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Covington Promotes Its Most Diverse Partner Class Ever

October 1, 2019

WASHINGTON—Covington has promoted to its partnership 14 lawyers based in eight different offices, including nine women and six lawyers of ethnically diverse backgrounds.


“Our new partners are exceptionally talented lawyers from a wide range of the firm’s offices and most important practices, and they are extremely well-positioned to carry the firm forward,” said Timothy Hester, Covington’s Chair. “The diversity of this new class reflects the tremendous progress we have made as a law firm in building a strong pipeline of women and ethnically diverse lawyers. Diversity makes our law firm stronger, and is fundamental to whom we are as a firm and to our long-term success.”


The new partners, who are based in Beijing, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Shanghai, and Washington, are:


Stephanie Bignon (Washington): Ms. Bignon represents public and private companies and their boards on disclosure and securities compliance, corporate governance, capital markets and financing transactions, and other issues. Ms. Bignon has experience representing companies in a range of industries, including life sciences, technology and manufacturing. Ms. Bignon earned her law degree at the University of Maryland and her undergraduate degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Dustin Cho (Washington): Mr. Cho is a commercial litigator who focuses on representing corporate policyholders in coverage disputes with their insurers. He has pursued insurance recoveries for a wide range of liabilities, including mass torts, shareholder claims, government investigations, professional liability exposures, environmental remediation, employment claims, and antitrust claims. Mr. Cho is a graduate of Harvard Law School and received master's and undergraduate degrees from Yale University.


Sarah Cowlishaw (London): Ms. Cowlishaw's practice focuses on life sciences regulatory and commercial law, with particular focus on digital health solutions. She advises major national and multinational pharmaceutical companies, as well as biotechnology, diagnostic, medical device, and consumer product manufacturers on a wide range of regulatory, compliance, transactional and legislative matters. Her advice on general regulatory matters includes borderline determinations, adverse event and other reporting obligations, manufacturing controls, and labeling and promotion. On the commercial side, her experience covers the full range of agreements that span the product life-cycle in the life sciences sector.


Nikhil Gore (Washington): A member of the international arbitration and financial institutions practices, Mr. Gore represents sovereign states and corporations in public international law disputes, investor-state arbitrations, and commercial arbitrations. He also regularly represents U.S. financial institutions and the U.S. branches of foreign financial institutions in investigations and inquiries before the Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC, CFPB, and state regulators. Mr. Gore is a graduate of Harvard Law School and received an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.


Helen Hwang (Shanghai): Ms. Hwang's practice focuses on counseling clients, particularly in China and other jurisdictions in Asia, through complex and sensitive internal investigations, investigations by U.S. federal and state enforcement authorities, such as the DOJ and SEC, and related litigation involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption laws. She also advises clients from a wide range of industries on how to enhance and strengthen their internal anti-corruption compliance programs. She received her law degree from UCLA School of Law and undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University.


Derek Kirton (Dubai): Mr. Kirton's practice focuses on transactions under PPP and project finance frameworks in the infrastructure, power and water, renewables, oil and gas, and petrochemicals sectors in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.  Many of the projects on which he has advised are pathfinder transactions that have set a standard for future transactions in the region, including the Dammam ISTP project in Saudi Arabia, the Dubai Waste Management Centre project in Dubai, the Jazan Air Separation Unit project in Saudi Arabia, and the Az-Zour North Phase I IWPP, Az-Zour North Phase II IWPP and Al Khairan IWPP projects in Kuwait.


Yan Luo (Beijing): Ms. Luo advises clients on a broad range of regulatory matters in connection with data privacy and cybersecurity, antitrust and competition, as well as international trade laws in the United States, EU, and China. She has significant experience assisting multinational companies navigate the rapidly evolving Chinese cybersecurity and data privacy rules, and her work includes both compliance advice on strategic issues such as data localization and cross border data transfer, as well as data protection advice in transactions. She also advises Chinese technology companies on global data governance issues and on compliance matters abroad.


Ali Mojibi (Los Angeles): Mr. Mojibi is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex commercial and intellectual property litigation. He has appeared as trial counsel in state and federal courts and represented clients from the medical device, pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, energy, fashion, and food industries. Mr. Mojibi is a graduate of Loyola Law School and earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Kate Mitchell-Tombras (Washington): Ms. Mitchell-Tombras represents clients in complex antitrust and commercial legal matters, including litigation, government investigations, and mergers and acquisitions. She also advises clients on competition issues, such as antitrust compliance, internal investigations, and responding to Second Requests. Prior to joining Covington, Ms. Mitchell-Tombras was a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from Duke University.


Megan Rodgers (Palo Alto): Ms. Rodgers is a litigator who specializes in defending clients in complex and high-stakes commercial disputes, mass tort cases, and class actions in state and federal court. As a member of multiple trial teams, she has experience arguing dispositive motions, preparing expert and fact witnesses for deposition and trial, taking and defending depositions, and developing case strategy. Ms. Rodgers is a graduate of University of Michigan Law School and earned her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College.


Neema Sahni (Los Angeles): Ms. Sahni is a litigator with deep knowledge of the legal issues facing clients in the sports, media, and entertainment industries. She handles a wide variety of commercial matters at the trial and appellate levels and also maintains a counseling and advisory practice, assisting sports teams and leagues, television networks, and film studios assess and mitigate their litigation risk in the context of high-stakes business transactions. Ms. Sahni is a graduate of Harvard Law School and earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University.


Kayleigh Scalzo (Washington): Ms. Scalzo represents government contractors in a broad array of high-stakes litigation matters with the government and other private parties. She litigates bid protests at the Government Accountability Office, Court of Federal Claims, state courts, and before federal and state agencies. Ms. Scalzo also litigates Administrative Procedure Act cases and other civil matters in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts. She earned her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and her A.B. from Brown University.


Eric Sandberg-Zakian (Washington): Mr. Sandberg-Zakian represents clients in criminal cases, civil enforcement actions, and internal investigations involving national security and international trade.  He regularly handles voluntary disclosures to the agencies that administer U.S. economic sanctions and export controls, and he specializes in parallel investigations by regulatory enforcement agencies and criminal prosecutors.  Mr. Sandberg-Zakian earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and B.A. from Yale University.


Erin Thomas (New York): Ms. Thomas advises clients in complex international disputes, serving as counsel in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, as well as litigation in aid of arbitration. Her practice covers a range of geographic regions, with a particular focus on construction, infrastructure, and natural resource disputes. Ms. Thomas earned her law degree at Harvard Law School, a master’s degree from Cambridge University, and an undergraduate degree from The University of Chicago.

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