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Covington Promotes 13 New Partners

October 3, 2016

WASHINGTON—Covington has promoted 13 lawyers to its partnership.

“Our new partners reflect the excellence, strengths, and diversity of the firm and will play important roles in the firm for decades to come and will help drive our key practices to even greater success in the years ahead,” said Timothy Hester, Covington’s chair. 

The new partners, who are based in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, are:

Sean Akins (Washington): Mr. Akins advises corporations, partnerships, international organizations, tax-exempt entities, and individuals on federal tax litigation and controversy matters. In addition to litigating in the Tax Court, the Court of Claims and district courts, he also provides strategic advice with respect to navigating the Internal Revenue Service administratively. He also assists clients in responding to Congressional tax investigations. Mr. Akins received his law degree from Cornell Law School and undergraduate degree from The George Washington University.

Erica Andersen (Washington): Ms. Andersen focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation and Hatch-Waxman advisory work. She has experience managing complex, multi-party litigations from complaint to trial and through appeal. Ms. Andersen has argued at numerous discovery, claim construction, and pre-trial hearings and conferences, as well as conducted direct and cross examinations at trial. Ms. Andersen is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law and received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

Elizabeth Canter (Washington): Ms. Canter is a member of the Communications & Media and Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice Groups. She advises clients on managing risks under federal and state data privacy and communications laws and on privacy-by-design strategies and third-party risk management. As part of her practice, she regularly represents clients in commercial transactions relating to content distribution and those involving personal data and cybersecurity risk. Ms. Canter earned her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and undergraduate degree from Duke University.

Heather Haberl (Washington): Ms. Haberl represents owners, developers, property managers, tax-exempt organizations, and other users in all aspects of real estate transactions, including the acquisition, disposition, financing, management, leasing and construction of office buildings, industrial parks, manufacturing facilities, special use facilities, and residential projects. Ms. Haberl received her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, master’s degree from Bryn Mawr College, and law degree from The George Washington University Law School.

Gretchen Hoff Varner (San Francisco): Ms. Hoff Varner represents companies in high-stakes insurance coverage litigation, where she has helped her clients to recover millions of dollars from their insurers for a wide range of losses and claims, including cyber breaches, property damage, products liability, and environmental claims. She led the Covington trial team that successfully challenged and overturned New York City’s racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk policy after a three-month trial in federal court. Ms. Hoff Varner also represents corporations and individuals in government investigations and regulatory enforcement proceedings. Ms. Hoff Varner earned her law degree from Yale Law School and undergraduate degree from Harvard University.

Brian Kelly (London): Mr. Kelly is a member of the Life Sciences group where he focuses on EU food, drug and healthcare regulatory law, public and administrative proceedings, internal investigations, European Union law, and product liability and safety. In addition to providing regulatory advice to clients across many sectors, Mr. Kelly is an experienced solicitor advocate and has handled cases from inception through trial, representing clients in administrative and enforcement proceedings before regulatory authorities and in the UK and EU courts. Mr. Kelly is a graduate of the College of Law, London and received his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of Sheffield. 

Aaron Lewis (Los Angeles): Mr. Lewis represents businesses and individuals in sensitive, high-stakes criminal, civil, and regulatory enforcement matters, including trials and internal investigations. Mr. Lewis previously served in the United States Department of Justice as Counsel to Attorney General Eric Holder and as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles. Mr. Lewis graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. 

Henry Liu (Washington): Mr. Liu, a member of the firm’s Litigation practice, specializes in defending financial institutions and other corporate clients in high stakes class actions involving antitrust and consumer protection claims. He has extensive experience representing clients who face claims in complex class action multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings. Mr. Liu received his law degree from Yale Law School and undergraduate degree from Emory University.

Jennifer Saperstein (Washington): Ms. Saperstein regularly advises clients on compliance issues arising under anti-corruption laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She has conducted risk and compliance program assessments and has developed anti-corruption compliance programs for clients in a variety of industries. She regularly assists companies with anti-corruption due diligence in connection with acquisitions, asset purchases, and joint ventures. Additionally, she helps corporations with efficient resolution of internal and government investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption. Ms. Saperstein is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and received her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

Jenna Wallace (New York): Ms. Wallace counsels clients on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation. Her practice covers: the design and administration of qualified retirement plans and welfare plans; the investment of ERISA-covered plan assets; the creation of executive compensation arrangements, including deferred compensation, equity and other incentive arrangements; the negotiation and writing of employment and restrictive covenant agreements; employee and benefits issues in corporate transactions; employee terminations; and international employment arrangements. Ms. Wallace received her law degree from Harvard Law School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

William Woolston (Washington): Mr. Woolston represents some of the nation’s largest employers in all aspects of their employee benefits and executive compensation strategies and arrangements. He is an adviser on qualified retirement plans, with a particular emphasis on “hybrid” defined benefit designs like cash balance and pension equity plans. He also advises on the design, implementation, and administration of executive compensation arrangements. In addition to his advisory practice, he represents the employee benefits and executive compensation interests of both buyers and sellers in corporate transactions. Mr. Woolston received his undergraduate degree from Southern Virginia College, M.B.A. from Salisbury University, and law degree from the College of William and Mary. 

Roger Zakheim (Washington): Mr. Zakheim practices in the firm’s Public Policy and Government Affairs, CFIUS, and Government Contracts Practice Groups. He provides advisory and advocacy support to clients facing policy and regulatory challenges in the aerospace, defense, and national security sectors. Mr. Zakheim previously served as General Counsel and Deputy Staff Director of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Mr. Zakheim earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge, and a law degree from New York University School of Law. 

David Zionts (Washington): Mr. Zionts’ practice focuses on litigation, in particular appellate litigation, as well as questions of international law that arise in both U.S. and international tribunals. Before joining the firm, he was a law clerk to Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and served as special advisor to the Legal Adviser at the Department of State. Mr. Zionts is a graduate of Harvard Law School and received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University. 


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