Wiley Rein Wins Law360’s “Practice Groups of the Year” Honors for Insurance, International Trade

Monday, January 7, 2013 - 10:37

Wiley Rein’s prominent Insurance and International Trade Practices have again been named among the best in the nation by Law360. The publication’s “Practice Groups of the Year” list recognized each group’s notable accomplishments and significant litigation matters in 2012.

This is the third consecutive year that the International Trade Practice, chaired by Alan H. Price, won the Law360 honor. Wiley Rein is the only firm representing the petitioner in trade cases that was recognized for three years in a row.  The Insurance Practice, led by Daniel J. Standish, won for the second year in a row.

For each of the two practice areas, Wiley Rein was among five law firms selected by a team of Law360 editors who received almost 550 submissions from across the nation.

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Wiley Rein chairman Richard E. Wiley, International Telecommunications Group chair David A. Gross, Telecommunications Group chair R. Michael Senkowski and Appellate Group co-chair Helgi C. Walker have been selected by their clients and peers to be included on the 2013 International Who's Who of Regulatory Communications Lawyers list. The directory, a publication of the London-based Who’s Who Legal, selects its honorees through independent research featuring input from general counsel and private-sector attorneys.

Of the four Wiley Rein partners selected, the directory notes: Mr. Wiley has "significant experience in the field as a former chairman of the FCC”; Mr. Senkowski is “internationally recognized for his expertise”; Mr. Gross is “one of the leading experts on telecom issues” and Ms. Walker is noted as “an outstanding litigator” who is “vastly knowledgeable in regulatory matters involving common carrier, wireless, cable, internet and broadcast issues.”

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Wiley Rein has announced the election of five new partners – Jon W. Burd, Robert E. DeFrancesco III, Claire J. Evans, Brian H. Pandya and Christopher B. Weld – effective January 1, 2013. The firm has also promoted two associates – Jeremy J. Schofer and Andrew G. Woodson – to of counsel.

 “These promotions reflect the notable and hard-earned achievements of a group of outstanding lawyers,” said firm chairman Richard E. Wiley. “We congratulate them for these well-deserved accomplishments and applaud the dedication they have shown to their clients and the firm.”

Jon W. Burd, promoted from associate in the Government Contracts Practice, litigates bid protests before the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC) and federal agencies. He also conducts internal investigations involving allegations of contractor fraud or abuse in conjunction with U.S. Department of Justice and Inspector General subpoenas, suspension and debarment proceedings and employee whistleblower claims, and helps clients develop and maintain internal compliance programs. Mr. Burd previously served as a law clerk for the Honorable Lawrence J. Block of the COFC. He is a member of the COFC Bar Association’s board of governors and co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Section of Public Contract Law, Acquisition Reform & Emerging Issues Committee.

Robert E. DeFrancesco III, previously of counsel, is a member of the International Trade Practice who focuses on all aspects of trade remedy proceedings. He has particular expertise in U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and has appeared before the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A former law clerk at the ITC’s Office of General Counsel, Mr. DeFrancesco also serves as an assistant adjunct professor of international trade law and regulation at George Mason University School of Law.

Claire J. Evans joined the firm as an associate following her clerkship for the Honorable Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Evans, a member of the Communications, Appellate and Intellectual Property Practices, represents clients in connection with complex litigation and regulatory matters. She specializes in issues surrounding wireless technologies and new media, with an emphasis on copyright, patent, administrative law and constitutional concerns. Ms. Evans also served as a law clerk for the Honorable David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Honorable Michael Chertoff, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable Jerome B. Simandle, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Brian H. Pandya, formerly an associate, is a member of the Intellectual Property and Litigation Practices. Mr. Pandya represents clients in matters relating to the enforcement and procurement of intellectual property rights, with a particular focus on patent litigation and counseling. He litigates patent disputes involving technologies such as consumer electronics, software, telecommunications, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Mr. Pandya clerked for the Honorable Leonard Davis, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Christopher B. Weld, previously an associate, is a member of the International Trade Practice. Mr. Weld represents clients on trade law and policy matters, including antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, global trade policy and trade negotiations, export control regulations, trade sanctions regulations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He litigates trade disputes before the Commerce Department, the ITC, the CIT and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and represents clients before Congress and the executive branch on potential changes to U.S. trade laws, trade remedies and trade negotiations. Mr. Weld clerked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

Jeremy J. Schofer, previously an associate, is a member of the Communications and Corporate Practices who specializes in communication, government contract and corporate transactions. He has extensive experience negotiating competitive cable franchise agreements and representing clients publicly before local governments. Mr. Schofer was named to Legal Bisnow’s list of “30 Under 30” in 2008 for exceptional young talent.

Andrew G. Woodson, promoted from associate in the Election Law & Government Ethics and Litigation Practices, counsels political candidates, federal office holders, corporations, trade associations and other organizations in complying with state and federal campaign finance, ethics and lobbying laws. He defends and assists clients in U.S. Federal Election Commission enforcement proceedings, U.S. House Ethics Committee inquiries and grand jury investigations. Mr. Woodson also counsels candidates running for federal office at all stages of the electoral process and litigates in state and federal court to protect clients’ First Amendment rights.

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George R. Pitts, one of Washington, DC’s most prominent bankruptcy law practitioners, has joined Wiley Rein LLP as a partner in its Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring Practice. For more than 25 years, Mr. Pitts has handled complex insolvency cases and commercial litigation in courts throughout the United States. Over his distinguished career, he has represented numerous financial institutions in connection with a wide range of difficult matters, including multiple jury and bench trials.

Mr. Pitts comes to Wiley Rein from the Washington, DC office of Dickstein Shapiro, where he had been a partner since 1995. Handling bankruptcy cases spanning 10 states and the District of Columbia, he has represented debtors, financial institutions, financing companies, franchisors, creditors’ committees, trustees, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Resolution Trust Corporation. His other casework has involved receiverships, mechanics’ liens, foreclosures and issues related to the Uniform Commercial Code. His extensive litigation experience includes federal and state trials involving unfair competition claims, insurance, real estate, business torts, truth in lending and commercial and partnership disputes.