News & Politics

Lobster Guy? No, I’m the Fannie Mae Guy

Kevin M. Downey, a lawyer at Hogan & Hartson, knew something was up when he started getting phone calls from reporters asking about former Fannie Mae head Franklin Raines.

Downey, 43, doesn’t get a lot of press calls. Most of his clients are power companies, and few lawyers know more about things like the Public Utility Holding Company Act. Eventually he figured out he wasn’t the only local lawyer operating under the Kevin M. Downey name.

The more newsy Kevin M. Downey was representing Raines in the federal investigation into exorbitant bonuses and possible accounting fraud at Fannie Mae. This Downey, a 41-year-old Harvard law grad and partner at Williams & Connolly, engineered a settlement in April in which Raines’s insurer gave up $24.7 million to end the case but Raines admitted no wrongdoing.

While Raines’s Downey was spending the summer wrapping up details of the agreement, the other Downey was working on a pro bono case for a group of Maine lobstermen who were trying to win relief from federal regulations on the type of gear they can carry on their boats.

It’s the kind of case, Downey smilingly says, that required a lot of on-site research.

Although the two Kevin M. Downeys had never met, the rule about six degrees of separation applies. Brian P. Downey, brother of the W&C Kevin M. Downey, was a law-school classmate of the other Kevin M. Downey’s at Dickinson School of Law.

This article first appeared in the October 2008 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here

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