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Covington & Burling has a new chief. Last week, the venerable Washington firm elected Timothy Hester to chairman in a consensus vote among the 168 partners. He’ll replace outgoing Chairman Stuart Stock on Jan. 1. Stock served as chairman for six years, during which time the firm’s gross revenue and net profits both more than doubled. When being re-elected for a term beginning in 2006, Stock told the partnership he would serve two years of the four-year term. Hester, 52, was a summer associate in 1981 and returned as an associate in 1983 after a judicial clerkship. He’s been a partner since 1990 and on the firm’s management committee for the past 10 years. An antitrust litigation lawyer, Hester says the firm’s focus will be on strengthening its core practices and offices. “We’re especially focusing on New York, San Francisco, and London,” Hester says. “Our basic view is that we’ve got offices in the right places. But there’s more to do in each of those offices — you might see something close to a doubling in New York and San Francisco in the coming years.” Covington is also set to open an office in Beijing within the next year. In Washington, Hester expects steady growth and a continued emphasis on the office’s strongest practices: regulatory work, white collar, and life sciences.
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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