Venable has named a new partner-in-charge of its Tysons Corner, Va. office. Joseph Schmelter, who co-chairs the government contractor services industry practice, will succeed David Smith, and take on his new role starting January 1.
Douglas McDonald will continue as administrative partner for the office, which has 33 attorneys.
In an interview, Schmelter said that he would continue his practice in addition to his leadership responsibilities.
"I certainly hope it does not mean time away from continuing to build an M&A practice out here in Tysons Corner and furthering our client relationships," Schmelter said. "The larger picture is that the changing of the guard is something we do from time to time."
Schmelter said that the firm has identified three practice areas which it seeks to grow over the next five to 10 years: government contracting, technology and real estate. Schmelter said he also seeks to expand the firm's pro bono efforts, which he said serve to attract new talent.
Overall, Schmelter said that in his new role he would work to continue Smith's efforts. "He presided over a difficult time not only for Venable but other firms," Schmelter said of Smith. "We're coming out of that now and my goal is to continue what David has started over the past few years."