Kirkland & Ellis announced today that former Attorney General William Barr has joined the firm as of counsel in its Washington office.
Barr retired from Verizon Communications in late 2008, after serving as executive vice president since the company was created out of the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic in 2000. While at Verizon, he led the legal, regulatory and government affairs group.
As general counsel of GTE, Barr helped steer the merger negotiations between the two companies, and also framed and executed the litigation strategy that paved the way for deregulation of telecommunication companies and the wide-scale deployment of broadband.
“We are very pleased to welcome Bill to the Firm,” Thomas Yannucci, chair of Kirkland’s worldwide management committee, said in a statement. “With his vast experience in private practice, government and public company settings, Bill brings a unique perspective that will be valuable in providing the highest quality advice to our clients.”
Barr, who was attorney general under President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993, is one of several former AGs who have come out in support of President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general: Covington & Burling’s Eric Holder Jr.
Just last month, Barr told Legal Times, “I think Eric comes with more qualifications than anyone I can remember.”
Kirkland has a long relationship with Barr, who often turned to the firm for help with complex telecommunications issues while at Verizon.
“As a former client, I have worked closely with Kirkland lawyers for years and have seen first-hand the quality of work that they produce,” Barr said in a statement. “I look forward to working with those same talented lawyers, as colleagues, while we assist clients with some of their most difficult challenges.”