Updated at 3:26 p.m.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has turned to two George W. Bush administration lawyers to lead its legal arm.
Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand and former White House Associate Counsel Kate Todd will manage the day-to-day operations of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the business advocacy group announced Tuesday.
Since 2011, Brand has served as the organization's chief regulatory litigation counsel, while Todd has been its chief appellate litigation counsel. They will report to Lily Claffee, the Chamber's chief legal officer and general counsel, who has overseen the Center for the past two years. Claffee, the group said, will "take a more direct strategic role in the organization."
"We're coming up with big plans," Claffee said.
In January, Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Donohue said his group will "significantly expand the expertise" of the litigation center to fight regulations that hurt businesses. The Chamber is particularly concerned about regulations stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial reform and health care laws, as well as from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he said.
"Our preference is always to work within the legislative and regulatory processes and we do that on a daily basis," Donohue said, delivering the Chamber's annual state of American business address. "But when rights have been trampled on, or regulators have overstepped their bounds, well then we'll just take the necessary legal action."
Prior to joining the litigation center, Brand served as the assistant attorney general for legal policy from 2005 to 2007 under then-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. From 2008 to 2011, she was a counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in the regulatory and government affairs, and litigation and controversy practices.
Todd was an associate counsel to Bush from 2007 to 2009. After the White House, she started teaching the law of federal courts at George Washington University Law School, where she continues to lecture.