In November, Gregory Craig announced that he was leaving the White House for private practice. President Obama’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, was named as the new White House counsel.
In his resignation letter, Craig said that he would return to private practice “as of January 3, 2010.” At the time, we speculated that he might return to Williams & Connolly, the firm that had employed him since law school graduation. But today, W&C made it known to its associates that Craig would not be returning as a partner there.
Instead, he’ll be going to Skadden Arps. From an email sent out by Williams & Connolly senior partner Brendan Sullivan:
Greg Craig will not return to W&C as a litigator. Instead he has been invited to join Skadden to head a group which will focus on advising clients in need of public policy analysis.
Full email after the jump.
Update: Also after the jump, WSJ Law Blog sheds light on why Craig chose Skadden.
Here’s the full email:
From: Meadows, Rhonda On Behalf Of Sullivan, Brendan
Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 1:21 PM
Subject: Greg Craig
Greg Craig will not return to W&C as a litigator. Instead he has been invited to join Skadden to head a group which will focus on advising clients in need of public policy analysis. He believes that this opportunity, late in his career, will be an interesting chapter using the knowledge and skills developed as a congressional aide to Senator Kennedy, a State Department official under President Clinton and as White House Counsel for President Obama.
Be assured that Greg will always be a beloved member of the W&C family. He has made great contributions to our development over his nearly 30 years of service. And, he remains close friends with many of us who will remain here on the “front-line” of litigation.
We wish him well!
In other words, W&C — a firm that prides itself for being the “Green Berets of high-stakes litigation” — wishes Craig luck in the back room at Skadden?
Update: WSJ Law Blog’s Ashby Jones interviewed Craig about why he opted not to rejoin the litigation Green Berets. Here’s what drew him to Skadden:
What, exactly, did he like? It’s size and breadth. “Look, I love Williams & Connolly,” he said. “Those lawyers will always be family to me. But they’ve decided to stay a Washington firm and have decided to stay focused on litigation. All that makes sense. It’s one of the best litigation firms around.”
That said, Craig wants to go big. Global. “I was looking for something bigger in scope, and Skadden’s got that,” he added. “It’s scope is huge. It’s got tax, M&A, regulatory, energy. It’s in China and other parts of Asia and all over the world. That appealed to me.”
The U.S. is so last century.
Why Greg Craig Chose Skadden Over Williams & Connolly [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Musical Chairs: Greg Craig Out as White House Counsel, Bob Bauer In