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Hogan Lands Former DC Attorney General

 |  January 17, 2023

Hogan Lovells has landed Karl Racine, the former top lawyer for the US capital city, as the firm launches what Racine said will be one of the premier state attorneys general practices in the country.

Racine said he chose Hogan from among about 10 firms vying for his services because of its strong corporate client base and also because of leader Miguel Zaldivar’s vision for long-term growth.

“We look to become the law firm companies come to” when they have pressing state attorney general-related matters, Racine said in an interview.

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Racine, who was previously managing partner at Venable, spent eight years as Washington DC’s attorney general before his former Venable colleague Brian Schwalb took over Jan. 2. Racine spoke with Crowell & Moring and some plaintiffs firms before landing at Hogan Lovells, he said.

Hogan Lovells formed from the 2010 merger of London-based Lovells with Hogan & Hartson, one of the oldest Big Law firms headquartered in DC. The firm earned just over $2.6 billion in gross revenues in 2021, making it the ninth largest firm in the country, according to The American Lawyer.

Racine’s hiring “further deepens and reinforces Hogan’s connections in Washington,” said Dan Binstock, a Washington-based legal recruiter. “For a firm looking to build a state AG practice, this is an outstanding get.”

State AG practices have become important because they tap into a range of client matters. Racine as a litigation partner in Washington will represent clients on issues including antitrust, labor and employment, food and drug safety, and government investigations, Zaldivar said in a statement.

Hogan intends to differentiate itself among state AG practices by focusing directly on state-level investigations, inquiries and litigation involving top corporations, Racine said. He plans to grow the practice by tapping into a list of current and former state attorney general lawyers, he said.