Gretchen Hoff Varner

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Covington & Burling LLP
One Front Street
San Francisco, CA 94111-5356
Tel: 415.591.7056
Fax: 415.955.6556




  • Yale Law School, J.D., 2006
    • Yale Law Journal, Projects Editor
    • Yale Journal of International Law, Editor in Chief
  • Harvard University, A.B., 2000
    • magna cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Richard J. Sullivan, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2007-2008
  • Hon. Reena Raggi, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2006-2007

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New York

Gretchen Hoff Varner is a senior litigation associate in the San Francisco office.  Her practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, federal securities litigation, government investigations and enforcement matters, and internal investigations.  She also represents clients in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation, including antitrust, insurance coverage, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract claims.

Representative Matters

  • Representing Expedia in multiple federal antitrust class actions relating to hotel bookings.
  • Representing a major healthcare organization seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance coverage under its professional liability policies.
  • Achieved a highly favorable settlement for the New York Stock Exchange in a widely reported SEC action involving the exchange’s dissemination of market data.
  • Successfully enforced a multi-million dollar promissory note on behalf of an individual investor in parallel state and federal actions.
  • Represented director of public company in connection with an SEC investigation.
  • Represented individual defendant accused of criminal counterfeiting (E.D.N.Y.).
  • Represented individual defendant accused of insider trading in sentencing proceedings (S.D.N.Y.).

Previous Experience

  • The World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, Program Coordinator (2000-2003)

Pro Bono

  • Lead Covington trial counsel in Floyd v. City of New York (Southern District of New York), a landmark class action challenging the constitutionality of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies and practices under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • Representation of unaccompanied minors in application for asylum and defense of removal proceedings.
  • Represented Plaintiffs in Harris et al. v. Atlanta Independent School System, a class action lawsuit that successfully challenged the Atlanta Independent School System’s practice of placing tudents in privately-run, taxpayer-funded alternative schools.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Council

Publications and Speeches

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