Lanny Breuer, who served as the head of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division in the aftermath of the financial crisis, has joined Covington & Burling as vice chair. This is Breuer’s third stint with the firm, and according to Covington, he will practice white-collar defense, as well as work the firm’s senior leaders on strategic management and international growth.

Because of his recent work as head of the Criminal Division at the DOJ, Breuer is barred from appearing before the DOJ on a client’s behalf for two years. But Breuer did tell the Wall Street Journal Law Blog that he wouldn’t hesitate to represent a major bank in a criminal investigation.

“Certainly, if I’m not ethically barred,” he said. “I would certainly represent clients and anticipate representing clients in all different sectors, and I think that’s the majesty of our system.”

Breuer first joined Covington in 1989 and worked in the firm’s white-collar practice until 1997. He left to work as President Bill Clinton’s Special Counsel for two years, and returned to Covington in 1999. He left again in 2009 to join the DOJ.

“We are extremely proud of Lanny’s outstanding and dedicated service to the nation, and we are delighted that he is returning to Covington,” Timothy Hester, chair of the Covington’s management committee, said in a statement. “Lanny is one of the finest and most talented advocates and counselors of his generation. We are excited about his return to private practice, and I look forward to working closely with Lanny in his new role as the firm’s Vice Chair in which he will work with our clients and colleagues on global and strategic business, litigation and compliance issues.”

This is Covington’s second high-profile hire this month. On March 5, it announced former Senator Jon Kyl was joining as senior counsel.

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