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K Street Files: Ex-Rep. Berman Goes to Covington

Former Rep. Howard L. Berman, the California Democrat who lost a bitter and costly congressional race in November to fellow incumbent Rep. Brad Sherman, is joining the law and lobbying firm Covington & Burling, the firm will announce Thursday.

Berman will be in Covingtons global public policy and government affairs practice. The announcement marks the second high-profile hire for Covingtons team. Just last week, former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., announced that he has set up shop there after retiring from the Senate in January.

We could not imagine a more formidable and impressive pair of former members to join our team and to strengthen our capacity to support our clients interests, said Timothy Hester, who chairs Covingtons management committee.

Before losing to Sherman, Berman spent three decades in Congress. He is a former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the House Judiciary Committee. As a chairman of the panels subcommittee that deals with intellectual property rights, he was considered an expert on such matters and was a driving force behind a 2011 law to revise the nations patent and copyright laws.

This marks a strategic move for the firm, said Holly Fechner, vice chair of the firms public policy and government affairs practice, in a statement. Representative Berman is respected on both sides of the aisle for his keen insights and his creative approach to tackling thorny legislative issues. We expect him to generate significant interest among international clients as well as a wide swath of U.S. companies.

Berman, who earned a law degree from the University of California Los Angeles, will be based in the firms Washington, D.C. office, whose other former government officials include one-time Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Stu Eizenstat, a former ambassador to the European Union.

I am delighted to be joining a firm that is building on its strengths and is committed to providing its clients a premier public policy and government affairs capability, Berman said in the statement. I look forward to providing advice to Covingtons clients in the United States and around the globe.

Kyl noted that the moves amount to a great opportunity for both of us to be part of one of the best public policy and government affairs practices in the country.

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