WILMINGTON, Del., May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DLA Piper announced today that former Delaware Governor Michael Castle, who left office in January as the state's sole Congressman, has joined the firm's Government Affairs practice as a partner. Castle, a former deputy attorney general, state legislator, lieutenant governor, two-term governor and nine-term US Congressman from Delaware, will split his time between the firm's Wilmington, Washington, DC and New York offices. He will leverage his extensive legislative and legal experience to advise clients on financial services, international trade, energy, corporate, tax, labor, legislative, political, and health care matters.
"Throughout his public life, Congressman Castle has maintained a deep, abiding interest in financial services, health care and energy, and was one of the most respected members of the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives," said Thomas M. Boyd, co-chair of DLA Piper's Government Affairs group. "His reputation for integrity and substance is well known by anyone who has worked with him, whether in the corporate suites on Wall Street, the public policy corridors of Washington, DC, or the technology sectors on the West Coast. He is highly regarded as an experienced, thoughtful and respected Member who knows what he is talking about, and we welcome him to the DLA Piper team."
In his nine terms as Delaware's sole member in the House of Representatives, Castle played a key role in enacting many important federal laws. He was instrumental in helping to write and pass welfare reform, the Balanced Budget Act, child nutrition programs, and the No Child Left Behind Act, to name a few.
In Congress, Castle served on the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the banking industry as well as the securities and insurance industries, chairing the Subcommittee on Domestic and Monetary Policy. He also sat on the Capital Markets and Financial Institutions Subcommittee where he was charged with examining the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as well as legislation affecting the hedge fund industry. For six years, Congressman Castle was also a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
"Mike Castle is highly respected not just on Capitol Hill but all over the country and the world, and he has been a leading force behind key legislation in Delaware and nationally," added Governor James J. Blanchard, co-chair of DLA Piper's Government Affairs group, who served with Castle while both were governors. "In addition to his success as an elected official, he has many years of private practice experience, including running his own law firm. Mike understands inside and out the issues that matter to business and will be a great and immediate asset to our clients."
Strategic Growth in Delaware
Delaware is the state of incorporation for 63 percent of the Fortune 500 and half of all public companies. Because the fact of incorporation in Delaware creates jurisdiction over these companies, the Delaware Court of Chancery and Delaware Supreme Court are the leading courts in the country for resolving corporate disputes, Delaware's United States District Court is one of the leading jurisdictions for intellectual property litigation, and Delaware's US Bankruptcy Court now handles many of the largest corporate reorganizations in the United States.
Delaware is also home to many of DLA Piper's largest corporate clients, and last month DLA Piper established an office in Delaware with a group of 10 high-profile lawyers, including Restructuring partners Stuart M. Brown, Selinda A. Melnik and R. Craig Martin; Corporate and Litigation partner John L. Reed; and Litigation and Intellectual Property and Technology partner Denise Seastone Kraft.
Castle's addition, and his extensive state and federal legislative experience, by virtue of having been both a two-term Governor and a nine term Congressman, combined with his legal experience, unique understanding of issues faced by businesses, and long-standing relationships at the local and federal level, combine to further expand the offerings DLA Piper can now provide its vast array of clients, including those incorporated in Delaware or clients who are dealing with Delaware entities.
A Preeminent Government Affairs Capability
Castle joins DLA Piper's powerful Government Affairs practice group, which is chaired by former Michigan Governor and former US Ambassador to Canada, Jim Blanchard, and Thomas M. Boyd, former Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Policy Development at the Department of Justice. DLA Piper's Government Affairs practice has also been widely recognized for its vast experience and client service and the National Law Journal called its Federal Affairs practice "one of the most high-powered and high-profile lobbying shops in the nation's capital." Many of the attorneys and other professionals in this group have held senior elected, appointed, and staff positions in all branches of the federal government and in numerous state governments. Others have important experience in the corporate world.
"DLA Piper's Government Affairs practice is known as an insightful and successful advocate before legislative, regulatory and Executive Branch decision-makers. Further, I was attracted to the firm's unique international footprint, wide ranging domestic and international legal experience, and its new Delaware presence, comprised of leading practitioners in the four areas for which Delaware is renowned: corporate transactions, corporate litigation, business reorganizations, and intellectual property litigation. I am excited to be back in the practice of law with such a talented global team," said Castle.
Castle's legal and political career started at one of Delaware's largest law firms, where he spent 11 years (from 1964–1975) as an associate and later a partner. From 1965 to 1966, he also served as deputy attorney general of Delaware, and in 1966 was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives. After two years as a state representative, Castle won a seat in the Delaware Senate, where he remained for eight years. He also served there as minority leader from 1975 to 1976.
In 1976, Castle left the state legislature and returned to the full-time practice of law founding his own firm, Schnee & Castle. He returned to politics in 1980, when he was recruited to run for lieutenant governor of Delaware by Governor Pete du Pont. He was the 20th lieutenant governor of the state from 1981 to 1985, and then won election as the 69th governor, serving from 1985 to 1992, focusing his agenda on low tax, pro business, and clean government initiatives.
In 1993, Castle was sworn in as the US representative for Delaware's at-large congressional district, the oldest district in the nation. He is the longest-serving congressman in the state's history, winning re-election by wide margins eight times.
A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Congressman Castle received a B.A. in economics from Hamilton College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
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SOURCE DLA Piper