A former general counsel for the U.S. Air Force who previously served as the top lawyer in the U.S. Army is headed to Arnold & Porter, the firm announced today.
Charles Blanchard is joining as partner the firm’s government contracts and national security practices in early January. Blanchard will focus on defense clients, particularly on issues that include weapons systems procurement, enforcement, classified programs and cyber security, the firm said.
Blanchard left the public sector because, he said, he felt his work was done and it was time for someone new to take over.
“In my experience after three or four years in these positions, it becomes comfortable, you’ve accomplished what you wanted to accomplish,” Blanchard said in an interview.
Blanchard, a former Perkins Coie partner, said he looked very closely at a few law firms—including his old firm. He said he was attracted to Arnold & Porter because of the firm’s strong national security practice.
There are a couple big legal challenges in the national security and government contracts area that Blanchard’s work will touch on. He noted, for instance, the decline in national defense budgets. Cyber security, he said, will continue to be a big issue. Blanchard referred to cyber security as “one of the new frontiers.”
Blanchard was general counsel of the Air Force from 2009 to December 2013. Previously, he served as the Army’s top lawyer from 1999 to 2001. Blanchard was a partner at Perkins Coie from 2001 to May 2009, according to his LinkedIn page.
Arnold & Porter’s national security practice includes a host of former top officials—including former State Department legal adviser John Bellinger III; former CIA general counsel Jeffrey Smith; and Ronald Lee, who previously served as the general counsel to the National Security Agency.
Thomas Milch, chairman of Arnold & Porter, said in a statement: “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.” –Alex Zank
Contact Alex Zank at [email protected]