May 5, 2009
McGuireWoods Expands with Addition of Two Former Governors
RICHMOND, Va.– McGuireWoods LLP and its public affairs subsidiary, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, announced today that Jim Hodges, former governor of South Carolina, and Mike Easley, former governor of North Carolina, have both joined the two firms. The addition of two well-respected state and national leaders extends the firms’ legal and public affairs presence in the Carolinas, marking another significant step for McGuireWoods. The firm announced Easley’s arrival at McGuireWoods on April 23, and Gov. Hodges’ arrival was announced today. Several key advisors to both Govs. Easley and Hodges have also joined the firms.
“Gov. Hodges and Gov. Easley join McGuireWoods at a time when Congress, the Obama administration, and state governments are grappling with major issues that will shape our future, from energy and economic development to health care and education,” said Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods. “They bring a wealth of experience, perspective, and relationships in the public and private sectors that will be very valuable to McGuireWoods’ clients. We are very proud and pleased that such esteemed leaders have joined the McGuireWoods family.”
Welcoming former Gov. Hodges and Easley, both Democrats, is former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin, a Republican and senior advisor with McGuireWoods Consulting who represents clients on economic development and state and federal government relations issues.
As a senior advisor with McGuireWoods Consulting and partner at McGuireWoods LLP, Gov. Hodges will split his time between the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and its newly established Columbia office, the firm’s first presence in South Carolina. Several of his Hodges Consulting colleagues will also move to McGuireWoods Consulting. Billy Boan, a former member of the South Carolina legislature and chief of staff to Gov. Hodges, will become a senior vice president with McGuireWoods Consulting, and Hodges Consulting government relations specialist Merideth Strawhorn and consultant MacLean Limehouse will join the new McGuireWoods Consulting public affairs practice in Columbia.
Gov. Hodges served as the National Co-chair for President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. While governor of South Carolina during 1999 – 2003, he led wide-ranging efforts to improve the state’s education system. The education lottery established under his leadership is credited with providing scholarships to more than 100,000 students and funding “First Steps,” a public-private preschool readiness program that has served thousands of South Carolina preschoolers. Since 1993 Hodges has been the CEO of Hodges Consulting, a business, government relations and economic development consulting firm.
“This is an exciting move for both me and Hodges Consulting, as we are very fortunate to be partnering with McGuireWoods, which is so well-known for its legal and public policy teams,” said Gov. Hodges. “I’m looking forward to branching out, not only in the Southeast, but across the country as well and working on pressing national issues like energy, health care, education and economic development. I am especially eager for the opportunity to once again work with my former gubernatorial colleges, Govs. Easley and Martin, as we help our clients meet these challenges.”
Easley joined McGuireWoods LLP as a partner in the Raleigh office on April 23, 2009. As governor of North Carolina from 2001-2009, Easley was a champion of education reform. He was instrumental in the creation of “More at Four,” a program focused on offering educational assistance to at-risk children and the “Learn and Earn” initiative, a program designed to help high school students earn a four-year college degree, tuition free. From 1992-2000, Easley was North Carolina’s Attorney General and was a key negotiator in the landmark nationwide tobacco settlement in 1998.
“I am thrilled to have joined such a great firm that not only has such a strong presence here, but is well known for its culture of treating its employees and clients like family,” Easley said. “I’m looking forward to helping clients on a wide range of issues, including energy, economic development, life sciences and education. McGuireWoods is offering me the chance to do that not only here at home, but across three continents where it has offices.”
Today’s announcement comes at a time of rapid expansion for McGuireWoods. The law firm recently combined practices with the London-based international law firm Grundberg Mocatta Rakison LLP. In 2008, McGuireWoods LLP significantly expanded its presence in North Carolina by merging with Charlotte-based Helms Mulliss & Wicker. McGuireWoods Consulting was recently ranked among the top 50 government relations firms in the nation, according to Legal Times.
McGuireWoods LLP is a full-service law firm with approximately 900 lawyers in 18 offices in the United States, Europe and Central Asia, providing legal counsel to clients around the world. It was named one of the “most prestigious” firms in the world by the Vault Guide to Top 100 Law Firms, 2008. For more information, visit www.mcguirewoods.com. Founded in 1998, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC is a full-service public affairs firm offering government relations, strategic communications and grassroots, and economic and infrastructure development services. McGuireWoods Consulting is a subsidiary of the McGuireWoods law firm, and has offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Richmond, McLean, Atlanta, Chicago, Springfield, Illinois, and Bucharest, Romania. For more information, visit www.mcguirewoodsconsulting.com.