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Covington Expands Silicon Valley Presence with Three Partners from DC

August 9, 2010

REDWOOD SHORES, CA, August 9, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce that three partners from its Washington, D.C. office, Kurt Calia, Emily Henn, and Emily Leonard, have relocated to the Silicon Valley office. Their move will strengthen the link to the firm’s deep regulatory roots as well as further enhance the firm’s transactional and litigation capabilities in Silicon Valley. In bringing their national practices to the west coast, the three will provide support at closer range to the many life sciences, IP and technology, and financial services clients the firm has represented in California over the past decade.

Kurt Calia joins fellow IP partners Bob Haslam, Stan Young and Andrew Byrnes in the Silicon Valley office. His national and international practice in complex civil litigation, patent and trade secret litigation, intellectual property, life sciences, and patent prosecution focuses largely on the firm's high technology clients in a wide range of areas including pharmaceutical and biochemistry, agricultural biotechnology, biomedical devices, nanotechnology, genetics, mechanical devices, business methods, microprocessors, and software.

“We’re happy to welcome Kurt back to northern California,” said Rob Fram, co-chair of the firm’s intellectual property practice. “His representation of clients such as Monsanto, Maersk, and Puretech Ventures brings a dynamic mix of experience to our Bay-Area clients.”

Mr. Calia has significant trial experience, having recently appeared as patent trial counsel for a J&J subsidiary concerning an Alzheimer’s disease drug, and having previously participated in a series of intellectual property trials for Monsanto concerning genetically modified crops. He also has substantial experience in prosecuting and defending trade secrets cases, particularly arising in the context of complex litigation involving other intellectual property claims. Mr. Calia currently serves as the vice chair of the Trade Secrets Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

Emily Henn is a partner in Covington’s litigation practice group. Ms. Henn, who clerked for Justice O’Connor at the U.S. Supreme Court, has a broad-ranging trial, appellate, and arbitration practice.

“Emily’s class action experience in the financial sector greatly compliments our existing Bay Area practice,” said Gregg Levy, chair of Covington’s litigation group. “In the past six months, she has tried two cases in federal court, including a case in the Northern District of California for Wells Fargo. She will continue to represent Wells Fargo in various class actions, and will represent BP in insurance coverage matters arising out of the Gulf oil spill.”

Ms. Henn also represents clients in a broad range of industries in false advertising disputes and intellectual property disputes involving trade secrets and trademarks, and plans to expand her litigation practice in the life sciences and information technology fields.

Emily Leonard, vice-chair of Covington's Life Sciences Industry Group, specializes in transactions for life sciences clients. She has more than a decade of experience working on behalf of clients ranging from global pharmaceutical companies to early-stage and established biotechnology companies on transactions involving late-stage and commercialized products, cross-border transactions, and global licensing deals involving parties in Asia and Europe.

Ms. Leonard has represented Astellas in its global alliance with Medivation, and Gilead in joint venture transactions with BMS. She has also represented AstraZeneca, Biosynexus, King Pharmaceuticals, Medarex, Novartis Vaccines (formerly Chiron), UCB, and others on substantial transactions.

Jim Snipes, a San Francisco-based member of the firm’s management committee, commented: “Emily’s practice, with its focus on collaboration agreements and complex commercial transactions in the biopharma industry, is perfectly suited to the needs of established and emerging biotech companies in the Bay Area.”

“We’re happy to welcome Emily, Kurt and Emily to the Silicon Valley office,” said Stan Young, the office’s managing partner. “All three bring experiences and expertise particularly suited to the needs of the clients in this region.”

Mr. Calia, Ms. Henn and Ms. Leonard’s arrivals will increase Covington’s ranks to nearly 100 lawyers resident in California.

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