with Covington partner Robert Lenhard, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, to lead the work. Lenhard is one of several prominent Obama administration alums at the firm, also including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Meanwhile, among other Democratic presidential contenders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign hired Perkins Coie and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, hired his former Harvard classmate, Jenner & Block partner Previn Warren, as his campaign’s general counsel, a report says. (National Law Journal)

  • Volkswagen AG and two of its U.S. subsidiaries can’t avoid facing allegations that the automaker’s 2016 “Pact for the Future” is really an effort to get rid of workers 50 and older nationwide, a judge said. King & Spalding and Miller & Martin are representing VW. Sanford Heisler Sharp is representing plaintiff Jonathan Manlove and the proposed class. (BLAW)

  • Hogan Lovells and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised Applied Materials in a $2.2 billion acquisition of Kokusai Electric Corporation from KKR, a deal that requires approval by regulators. (BN) (

  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Kirkland & Ellis advised on the biggest volume of deals in 2019’s first half, a period dominated by “mega deals” worth over $10 billion. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Morrison & Foerster said Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of Virginia is leaving the firm after its internal probe found no evidence of misconduct by him since he joined MoFo in 2018. Two women have accused Fairfax of sexual assault more than 15 years ago. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Former LinkedIn senior vice president Mike Gamson’s decision to take a job as CEO of e-discovery company Relativity is a standout example of a mainstream tech executive jumping into the legal tech sector, lured by its growth and potential. Gamson said he “wouldn’t be surprised at all” to see other leaders from major mainstream tech companies make similar leaps to legal tech. (BLAW via BLB)

  • President Trump plans to nominate Lee Philip Rudofsky, a Walmart executive and former Kirkland & Ellis attorney, to a district judgeship in Arkansas, the White House announced. (BLAW via BLB)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • The number of U.S. law firms that say they require associates to sign forced arbitration agreements in their employment contracts is down sharply since last year’s student-led pressure campaigns to end the practice, according to a Harvard Law School survey. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Michael Best said intellectual property litigation partner Marshall Schmitt was appointed the 116th president of the Rotary Club of Chicago. (

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is adding private equity specialist Sarah Stasny from Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in its corporate department in New York. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Kirkland also lost executive compensation partner Andy Barton, who left to join Goodwin’s ERISA and executive compensation practice as a partner in New York. (

  • Former General Electric Co. in-house leader Victoria Lazar joined aviation services company Bristow Group Inc. as general counsel, vice president and corporate secretary. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman hired Willkie Farr & Gallagher corporate partner Jon Lyman, who is moving from New York to Florida to help his new firm expand in Miami’s growing corporate market. (American Lawyer)

  • Withers hired former Venable tax counsel Bryan H. Kelly as a partner in L.A. According to his LinkedIn, Kelly was previously at Ernst & Young and O’Melveny & Myers. (

  • Commercial insurance in-house veteran Jose Ramon Gonzalez joined CNA Financial Corp., one of the biggest U.S. commercial insurers, as executive VP and general counsel. He replaces Scott Louis Weber, who left the company to join DLA Piper as a partner in June. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati got back corporate and securities partner Richard Blake from Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, the Silicon Valley rival he left for six year ago. (The Recorder)

  • Connecticut-based Shipman & Goodwin said former Dechert real estate and finance lawyer Robert E. Grady is joining the firm as a partner in Hartford. (

  • Debevoise & Plimpton promoted two lawyers (one woman) to counsel and three attorneys (two women) to international counsel. (

  • Clark Hill got bankruptcy lawyer Kevin Morse from Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr as a member in the firm’s corporate restructuring & bankruptcy law unit in Chicago. (

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • Conduent Education Services LLC asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit by Navient Solutions LLC accusing it of leaving thousands of borrowers in the lurch when it abruptly exited the student loan servicing business. Conduent is represented by Fox Rothschild and Manatt Phelps & Phillips. Navient is represented by Abrams & Bayliss and Foley & Lardner. (BLAW)


  • Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas finally got back its electronic filing system after a six-week outage in which lawyers and other legal pros had to resort to paper filing and old-fashioned legwork. (Legal Intelligencer)

  • Intellectual property technology company CPA Global said it entered a partnership with Aurora North, which provides IP prosecution software, services, and consulting for law firms. (

Legal Education

  • Fordham Law School is offering an undergraduate legal program it says is aimed at improving the profession’s diversity and opportunity. (

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward at