Covington and Burling
- A Law Firm long Involved with Foundations, Tobacco, Foods, Pharmaceuticals
In 1988 the recently founded Drug Policy Foundation became additionally connected in Washington, D.C. According to a letter dated March 1990 at pages 2-4 of the 1988-89 Drug Policy Foundation BIENNIAL REPORT by Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese:
While the Drug Policy Foundation has outstanding counsel in Kevin Zeese, the leading Washington law firm Covington and Burling accepted the Foundation as a pro bono publico [for the public good] client in regard to corporate and tax matters in 1988. We have received valuable advice from Marialuisa Gallozzi, the Covington and Burling associate assigned to take primary responsibility for advising the Foundation. Having Covington and Burling in our corner is a source of great comfort.”The firm today known as Covington and Burling is one of the most prominent, prestigious and connected international law firms in the world, specializing in many areas of government policy -- statutory and regulatory -- involving international trade, technologies, with a clientele list including about half of the Fortune 500 companies, with an established advisory reputation for abroad swath of the world’s economic activity. Its main areas of practice are TMT, intellectual property, corporate (including M&A, private equity, commercial, licensing, public and private placements), life sciences, litigation, tax, employment, and competition/international trade. Its’ current headquarters, the upper five floors of the building completed for the firm in 1981 at 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue directly diagonally across the street from the Benjamin Franklin statute at the Old Post Office Building, symbolizes its own prominence in 20th century U.S. politics, being roughly midway between the U.S. White House and the U.S. Capitol.
It was initially founded in 1919 by Judge James Harry Covington, a former U.S. Representative from the 4th District of Maryland (1909-1913) who was in office shortly after the enactment of the 1906 Food and Drugs Act, through the time leading to the 1914 Harrison Act, and who was appointed as a Judge by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. It became Covington and Burling with the addition of Chicago lawyer Edward Burling, who was married to Louise Peasley, a daughter of railroad tycoon James C. Peasley of the Burlington Railroad also president of the National State Bank (of whom another daughter Mathilda was married to Frederic A. Delano- uncle of later U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was on the original Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 1914), who moved to Washington, D.C. to become chief counsel of the Shipping Board during World War I, following U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's government’s nationalization of the railroads and seizing control of the shipping industry. (The early 1900s brought a sharp increase in federal law-making, not limited to the 1906 Food and Drug Act and the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.)
The founders of Covington & Burling foresaw the pervasive effects of the forthcoming era of federal legislation, regulation, and taxation. In 1919, they sought to create a firm in the nation's capital that could advise and represent corporations located anywhere in the nation or the world on a wide range of legal issues. Today our Washington office has over 300 lawyers representing clients according to the highest standards and fulfilling the firm's strong commitment to public service. Our lawyers are supported by nearly 100 paralegals and by information management specialists in the library, and in the litigation and practice support, and technology departments.
This firm’s oldest practices is its presence in food and drug law, with its web-site in 2005 listing 18 attorneys at its Washington, D.C. headquarters – 9 partners including two former Chief Counsels to the Food and Drug Administration (and including Marialuisa Gallozzi, ”assigned to take primary responsibility for advising the [Drug Policy] Foundation”), and 9 associates – who devote all or a major portion of their time to this practice, plus 6 additional lawyers at its offices in London and Brussels. According to the firm’s site at
Covington & Burling has a large and comprehensive food and drug law practice. The Firm’s food and drug practice began at the Firm’s founding in 1919 with representation of the National Canners Association (now the National Food Processors Association and still a client). From that time, the Firm’s practice has steadily expanded to include all types of food and drug work and work relating to scientific and technology research. Past and present clients for which the Firm serves as general counsel or principal outside counsel include the Animal Health Institute, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Bakers Association, American Forest & Paper Association, Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology, Corn Refiners Association, Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, Epilepsy Foundation of America, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Dairy Foods Association, National Food Laboratories, National Pharmaceutical Council, Consumer Healthcare Products Association and Toxicology Forum.
