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Former CT Atty General George Jepsen & Former Chief Deputy Atty General Perry Zinn Rowthorn Join Firm

Firm Launches State Attorneys General Practice

February 4, 2019

Shipman & Goodwin LLP today announced that Connecticut’s immediate past Attorney General George Jepsen and the state’s immediate past Chief Deputy Attorney General Perry Zinn Rowthorn have joined the firm as partners in its Hartford office.

The firm also announced the launch of a State Attorneys General Practice Group under the leadership of the two former state officials. The new practice will represent corporate clients in the full range of investigations and enforcement actions brought by state attorneys general throughout the country, including government inquiries, investigations, litigation, and settlement monitoring. The practice will represent businesses of all sizes and individuals in critical areas such as data privacy, consumer protection, antitrust and environmental regulation, among others. In addition to Jepsen and Rowthorn, the practice will tap a deep bench of seasoned Shipman & Goodwin attorneys experienced in privacy and data protection, antitrust, consumer protection, health care, financial services, environment and energy, state false claims acts, charities regulation, government investigations and preparing amicus briefs.

Jepsen acted as Connecticut's 24th Attorney General, serving 2 consecutive 4-year terms before choosing, in 2018, not to seek a third term. Rowthorn served in a variety of high-level roles in the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General over the last 19 years, including the last 5 years as chief deputy.

"For years I watched and admired how the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General under George and Perry took a leadership role on numerous bipartisan, statewide and multi-state issues confronting the nation, whether it was data privacy or mortgage fraud," said Alan E. Lieberman, Managing Partner of Shipman & Goodwin. “They are well-known and respected by attorneys general and their senior staff across the country as deeply knowledgeable and experienced problem solvers. We are thrilled to be able to tap their commitment, knowledge and stellar capabilities as we launch our State Attorneys General practice at Shipman. We will focus on delivering high-quality, efficient and economically competitive services for all matters and issues related to the work of attorneys general in states across the country.”

Jepsen played a leadership role as state attorney general on high-profile national investigations, including price-fixing in the generic drug industry, the largest mortgage-foreclosure settlement in U.S. history, abusive consumer account practices by a multinational financial services company and an unprecedented data breach by a credit-reporting agency. He was president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) from 2016-2017, where he organized a national summit on challenges in the health care market. In 2017, the organization recognized him with NAAG’s highest honor, the Kelley-Wyman Award, annually given to the attorney general who has done the most to achieve NAAG objectives.

“Perry and I are very proud of the leadership role the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General played at a time when Washington was paralyzed and the state Attorneys General stepped in to address major national issues," said Jepsen. "We believe Shipman & Goodwin is the best place for us to build this new practice. With Shipman's strong reputation for excellence in litigation and the capacity to support the investigations side of our work, we have the platform here to develop a truly high-quality and competitive national practice.”

While Deputy Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, Rowthorn oversaw and participated directly in high-profile privacy, consumer protection, antitrust, securities, environmental enforcement, charities regulation and false claims act investigations and litigation. He has personally litigated some of the office's highest-profile cases and negotiated a number of its most significant state and national settlements, recently serving as a lead negotiator for all states in the opioid multi-state settlement negotiations. Prior to his service as chief deputy, he was Associate Attorney General for Litigation, responsible for managing the office’s full portfolio of litigation and investigations. In 2018, he was awarded the NAAG Attorney General Senior Staff of the Year award.

“In the AG’s office, we took a decidedly practical approach to reach consensus and solve problems facing the citizens of Connecticut and the country,” said Rowthorn. “We look forward to applying the same approach and successful collaboration to resolving the most pressing challenges of Shipman & Goodwin’s current clients and those who seek us out for our experience and reputation for effective advocacy.”

In 2012, Jepsen helped negotiate a nationwide $26 billion federal-state settlement -- the largest in U.S. history at that time -- with the country’s 5 largest banks over mortgage foreclosure abuses. Under the direction of Jepsen and Rowthorn, the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General led an intensive, 20-state investigation into 2 financial rating agencies for allegedly misrepresenting their analyses of structured securities, resulting in a $1.375 billion federal-state settlement with Standard & Poor's in 2015 and a $863 million settlement with Moody's in 2016. In 2016, Connecticut co-led the high-profile investigation of Volkswagen for emissions standards fraud, resulting in a $10.5 billion settlement for consumers and states. In 2018, they spearheaded a $575 million multi-state settlement with a national bank to resolve allegations of unauthorized account opening and other consumer misconduct.

Jepsen and Rowthorn collaborated on the development of an innovative Privacy Task Force that became the Connecticut Privacy & Data Security Department, the first such department in a state attorney general’s office in the nation. This department subsequently led nationwide multi-state investigations into the nation’s largest data breaches, resulting in sizeable settlements and working with industry to establish best practices and standards to protect the data of citizens and businesses.

Jepsen and Rowthorn’s arrival follows closely on the heels of another prominent state official, Joette Katz, who joined the firm in mid-January. Katz is the immediate past Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Children and Families and a former Connecticut Supreme Court Associate Justice.

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