Peter J. Covington Partner

A seasoned litigator with more than 30 years of experience, Peter Covington is the firm’s deputy managing partner for growth and strategic initiatives who spearheads the recruitment and integration of leading lawyers at McGuireWoods. Prestigious publications such as Chambers and Benchmark Litigation consistently recognize Peter for his skills handling bet-the-company litigation.

He also has been honored in The Best Lawyers in America nine years in a row and was named Charlotte “Lawyer of the Year” for securities litigation in 2016.

As a partner in the Business & Securities Litigation Department, Peter focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on securities and financial services matters. He represents parties in litigation of all types, including securities, lender liability, antitrust, business torts, shareholder litigation, insurance coverage disputes, and domestic and international arbitrations.

Peter’s many leadership roles with the firm include serving as vice chairman and a member of the Board of Partners and the Executive Committee. Peter was chairman and managing member of Helms Mulliss & Wicker from its creation in 2002 until its merger with McGuireWoods in 2008, and he was managing partner of Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore from 1997 to 2002.


Represented a major regional grocery store chain in merger litigation arising from its acquisition by a national grocery chain.

Represented a regional bank's special committee of the board in merger litigation and claims of conflict of interest arising from a proposed merger.

Represented a major financial institution in litigation arising from a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

Represented a major U.S. utility in an insurance coverage dispute related to a damaged power plant.

Represented a major financial services company in consolidated multidistrict securities fraud litigation arising from the collapse of an Italian food and dairy company.

Represented a national investment bank in consolidated securities fraud litigation in Oklahoma arising from the bankruptcy of a defaulted credit card collector.

Represented a top 10 insurance broker in sales practice investigations before various state regulators.

Defended a national insurance company in a consumer class action alleging improper sale of noncredit insurance products to small-loan customers.

Defended a national insurance company in a proxy fraud suit by a dissident shareholder group.

Defended a group of venture capital investors accused of securities fraud in the sale of shareholder interests.

Defended a national bank and senior officer against claims of improper trading practices in the bank’s proprietary account in violation of FASB and OCC regulations.

  • North Carolina

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Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Antitrust, Litigation - Banking and Finance, Litigation - Securities, Woodward/White, Inc., 2009-2022

Named to "North Carolina Super Lawyers," Business Litigation, Securities Litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2021

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Charlotte, Litigation - Antitrust, 2020, Litigation - Securities, 2016, 2018; The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc.

Named a Client Service "All-Star," BTI Consulting, 2018, 2019

AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Named to "Legal Elite,"Litigation, Business North Carolina, 2007, 2008, 2016

Selected for inclusion in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation, North Carolina, Chambers USA, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009

  • Tulane University, JD, cum laude, member and associate editor, Tulane Law Review, 1980
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA, 1975

Board of Trustees, The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Past Board Member, Mecklenburg County Bar Foundation

Past Chair, Diversity Committee, Mecklenburg County Bar Association

Board of Advisors, Charlotte Chamber

Member of the Board of Trustees, The Asheville School, Asheville, North Carolina

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