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Covington & Burling Expands White-Collar Defense Practice to West Coast

March 18, 2002

March 18, 2002 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The international law firm Covington & Burling launches its West Coast white-collar criminal defense practice with the addition of John M. Potter as a partner in its San Francisco office. Mr. Potter held numerous supervisory positions in the United States Attorney’s office, including service as Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division, Chairman of the Southern California Defense Procurement Fraud Task Force and Election Crimes Coordinator. Most recently with Hogan & Hartson in Los Angeles, Mr. Potter also has a thriving civil litigation practice. “Covington & Burling’s strength in white-collar criminal defense is well recognized on the East Coast. John’s addition is an opportunity to supplement our West Coast client offerings and tap directly into the deep well of talent already housed in our D.C. and New York offices. The firm’s expertise in this area has already proved to benefit our life sciences clients, who draw on our local transactional litigation and intellectual property expertise and unsurpassed East Coast regulatory capabilities,” said Jim Snipes, managing partner of Covington & Burling San Francisco. “John’s tremendous experience at the federal level makes him an ideal fit with our superb, national white-collar defense team, and his top-flight civil litigation skills are an excellent complement to our San Francisco office.”

Covington & Burling’s white-collar criminal defense practice has defended corporations and individuals before the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in cases ranging from insider trading to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and from trade secrets to campaign finance. Among the many prominent attorneys practicing in this area are Lanny Breuer, who formerly served as Special Counsel to President Clinton; Bruce Baird, who oversaw the prosecution of Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert while he headed the Securities Fraud Division of the United States Attorney’s Office; Matthew Fishbein, formerly Chief Assistant United States Attorney; Eric Holder, the former Deputy Attorney General; and Aaron Marcu, previously the Chief of the Appellate Section of the United States Attorney’s Office.

With more than 16 years of litigation experience, Mr. Potter’s practice is focused on white-collar criminal defense, complex civil litigation and corporate investigations. He has successfully defended corporations, officers, directors, and employees in state and federal courts against civil and criminal allegations involving the False Claims Act, government contract fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, environmental crimes, money laundering, customs fraud, and public corruption. Most recently, Mr. Potter opened the Los Angeles office of Hogan & Hartson (1997 – 2002), where he defended a broad spectrum of civil litigation cases and white-collar matters.

“I was attracted to Covington & Burling because of the firm’s well earned reputation for producing legal work of the highest quality. I am particularly excited to have the opportunity to work within the white collar group and, I believe, with some of the best defense lawyers in the country,” said Mr. Potter.

Mr. Potter received professional commendations from the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Defense, and the United States Customs Service. Among these is a Director’s Award, presented by the Attorney General of the United States. Following his tenure with the Department of Justice, Potter provided consultation to the Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria concerning reforms to the legal system. Potter earned his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center (1986), and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University (1983).

For more information, please contact James C. Snipes, JSnipes@cov.com, 415.591.7071 or Noël Decker, ndecker@cov.com, 202.662.6361.

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