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March 14, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC, March 14, 2013 — Congressman Howard Berman, a widely respected leader in the U.S. Congress, is joining Covington & Burling’s global public policy and government affairs practice.
The addition of Rep. Berman, the former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, comes a week after Sen. Jon Kyl joined Covington’s public policy and government affairs practice. Sen. Kyl was the second most senior Republican in the U.S. Senate when he retired earlier this year.
The former lawmakers are expected to play a key role in strengthening Covington’s global public policy and government affairs practice, which has been ranked among the top five law and lobby firms by the National Journal for the last several years. Covington’s public policy lawyers advise companies on a wide range of government policies in Washington, Brussels and around the world.
Rep. Berman and Sen. Kyl are known for their extensive knowledge of foreign affairs and domestic policy issues, including tax policy, intellectual property, health care, defense and immigration. Their arrival comes just months after Covington tapped Dan Bryant, former senior vice president of global public policy and government affairs at PepsiCo, to lead its public policy practice in Washington and Brussels.
“We could not imagine a more formidable and impressive pair of former members to join our team and to strengthen our capacity to support our clients’ interests,” said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm’s management committee.
First elected to Congress in 1982, Rep. Berman became known as one of Capitol Hill’s preeminent deal-makers. National Journal recently described him as “one of the most creative members of the House and one of the most clear-sighted operators in American politics.”
As a long-time senior member and leader on the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Berman chaired the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the court, Internet and intellectual property, where he successfully led efforts resulting in major changes to patent law and a range of intellectual property laws affecting the entertainment and high-tech industries.
“Congressman Berman is one of those special members of Congress who is widely respected for his principled leadership and widely liked because of his decency and warmth,” Mr. Bryant said. “We are thrilled to have a such an accomplished person joining Senator Kyl and the rest of our team.”
Holly Fechner, vice chair of the firm’s public policy and government affairs practice said, “This marks a strategic move for the firm. Representative Berman is respected on both sides of the aisle for his keen insights and his creative approach to tackling thorny legislative issues. We expect him to generate significant interest among international clients as well as a wide swath of U.S. companies.”
The congressman will be resident in the D.C. office of the firm and work on the global public policy group alongside a growing team that includes: former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; John Dugan, the former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency; Stu Eizenstat, who served in three American presidential administrations in roles that included ambassador to the EU; and former Ambassador John Veroneau, who served as deputy U.S. Trade Representative. In Brussels, he will work with a team that includes Paul Adamson, a leader in European public affairs; former Ambassador Jean De Ruyt, who served as Belgium’s permanent representative to the European Union; and Wim van Velzen, who served for a decade in the European Parliament.
Rep. Berman earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles. Immediately following his graduation from law school, he had a fellowship in the California Assembly, sparking an interest in becoming a legislator. The congressman was elected to the Assembly at the age of 31 and in his first term, he was selected as Assembly Majority Leader. At the time, he was the youngest person to have that honor.
Representative Berman said, “I am delighted to be joining a firm that is building on its strengths and is committed to providing its clients a premier public policy and government affairs capability. I look forward to providing advice to Covington’s clients in the United States and around the globe.”
Senator Kyl said, “Representative Berman and I come from different chambers and different parties, but we are both committed to building bipartisan consensus to get things done. I look forward to doing that together for Covington’s clients. This is a great opportunity for both of us to be part of one of the best public policy and government affairs practices in the country.”