George J. Terwilliger III, a leading Washington lawyer who served in an array of top Justice Department posts, and two new partners are joining McGuireWoods, where Terwilliger will co-chair the firm’s white-collar practice.
Terwilliger comes to McGuireWoods’ Washington office from Morgan Lewis along with accomplished litigation partner Robert J. Bittman and government contracts, litigation and enforcement partner Todd R. Steggerda. Terwilliger co-chaired the White-collar Litigation and Government Investigations practice at Morgan Lewis.
The arrival of Terwilliger, Bittman and Steggerda at McGuireWoods represents a major addition to what already is ranked by respected and independent authorities among the nation’s elite white-collar criminal defense groups. Besides co-chairing the firm’s white-collar practice, Terwilliger will lead a new Strategic Risk and Crisis Management group that complements the firm’s Government, Regulatory and Criminal Investigations (GRCI) Department. Last month, the well-respected and widely read legal news service Law360 ranked McGuireWoods as a 2014 “Practice Group of the Year ” for its white-collar criminal defense work, one of only five firms to be so honored.
Terwilliger is among Washington’s most sought-after litigators. He has represented national and global financial, telecommunications, energy, healthcare and industrial corporations facing government investigations or in criminal and civil lawsuits. He has conducted internal inquiries and compliance assessments for corporations in more than 60 countries. He also has rich experience in political litigation, including leading George W. Bush’s legal team in the contentious Florida ballot recount that the Supreme Court ultimately decided in Bush’s favor, making him president. Among the prominent individuals he has represented are a U.S. attorney general, presidential counselors, members of Congress, media figures, top business executives and other private lawyers.
It’s also a homecoming for Terwilliger and Bittman, who were McGuireWoods partners in Washington from 1993 through 2000. Besides Morgan Lewis, both men also distinguished their international practices at White & Case.
Bittman, whose practice focuses on issues surrounding multinational corporations, particularly the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and False Claims Act cases, also has substantial federal prosecutorial experience. He was a top deputy to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater investigation.
Steggerda, a former Navy aviator, is a premier government contracts lawyer who will head McGuireWoods’ government contracts team and play a key role in the new Strategic Risk and Crisis Management group. He has more than 17 years’ experience, particularly in FCA litigation, and a deep understanding of the nation’s defense, security and enforcement sectors. He is widely respected for obtaining favorable outcomes in high-stakes and complex litigation, and has resolved claims, investigations, and other disputes in numerous foreign jurisdictions in the Middle East and Russia. He also served as chief counsel of Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“Attracting George Terwilliger, Bob Bittman and Todd Steggerda is a coup for any firm,” said Richard Cullen, chairman of the firm and a former U.S. attorney and Virginia attorney general who established the firm’s white-collar practice. “Their experience, connections and leadership will be a tremendous asset for our clients. We are delighted they are joining us to launch this important new practice.”
Terwilliger built a long and storied legacy as a federal prosecutor. President Ronald Reagan appointed him as U.S. attorney for Vermont. Under Reagan’s successor, President George H.W. Bush, he was deputy attorney general, the No. 2 official in the Justice Department, and briefly served as acting U.S. attorney general. Among the cases he personally prosecuted was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal in the early ‘90s in which negotiations he led produced a sweeping resolution to criminal and civil charges that affected more than two dozen parties worldwide.
Terwilliger earned his law degree from the Antioch School of Law in 1978 and is a 1973 graduate of Seton Hall University. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the 2nd, 4th and D.C. U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and U.S. Tax Court.
In private practice, Bittman has achieved enviable results for multinational clients in FCPA, FCA, antitrust and securities matters as well as defense contractor and healthcare fraud allegations, and money laundering and public corruption charges.
He earned his law degree in 1987 from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and is a 1984 University of Maryland graduate.
Steggerda is widely respected for securing favorable outcomes in high-stakes and complex litigation involving the federal government’s most formidable enforcers, including the Justice, Defense and State departments, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Small Business Administration, the General Services Administration and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. In addition to further strengthening the firm’s government contracts team, he adds depth to the GRCI practice’s defense, aerospace and national security sectors on government contract investigations and enforcement matters, and to the new Strategic Risk and Crisis Management group.
Steggerda earned his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1997 and earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Academy in 1987. In the Navy, he was an F-18 pilot and a flight instructor.
“McGuireWoods is respected throughout Washington and elsewhere for excellence, particularly with its white-collar work, and I am delighted to be coming aboard and leading such an important new initiative,” Terwilliger said. “We believe this will provide McGuireWoods’ clients powerful new advantages.”
John Adams, the chairman of McGuireWoods’ GRCI practice, said the addition of Terwilliger, Steggerda and Bittman and the establishment of the new Strategic Risk and Crisis Management team represent a game changer for McGuireWoods.
“This gives us an entirely new and important platform for serving clients on many levels, not only with excellent legal work but also with the very best government relations, advocacy and strategic communications professionals,” Adams said, referring to McGuireWoods Consulting, the firm’s public affairs arm, which is ranked in the Top 15 of the National Law Journal’s “The Influence 50,” an annual report of the top public affairs firms in Washington.
The team includes former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, a bet-the-company litigator in Cullen, former staff director of the Senate Finance Committee Russell W. Sullivan, high-profile corporate and securities litigator Anne Marie Whittemore, and Los Angeles partner Molly M. White, a former senior trial counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Several lawyers have held leadership positions in federal and state law enforcement agencies and other governmental bodies before joining the firm.
McGuireWoods LLP is a leading international law firm with nearly 1,000 lawyers in 20 offices in the United States and Europe. Its GRCI practice is recognized by Law360 as one of the top 20 U.S. firms with the most partners in the securities and white-collar categories. Four of the firm’s white-collar practitioners are ranked by Chambers USA in its 2014 guide.