Covington fortifies US cybersecurity practice with FTC and FBI hires
Terrell McSweeny and Trisha Anderson

Covington fortifies US cybersecurity practice with FTC and FBI hires

Both McSweeny and Anderson have joined as partners in the Washington, DC office after extensive careers in government.

Before assuming the role of commissioner in April 2014, McSweeny held senior positions in the White House, the Department of Justice and the US Senate.

Anderson began her career as an associate at Covington before spending more than a decade in roles at the Department of Justice, the Treasury Department and the FBI.

Speaking to GDR, McSweeny said that she is excited to take her 13 years of government experience into her new role. “There is a very active conversation in the United States and globally around the state of competition law and the state of data protection .... it is an area that is evolving quickly and I am hoping to help my clients navigate these waters.”

McSweeny said that her return to practice “made a lot of sense” at this point in her career, and that Covington would be a comfortable fit given the number of her former colleagues from the Department of Justice and other parts of the Obama administration who have also returned to practice at the firm, including 2017 recruits Stevan Bunnall and Beth Brinkman.

“Covington has a very strong antitrust and cybersecurity practice already, and it is very well-equipped to integrate people like me who are coming out of government and into private practice,” she added.

Anderson credited her experience at the FBI and DOJ for her insight into government policy making: “It allowed me the opportunity to be involved at a high level, advising key decision makers on all of the most significant national security issues … I gleaned insight into how those decisions are made and the considerations that factor into those decisions.”

“Having that sort of insight into the decision making process and into the substantive issues of concern to the government will help me to inform clients on a wide variety of matters, be it cybersecurity, law enforcement requests for data held by companies, encryption … a whole different range of matters,” she added.

She said a challenge facing private companies is the proliferation of different forms of data that they hold about individuals. The data collected can span from their location to their shopping habits: information which Anderson noted is “very revealing about an individual’s life.”

Anderson said that she had hoped to return to private practice when she left Covington 11 years ago to pursue a career in public service.

In an announcement published on Covington’s website on 4 September, national security practice leader Jim Garland said that the firm is thrilled that Anderson has returned to Covington.

The FTC and FBI did not respond to a request for comment.