Washington Wrap is a weekly look at the biggest legal industry news and Big Law moves shaping the legal business in Washington, D.C. Send news tips and lateral moves to Ryan Lovelace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covington & Burling welcomed another executive branch alum this week, as law firms in Washington adjust to the new balance of power on Capitol Hill and the partial government shutdown continues.
Broderick Johnson, former assistant to President Barack Obama and cabinet secretary in Obama’s administration, joined the firm as senior of counsel from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Johnson said he was attracted to Covington’s reputation, depth and size of its public policy practice and its history of “understanding legislative, regulatory, and political decision-making.”
Johnson said he’s excited to be reuniting with Muftiah McCartin, of counsel and chair of Covington’s public policy group, and Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General and Covington partner, after working with them on Hill and in the Obama administration. He said he expects the new divided Congress will keep Covington busy with clients wrapped up in investigations and that he’ll be working with clients in the technology and telecommunications, competition and antitrust, and workforce development arenas as part of the firm’s public policy practice.
In addition to his work on Democratic presidential campaigns, Johnson was formerly vice president for government relations for AT&T and BellSouth Corp. Following the end of the Obama administration, he joined Bryan Cave as partner in March 2017.
It’s not just former Democratic government officials on the move lately. Johnson is joining Covington on the heels of former Arizona U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl’s return to the firm. And this week Raj Shah, former principal deputy press secretary in the Trump White House, joined D.C.’s Ballard Partners to launch Ballard Media Group. Ballard is a government relations firm concentrated in Florida with an expanding footprint in the nation’s capital.
Shah is joining Ballard as a partner fresh from helping to lead the White House’s strategy and communications efforts in support of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Companies, organizations, and industries today face increasing scrutiny from an unrelenting media landscape,” Shah said in a statement. “Our team, with years of proven results, will provide the strategic communications clients need to navigate these challenges and successfully deliver their message to the right audience.”
The newly formed Ballard Media Group styles itself as a “bipartisan, full service, multidisciplinary strategic communications division that brings together the talents of professionals with unrivaled real-world expertise.”
Joining Shah in forming Ballard Media Group is James “Jamie” Rubin, who joined the firm last year and was formerly assistant Secretary of State for public affairs during President Bill Clinton’s administration.
Law Firm Moves, News and Notes
Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca said this week it added Bill Frick, former majority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates. Frick will focus on government relations, starting a commercial litigation practice, and continuing his work on behalf of the Maryland business community.
Frick spent 18 years at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and was a member of the Maryland House from 2007 until the onset of 2019. He lost a Democratic primary election to be Montgomery County executive in June 2018 after dropping his bid to run for the U.S. Congress.
Speaking of Akin Gump, Gregory Guice left the firm to to join McGuireWoods Consulting as senior vice president and McGuireWoods as senior counsel.
Guice was previously senior counsel at Akin Gump, where he spent five years handling regulatory and legislative matters. He was director of the office of legislative affairs at the Federal Communications Commission from 2010 to 2013.
White & Case said this week it added Ida Raphaelson, a former senior U.S. Department of Justice official under former—and possibly future—U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
Raphaelson is a former Las Vegas Sands general counsel who is joining White & Case’s antitrust practice as a senior counsel after a short stay at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.
Kevin Anderson joined Duane Morris as a partner in the firm’s intellectual property practice group in Washington, D.C., after more than 17 years at Wiley Rein.
Anderson also brings a host of experience designing software and computer systems in the 1980s and 1990s before joining the legal industry.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan recruited Sandra Moser from Main Justice, where she was acting chief of the criminal division’s fraud section.
Moser will work from the firm’s Washington, D.C., office as co-head of the firm’s global white-collar practice and its crisis law and strategy group. She last worked outside government as an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia in 2006.
As its 10th anniversary approaches later this year, Buckley Sandler is making preparations for the next decade by removing “Sandler” from the firm’s name, reorganizing its management structure, and readying for an office move in D.C.
Andrew Sandler, a founding partner who left the firm last year, called the name change “appropriate.”
King & Spalding recruited Joel McElvain, former senior U.S. Department of Justice official who left the Trump administration after its decision not to defend a portion of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
McElvain spent more than 20 years at DOJ and said he began looking for a Big Law home a couple of months ago.
Linklaters said this week it added Jerome Roche as a partner in its financial regulation group in Washington, D.C.
Roche was most recently partner at Mayer Brown, and he was previously associate general counsel at TIAA-CREF; an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr; and an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Teresa Goody joined Baker Hostetler as partner from her eponymous business consulting firm and affiliated law group.
Goody will work in Baker Hostetler’s securities litigation practice in Washington. She was also previously an attorney in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s office of the general counsel.
The Judicial Crisis Network announced a $1.5 million nationally televised ad and digital ad campaign urging Senate Democrats to “stop the bullying” and confirm Trump’s judicial nominees, which prominently features Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s commentary.
The campaign’s first ad touts Republicans’ success at confirming judges in the Trump era, and prominently displays three members of the federal judiciary: U.S. Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Trump considered Barrett as a Supreme Court nominee before settling on Kavanaugh last year.