Betsy A. Miller and Victoria S. Nugent will co-chair Cohen Milstein's public client practice, which focuses on representing state attorneys general and other government entities in litigation and investigations. Joseph Sellers, a name partner and chairman of Cohen Milstein's executive committee, touted the two lawyers as "highly respected and thoughtful leaders" dedicated to achieving top results.
"They are driven by a commitment to look at each case as an opportunity to improve the lives of vulnerable consumers through results that can deliver immediate and long-lasting impact," Sellers said.
Miller—who spent earlier parts of her career at Crowell & Moring and Jones Day, and as a counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee—said in an interview that she and Nugent were natural fits as co-chairs of the seven-lawyer public client group at Cohen Milstein. Miller also noted that she and Nugent asked for joint leadership of the practice because they value the collaboration that comes along with that arrangement.
Nugent and Miller both said they plan to approach the leadership roles with a heavy emphasis on staying attuned to the needs of their state AG and other government clients.
"Our job, first and foremost, is to listen to what the clients want … and to be able to engage in an ongoing conversation with them," said Miller. "We approach this as: Listen first, and then we figure out which pieces of our arsenal to deploy."
Recently, Miller has represented Mississippi in financial crisis-related probes of credit ratings agencies Moody's Corp. and Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. Those probes, which involved multiple state attorneys general and the federal Justice Department, resulted in a settlement in which Moody's paid $864 million to state and federal authorities in January, and another in which S&P paid a $1.375 billion settlement in 2015.
Nugent joined Cohen Milstein's public client group in 2011 after spending more than a decade in the firm's consumer protection practice, where she focused on telecommunications and investment services, interest sales practices and product safety litigation. Her public client work has included representing Nevada in litigation over allegedly deceptive mortgage lending practices in the state.
Currently, Nugent is representing several state AGs in investigations and litigation accusing for-profit nursing home operators of failing to provide basic care to elderly residents, according to Cohen Milstein. Nugent said she expects the firm's public client practice to have "an incredibly busy year."
"The group has a terrific track record and a big part of what we're trying to do is build on that," she said.
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