Covington will open a new office in Los Angeles on March 9. The office will be staffed by current firm lawyers and three new senior lawyers and will focus initially on insurance coverage, media and content distribution, patent litigation, public policy/government affairs and white collar defense.
“We believe there is a strong base of clients who can benefit from both our presence in Los Angeles and the expansion of some of our core practice offerings,” said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm’s management committee. “We believe what sets us apart is our ability to combine the tremendous strengths of our litigation, corporate and transactional practices with a deep knowledge of policy and policymakers, and one of the world’s leading regulatory practices. We think that combination could provide great value for clients in Southern California.”
Located in Century City, the new office will start out with a dozen firm lawyers, including partners Robyn Polashuk, Alan Blankenheimer and former California Congressman Howard Berman. The office will also include two new partners and one new special counsel:
René Siemens: A nationally recognized insurance recovery practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in the field, Mr. Siemens will lead the firm’s LA coverage practice. With a background that includes a broad array of coverage problems, he is nationally ranked in the top tier of policyholder lawyers in the PLC Cross-Border Insurance and Reinsurance Handbook and has been described by Chambers USA as “an encyclopedia of insurance law.” He is expected to join by March 16.
Dan Shallman: Mr. Shallman will lead the firm’s white collar defense practice in LA and further strengthen one of the leading investigations practices around the globe. Mr. Shallman has handled sensitive and complex government investigations for a range of corporate clients, senior corporate executives and elected officials. He has also handled high-stakes civil litigation, including a high-profile copyright infringement trial for author J.K. Rowling. He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California.
Aaron Lewis: Mr. Lewis returns to Covington after six years of service in the Department of Justice, where he was a Counsel to the Attorney General and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California.
Ms. Polashuk will lead the firm’s media and communications practice on the West Coast. Her practice focuses on the licensing and distribution of video content across a variety of platforms and business models—from cable, satellite and IPTV to broadband and mobile applications, video-on-demand and electronic sell-through.
Congressman Berman, currently based in the firm’s Washington office, will now have a presence in both LA and Washington and will continue to focus on U.S. and international regulatory, public policy and government affairs matters.
The patent litigation group in LA will be led by Mr. Blankenheimer, who has substantial experience litigating patent cases, other intellectual property matters and antitrust disputes for the semiconductor, computer hardware and software industries. The practice is part of a nationally recognized patent litigation practice that focuses on electronics and information technology, software and financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
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