News

Former Air Force General Counsel Charles Blanchard Joins Arnold & Porter

December 9, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 9, 2013 -- Arnold & Porter LLP announced today that Charles A. Blanchard, who most recently served for four and a half years as General Counsel of the Air Force, will join the firm as a partner in its Government Contracts and National Security practices on January 6, 2014. He had previously served as General Counsel of the Army. Mr. Blanchard will provide critical and strategic guidance to our defense clients, particularly with regard to major weapon systems procurement and acquisition, enforcement, classified programs, and cyber security.

Mr. Blanchard joins a national security practice that has been named among the most experienced and well-respected in Washington. The practice includes numerous former senior government lawyers, including John P. Barker, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Export Controls in the Clinton Administration; John B. Bellinger III, who served in the Bush Administration as The Legal Adviser for the Department of State and for the National Security Council; Jeffrey H. Smith, who served as the General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Clinton Administration; and Ronald D. Lee, who served as the General Counsel of the National Security Agency and as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration.

"With a unique 28 year legal career that includes presidential appointments, as well as a highly regarded law practice, Chuck brings an important combination of government and private practice perspectives to clients doing business with the federal government," said Arnold & Porter Chairman, Thomas Milch. "His experience at the intersection of law and national security will greatly benefit our clients in this space."

"I am excited to be joining an organization with such a remarkable reputation in the aerospace and defense industries," said Mr. Blanchard. "In returning to private practice, I looked for a firm with a strong client base of defense contractors, top-tier government contracts and national security practices, and distinguished practitioners with public and private sector experience; Arnold & Porter is just the right combination."

"Our firm has a deep history advising clients on cutting-edge and strategic issues in the defense and national security area," said Mark Colley, head of the firm's Government Contracts and National Security practices. "Chuck's arrival is a tremendous development, adding to our team an exceptionally strong lawyer who provides great insights from time spent in the trenches advising the White House, the Department of Defense, and Cabinet Officers."

As Chief Legal Officer and Chief Ethics Official for the U.S.A.F., Mr. Blanchard directed the work of more than 2,600 Air Force military and civilian lawyers worldwide. His government service also includes tenure as General Counsel of the Army (1999 to 2001) and Chief Counsel to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (1997 to 1999). Mr. Blanchard served as law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. From 1991 until 1994, Mr. Blanchard served two terms as a member of the Arizona State Senate. He also served as the Interim Homeland Security Director for Governor Janet Napolitano in 2003.

Immediately prior to his latest governmental post, Mr. Blanchard was a partner in private practice where he focused on complex commercial litigation, antitrust, and constitutional law.

Mr. Blanchard obtained his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he graduated first in his class and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the Arizona State bar.

Arnold & Porter LLP is an international law firm of nearly 800 lawyers with offices in Brussels, Denver, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D. C. The firm, founded in 1946, maintains more than 26 practice areas spanning a broad spectrum of the law, with a primary focus on litigation, transactional matters, and regulatory issues.

Email Disclaimer