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February 22, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, February 22, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce that Timothy P. Stratford, who most recently served as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for China Affairs, has joined the firm as a partner. He will be resident in the firm’s Beijing office and will practice in the International Trade and Finance group. Mr. Stratford’s practice will focus on advising international clients doing business in China, as well as on assisting Chinese companies seeking to expand their businesses globally. Mr. Stratford will be the most senior former U.S. trade official to join the U.S. business community in China.
Mr. Stratford has lived and worked professionally in China for more than 25 years and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. During his tenure at USTR, Mr. Stratford worked closely with senior government officials in the U.S. and China in developing and implementing U.S.-China trade policy and addressing problems encountered by companies engaged in bilateral trade and investment. Prior to his work at USTR, Mr. Stratford served as General Counsel for General Motors’ China operations, where he was a member of its senior management team in China and oversaw the company’s legal and trade policy work in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Mr. Stratford also served previously as Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
“Tim’s extensive experience in the legal, government and private sectors in Asia, as well as the professional relationships he has established over the years, will be a tremendous asset to our clients wishing to enter or expand their business interests in China,” said Timothy Hester, chair of Covington’s management committee. “He also will be an important friend and advisor for our Chinese clients as they seek to globalize their businesses.”
James McGregor, author of the best-selling book, One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China, who has known Mr. Stratford for 20 years, added, "Tim is unique in that he is a savvy China lawyer, an astute China business executive and a unsurpassed China policy expert who is extremely influential and greatly respected and admired by Chinese and Americans alike. It will be great to have Tim back in Beijing."
Mr. Stratford commented, “I am excited to be joining Covington to assist international clients in navigating the complex business terrain in China and to work with Chinese companies as they expand internationally. I am particularly looking forward to living in Beijing once again and working with long-time friends and colleagues.”
Mr. Stratford joins an experienced team at Covington of former trade officials, including former Deputy Treasury Secretary Stu Eizenstat, former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative John Veroneau, and former Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Al Larson. His arrival in Beijing will continue the steady expansion of Covington’s Beijing office, which opened in mid-2008 and offers advice and counsel in foreign direct investment, intellectual property, trade law and policy, media and entertainment, food and drug, competition law, FCPA and government relations.
Mr. Stratford is a graduate of Harvard Law School and received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and Chinese from Brigham Young University.