Covington & Burling, with its deep expertise with transactions, often finds itself involved in some of the biggest mergers and acquisitions, financing projects and professional sports deals. During the past 1 1/2 years, Covington has brokered deals for AstraZeneca PLC, Abbott Medical Optics Inc., Tribune Co., Potomac Electric Power Co. and Time Warner Cable Inc.

"We handle a lot of the company acquisitions, but we also do product acquisition and divestitures, and joint ventures," said Catherine Dargan, co-chairwoman of Covington's mergers and acquisitions practice. "We advise clients across a broad array of industries and have developed a depth in many sectors by coordinating closely with lawyers in our industry and regulatory groups."

Covington attorneys represented Abbott in its purchase of OptiMedica Corp. for $250 million in July. The acquisition gave Abbott a foothold in the laser cataract surgery market.

Covington partners Mace Rosenstein and Matthew DelNero, special counsel Eve Pogoriler and associate Kara Azocar served as regulatory counsel to Tribune Co. in its July 1, 2013, acquisition of Local TV Holdings LLC for $2.725 billion. In exchange, Tribune got 19 television stations in 16 markets.

In the sports arena, Covington is a major player. When Time Warner Cable entered into a joint venture with the Los Angeles Dodgers to form a regional sports network, the cable company was represented by partners Douglas Gibson and Benjamin Hoch, special counsel Scott Roades and associate J. Jason Davis. The broadcasts will start with the 2014 season.

Covington regularly handles transactions and other financial deals that involve professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. Covington mergers and acquisitions partner Bruce Wilson and Roades led the team last year that advised Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, in his purchase of the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) basketball team.

"I think it's fair to say, we have if not the leading, one of the leading sports practices," Gibson said. "We have a team approach here that we think gives us an advantage over the competition."