Arnold & Porter hires two top US government lawyers

Arnold & Porter is bolstering its Washington office after raiding the US government for two leading lawyers.

Joel Gross is joining the firm from the Department of Justice (DoJ), where he was section chief of the environmental enforcement section in the environment and natural resources division.

Also joining in an of counsel role is Rosalind Allen, who has been with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the past 15 years. For the last 18 months she was director of legal analysis in the FCC's Office of Plans and Policy.

Prior to her latest role at the commission Allen worked as deputy chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and chief of the commercial wireless division.

Gross initially joined the government department as an environmental litigator in the late 1980s after training at a New York firm. He took the role of section chief in 1995 and ran a team of 160 lawyers, the largest group of enforcement practitioners in the DoJ.

His role at 194-partner Arnold & Porter will be to advise on complex federal environmental issues including on statutes such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

Head of the environmental practice group Thomas Milch says: “I have worked in this field for the last 20 years and have occasionally been litigated against by Joel and have also occasionally taught with him. So when I heard that he wanted to enter private practice I introduced him to the firm.”

It is understood that despite his long career as a government lawyer, Gross wanted “a new challenge” and wanted to move to a firm.

His recruitment as a partner brings the Washington office's number of environmental lawyers up to 14, seven of whom are partners.

Nationally, the firm has a 27-strong environment group based in Washington, New York and Los Angeles. It mainly provides advice on corporate environmental issues as well as litigation.

Allen will join the telecommunications practice group and will provide regulatory advice.