WASHINGTON, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the leading homeland security
law firm practices will now be headed by one of the founding members of the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Asa Hutchinson, the nation's first
Under Secretary of Border and Transportation Security, is joining
Washington-based Venable LLP. He will serve as chair of the firm's
established Homeland Security practice.
Mr. Hutchinson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary of
Homeland Security in January 2003, shortly after the department was created.
As one of the nation's top-ranking homeland security officials after Secretary
Tom Ridge, he was responsible for more than 110,000 federal employees housed
in such agencies as the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and
Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Law
Enforcement Training Center. Mr. Hutchinson was in charge of managing the
overall security of U.S. borders and transportation systems. He also set
immigration enforcement policies and developed and implemented visa security
"We are extraordinarily fortunate to be gaining a respected lawmaker and
government leader in Asa Hutchinson," said Benjamin Civiletti, former U.S.
Attorney General and Chair of Venable. "America's domestic security apparatus
has undergone a complete overhaul since September 11. Asa was not only present
at the creation of this vast new security infrastructure, he was one of its
chief architects and implementers."
Outgoing Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge echoed that view, calling Mr.
Hutchinson "an excellent choice to lead Venable's Homeland Security practice.
His dedication to fostering the public-private partnership will be a
tremendous asset to the firm's work in this vital area."
Venable's Homeland Security practice, one of the first of its kind, was
formed in 2002 shortly after the adoption of legislation creating the DHS.
With its deep bench of former government officials, experienced legislative
practitioners and top-tier Washington attorneys working across a broad
spectrum of practice areas, Venable has proven to be particularly well suited
for making its mark in the homeland security arena.
The firm's Homeland Security practice advises corporations, government
institutions, government contractors, and an emerging segment of start-up
companies born of the new security regulatory system. In September 2004, the
firm authored Homeland Security Deskbook: Private Sector Impacts of the
Defense Against Terrorism, the first legal treatise examining all aspects of
the nation's new homeland security regime. The 17-chapter deskbook is
published by LexisNexis Matthew Bender.
"Although I may be leaving the DHS, I remain fully committed to
strengthening domestic security on behalf of U.S. business, industry, and
state and local governments. I sought to partner with a law firm that had not
only shown a dedication to homeland issues, but also one that understands how
homeland security impacts business and industry," said Mr. Hutchinson.
"Venable exceeded those expectations. It was one of the first firms in the
country to create a full-fledged homeland security practice. Additionally, it
has tremendous all-around practice strengths, and is an indisputable D.C.
Mr. Hutchinson will split his time between Venable's Washington office and
Little Rock, Arkansas, where he will pursue additional personal and business
Among the many initiatives led by Mr. Hutchinson during his tenure as
Under Secretary are: modernizing border inspections through the successful
reorganization of Customs and Border Protection; advancing new border
technology, including development of the US-VISIT program . a historic
biometric entry-exit system for foreign visitors to the United States;
enhancing the security of transportation systems through new federal security
requirements for the aviation, rail and transit sectors; innovative technology
pilot programs for passenger and baggage screening; and more effective cargo
inspections, as well as increased information sharing among formerly
Prior to serving in DHS, Mr. Hutchinson led the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Agency for two years. He served three terms in the U.S. House of
Representatives, where he was a prominent member of the Judiciary and
Intelligence Committees. In 1982, President Reagan appointed Mr. Hutchinson
U.S. Attorney for Western Arkansas, making him the youngest U.S. Attorney in
the country. While in that post, he prosecuted the violent white supremacist
group The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord. Mr. Hutchinson helped
negotiate the surrender of Covenant leader James Ellison and prosecuted 13 of
the group's members.
In moving to Venable, Mr. Hutchinson joins a formidable list of former
high-ranking elected and appointed officials. In addition to Mr. Civiletti,
the firm's partnership includes the former U.S. Secretary of Transportation;
the former head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; several former
Assistant U.S. Attorneys, ex-SEC enforcement lawyers, and former FCC staff
members; senior bank regulators and Coast Guard officials; as well as elected
officials from both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
Mr. Hutchinson earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of
Law, Fayetteville, and his B.S. from Bob Jones University.
As one of America's top 100 law firms, Venable LLP has lawyers practicing
in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual
property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional,
governmental, nonprofit and individual clients from its base of operations in
and around Washington, D.C. For more, visit http://www.venable.com.
Contact: Allan Ripp /Joshua Spivak 212-721-7468 or 510-849-1663
Sarah Gudsnuk 202-344-8523 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Grabowski 202-344-8060 email@example.com
SOURCE Venable LLP