May 18, 2014 – 6:18 p.m.
Law Firms: Toby Moffett
By Kristin Coyner, CQ Staff
When Toby Moffett represented northwestern Connecticut in the House from 1975 to 1983, the Democrat devoted much of his energy to environmental and consumer protection issues. After leaving the House for an unsuccessful Senate bid, Moffett reinvented himself as a television journalist. Then, starting the early 1990s, he became a Washington lobbyist with a particular interest in Africa.
Now Moffett has left his government relations firm, the Moffett Group, and joined international law firm Mayer Brown, where he is senior adviser in the Washington office of the government and global trade group.
“Washington is not, at the moment, the center of political gravity for the world,” says Moffett, 69. “People are not spending their budgets here for good reason, because they see that things are not getting done.”
Mayer Brown has offices in Brazil, which work with businesses in Portuguese-speaking African countries, as well as offices in London and Paris, which work with clients in English- and French-speaking African countries. Moffett’s own firm represented Morocco’s government for more than a decade, as well as the governments of Kenya, Malawi and Congo. Moffett says he is “broadening the whole government affairs concept beyond Washington to take clients to Rabat or Nairobi or Kigali.”
Moffett co-founded the Connecticut Citizen Action Group with consumer activist Ralph Nader in 1970. Four years later, he was elected to the House as part the public backlash to the Watergate scandal. After his failed 1982 campaign against Republican Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., he unsuccessfully ran for office two more times: for governor of Connecticut in 1986 and again for the House in 1990.
A former U.S. attorney in Maryland, Tom DiBiagio, has joined the Washington office of Houston-based law firm Baker Botts. DiBiagio was a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge since 2005.
DiBiagio, 53, was an assistant U.S. attorney from 1991 to 2000 and U.S. attorney from 2001 to 2005. He now defends companies on white-collar, environmental and antitrust issues and advises clients on internal investigations and how to comply with government rules. He says Baker Botts has a bigger international presence than McKenna Long, which will allow his practice to grow.
“As companies grow internationally,” says DiBiagio, “they’re growing in markets with different business cultures, and compliance is catching up.”