Where is Washington super-lawyer Donald Verrilli headed?
News emerged on Thursday that the U.S. solicitor general credited for saving Obamacare is resigning. While his accomplishments in that role have been well-documented in the mainstream press , we wanted the Big Law angle: which corporate law firm has the best shot at recruiting him?
One source who knows Verrilli personally but declined to speak publicly said that he has yet to make up his mind about future plans.
It makes sense, as Verrilli still hasn’t left his post and there are ethical rules that bar him from finding a law firm job while he’s still Solicitor General.
In the past, solicitors general have taken some time off and taught at law school before joining private practice, according to Willy Jay, a former assistant to the Solicitor General, at Goodwin Procter.
“He can’t appear before his old office for two years,” explained Jay. “And he can’t work on any cases pending under his supervision — those are the two main things.”
Jay said that Verrilli would be considered a coup for many large law firms: “Even a firm that might have thought yesterday that it wasn’t in the market for an appellate lawyer might well think twice before saying no to seeing Don Verrilli.”
According to Bloomberg News, Deputy Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn will take over for Verrilli in an acting capacity starting June 25.
When the time does come for him to leave, where would be the right fit for Verrilli? What options would he consider?
One of our sources who sits in the leadership of a large law firm suggested that he would likely consider his old law firm, Jenner & Block, where he once specialized in telecommunications, media, and First Amendment law.
Verrilli joined Jenner in 1988 as an associate, became partner and worked at the firm until January 2009, at which time he left to become the associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department.
In 2007, he represented Viacom in a lawsuit against YouTube, alleging that the video-sharing site had engaged in copyright infringement by allowing users to download videos owned by Viacom without permission.
Verrilli did not respond to a request for comment, and neither did a couple of leaders at Jenner & Block: Terry Truax, managing partner, and Tom Perrelli, a heavyweight in the firm’s white collar defense practice in Washington.
Let us know if you have any information about Verrilli’s next move at BigLawBusiness@bna.com
Perhaps one of Verrilli’s greatest accomplishments came in 2012 when Bloomberg Law published its Top 10 Legal Icons with the Greatest Mustaches.