This work includes political organization on behalf of its clientèle industries. According to the firm’s site at http://www.cov.com/practices/oid6266/description.html
The Firm was actively involved on behalf of major clients in connection with each important statutory revision in the federal food and drug laws, including the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and its major amendments, including —
the Pesticide Amendments of 1954,
the Food Additives Amendment of 1958,
the Color Additive Amendments of 1960,
the Drug Amendments of 1962,
the Animal Drug Amendments of 1968,
the Medical Device Amendments of 1976,
the Orphan Drug Act,
the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984,
the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1988,
the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1988,
the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990,
the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990,
the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992,
the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994,
the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994,
the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996,
the FDA Export Reform and Enhancement Act of 1996,
the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, and
the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997.Our lawyers have advised or represented clients in a wide range of legislative matters at both the federal and state levels. We have prepared draft legislation and analyzed legislative proposals, including interaction with Congressional members and staff. We have prepared Congressional testimony and advised clients in connection with committee and subcommittee hearings. Our lawyers have advised clients on compliance with new statutory enactments, and represented trade association clients in rulemaking proceedings to implement new statutes. As the 104th Congress undertook to address the issues of general regulatory reform and more specifically FDA reform, firm lawyers played a major role in conjunction with food, drug and cosmetic industry trade associations and other clients in analyzing and drafting legislative reform proposals, and in preparing testimony for presentation at committee hearings.
Covington & Burling’s clientele amongst pharmaceutical and agriculture related firms includes:GlaxoSmithKline, Monsanto, Merck, Warner-Lambert (Pfizer), Eli Lilly, The Balli GroupUnmentioned in the firm’s web site is its long established activities as one of, if not unquestionably in every way the world’s largest, legal representative of such agricultural-commodity related industries in one way or another, of pharmaceutical and Tobacco (cigarette) interests.
Covington for decades has been a preeminent antitrust advisor, regularly providing U.S. and EU antitrust advice to Rx and OTC pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology firms around the world in connection with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, litigation, R&D collaborations, licensing transactions and other strategic transactions. We have been home to four former heads of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and two Chairmen of the ABA Antitrust Law Section - a unique distinction among law firms actively practicing in the antitrust area.
Covington & Burling also represents every major American tobacco company, including Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Lorillard Tobacco Co., Philip Morris Inc., and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, as well as the now-defunct industry trade association, the Tobacco Institute. The firm helped develop and coordinate the Whitecoat Project, an attempt to keep controversy alive regarding the dangers of passive smoking by hiring scientists to back up and attempt to give credibility to the tobacco industry's point of view that second-hand smoke is not a health risk.
According to internal tobacco industry documents analyzed in 1999 by Public Citizen and the Center for Justice and Democracy, Covington & Burling was a principle organizer and funding conduit for tort reform efforts on behalf of the tobacco industry. Covington & Burling has acted as a pipeline to direct money from its tobacco industry clients to tort reform groups in the states and across the country. For example, in 1995, the tobacco industry allocated nearly $5.5 million to the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), more than half of ATRA’s $10.2 million budget according to the Associated Press.8
A memo written by a Covington & Burling partner that year reveals the extent to which the law firm helped orchestrate the tobacco industry's tort reform agenda. Written to the industry’s "Tort Reform Policy Committee," the memo called for an expansion of efforts, including a "communications program … intended to enhance our ability to enact favorable legislation at both the federal and state level." The memo noted that "these media activities, to be effective, must not be linked to the tobacco industry."
Covington & Burling is also one of the largest contributors of pro bono work for a wide array of causes from Big Brothers/Sisters to medical marijuana (Therapeutic Cannabis), and has provided valuable legal assistance in a number of such cases, including that by that firm’s Partner Dr. Michael Michelson. This includes work for various tax exempt status Foundations dedicated to some issue or another, including the Drug Policy Foundation. Philanthropic and Grant-Making Organizations
The Firm’s lawyers are regularly sought out to advise on the creation, reorganization and funding of private foundations (including family and company foundations, as well as foundations affiliated with associations or other tax-exempt entities), supporting organizations and public charities and the use of charitable contributions to accomplish specific client goals. In addition, charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts, which require analysis of the federal and state income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax consequences of each structure, are used to achieve clients’ charitable, tax and family goals. Our clients include the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, the Packard Humanities Institute, Verizon Foundation and UTC Foundation. In one instance we represent affiliated grant-making organizations worth well in excess of $1 billion.Covington & Burling’s practice with foundations is a long established connection, with the name Frederic A. Delano (Edward Burling’s bother in law by marriage), appearing amongst the 1909 founders of the Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C. (with Daniel Coit Gilman, Cleveland H. Dodge, Andrew Dickson White, and Elihu Root, Darius Ogden Mills and William E. Morrow), and in 1921 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was incorporated by Frederic A. Delano, Robert S. Brookings, Elihu Root, who became its first president, John W. Davis, Dwight Morrow, James T. Shotwell. Frederic A. Delano’s name appears as the 1924 founder of the influential Washington D.C. planning group “Committee of 100.”
Drug Policy Foundation Advised by Covington & Burling Food, Drug and Insurance Attorney
See the Covington & Burling building and Ben Franklin