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January 6, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, January 6, 2011 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce that former Attorney General for the District of Columbia Peter Nickles has rejoined the firm as senior counsel. Mr. Nickles will provide strategic legal advice to clients on internal investigations, high-profile litigation and contested corporate transactions. He will be resident in Covington’s Washington office.
As attorney general, Mr. Nickles was responsible for defending the District against lawsuits, protecting its citizens through affirmative litigation and coordinating legal policy on compliance with court orders and transitions from judicial intervention. Prior to his tenure as attorney general, he served as general counsel and senior advisor to Mayor Adrian Fenty. “Peter was my go-to-guy on crisis issues facing the city,” Mr. Fenty said. “Whether the issue was schools, public safety, or commercial development, I could always rely on his wise counsel and judgment."
Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the District’s public schools, said Mr. Nickles played a crucial role in her effort to overhaul the troubled school system.
"For the last four years we have been committed to school reform in the nation's capital,” Ms. Rhee said. “Much has been achieved in improving our public school system. Peter was a critical supporter in executing this reform.”
Prior to joining the District government four years ago, Mr. Nickles handled a wide array of high-stakes cases at Covington, including major lawsuits involving antitrust, corporate control, insurance coverage, securities fraud, and toxic tort claims; jury and non-jury trials, as well as Supreme Court and other appellate arguments; and international arbitral proceedings.
Mr. Nickles served as a close adviser to a number of corporations, providing counsel on numerous strategic and business issues, often outside the litigation context. “We faced numerous issues related to the environmental legacy of the company's early operations,” said Mr. Richard J. Osborne, former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Asarco, the copper mining smelting and refining company. “Peter's expertise and judgment helped guide us through these difficult matters.”
Timothy Hester, chair of Covington’s management committee, praised Mr. Nickles for his ability to bridge the private and public sectors on behalf of clients.
“Peter’s unique and extensive private and governmental experience, together with his drive, poise and superb advocacy, make him ideally suited to be a strategic adviser on the most challenging and complex high-stakes disputes, crisis situations or investigatory matters,” Mr. Hester said. “We are delighted to have Peter back at the firm.”
Mr. Nickles is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.