Prominent Legislative Team Joins Arnold & Porter

December 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC, December 16, 2015 -- Arnold & Porter LLP announced today that a highly regarded legislative group has joined the firm's Washington, DC office. The team includes Kevin M. O'Neill, who joins Arnold & Porter as a partner and will co-lead the Legislative practice group, Eugenia E. Pierson, who joins as a senior policy advisor and head of healthcare legislative advocacy, and Kristine Blackwood, who joins as counsel. Eight additional legislative professionals will also join the Arnold & Porter team, including: associates Dana Weekes, Greg Louer and Pari Mody; policy advisor Amy Smith; senior policy specialist, Amy Davenport; and policy specialists Samantha Martin, Roxana Boyd, and Meredith Good-Cohn. The group expands the firm's existing legislative capabilities, and enhances the healthcare policy practice.

"We are pleased to welcome Kevin, Eugenia, Kristine and the entire legislative team to the firm. Their recognized track record in advancing clients' interests on Capitol Hill deepens and broadens our legislative practice," said Arnold & Porter Chairman Thomas H. Milch. "We greatly value their in-depth experience working on a wide range of legislative issues. Their substantive knowledge in healthcare and financial services will fit our practice particularly well."

O'Neill, Pierson and Blackwood join the firm's team of well-regarded practitioners with strong ties to key policymakers and significant public service and trade association experience, including former Congressman Jim Turner and Charley Landgraf, who has played significant roles in shaping legislation including Dodd-Frank, the Iranian Sanctions, and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.

Kevin O'Neill previously held the position of Deputy Global Managing Partner for Public Policy of an Am Law 100 firm where he practiced for nearly 15 years, helping to manage the day-to-day operations of a 120-lawyer public policy group. Mr. O'Neill's practice focuses on assisting corporate clients, cities, trade associations, units of local government, universities and health systems with legislative and public policy solutions in Washington and around the world. He is a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe College of Law at William & Mary and has been recognized in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by The Hill as one of the nation's "Top Lobbyists: Hired Guns."

Eugenia Pierson is the former chair of the same Am Law 100 firm's Healthcare Policy practice group, where she worked with numerous clients in the healthcare sector, including hospital systems, providers, consumers, and manufacturers, to develop and implement their legislative and regulatory strategies. Ms. Pierson began her career on the Hill as a staff member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee. She is a graduate of Rhodes College and has also been included in The Hill's list of "Top Lobbyists 2015" and the National Law Journal's 2013 list of "25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35."

"Arnold & Porter's deep bench of regulatory lawyers with considerable experience handling healthcare policy matters speaks to the firm's longstanding commitment to clients facing challenges in this space," said Eugenia Pierson. Added Kristine Blackwood, "We are excited to be joining a group that understands and appreciates the need for a comprehensive team strategy that helps clients achieve their business goals."

Kristine Blackwood's legal career includes serving as the Deputy Director for Congressional Oversight and Investigations at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Attorney-Advisor for the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs, and National Healthcare Fraud Coordinator for the Executive Office for US Attorneys. Ms. Blackwood also has practiced as a partner and senior counsel at two international law firms. She is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and started her career as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp in the Central District of California.

"Our move to Arnold & Porter provides a full service platform upon which we can offer comprehensive strategic counsel on a host of issues critical to clients' success, particularly as they face escalating demands for strong legislative and public policy support," said Kevin O'Neill. "We look forward to teaming with our new colleagues, particularly in the key sectors where our practices are so well aligned."

Arnold & Porter LLP is an international law firm of nearly 800 lawyers with offices in Brussels, Denver, Houston London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D. C. The firm, founded in 1946, maintains more than 25 practice areas spanning a broad spectrum of the law, with a primary focus on litigation, transactional matters, and regulatory issues.

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