Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that former United States Representative and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton will join the firm on March 15.
Skelton will advise firm attorneys and clients on a variety of legal and public policy issues, especially matters related to national defense, small business and international trade. He will work primarily from the firm's Washington, D.C., office.
"While other national firms courted me to come aboard, Husch Blackwell's national footprint and strong Missouri roots make it the right fit for me," Skelton said. "Their Government Contracts group is among the strongest in the country, and I'm eager to start working with their impressive team of attorneys."
Skelton earned his LL.B. from the University of Missouri in 1956. Early in his career, he served as prosecuting attorney and a special assistant attorney general (1957-1960). He won his first election in 1971, when voters chose Skelton to represent them in the Missouri Senate. In 1977, he was selected as the U.S. Representative from Missouri's Fourth District, holding that position until January 3, 2011. Skelton served as Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Committee from 1998 until 2007, when he took the gavel as its chairman.
"This is a truly banner day for Husch Blackwell," said David A. Fenley, Co-Chairman of Husch Blackwell. "Chairman Skelton represents the best that America has to offer. He is a true patriot of the highest calling who is earnestly concerned about the defense of our country and, even more importantly, the safety and welfare of our troops and their families."
Skelton's military involvement goes back to his earliest days; he graduated from Wentworth Military Academy and Junior College in Lexington, Missouri, in 1951. Although a childhood bout with polio prevented Skelton from serving in the military, he found other ways to support our nation's troops.
While in Congress, Skelton was instrumental in the enactment of the groundbreaking Goldwater-Nichols Act, legislation that simplified the chains of command, reduced inter-service rivalries, and implemented shared procurement processes between the branches. More recently, Skelton drafted and helped to shepherd into law the Weapons Acquisition Systems Reform Act, reform-minded legislation which overhauls the defense procurement process and provides additional checks against cost overruns and schedule changes.
Skelton's advocacy and involvement in military matters will continue at Husch Blackwell; he plans to teach at a War College. He will also serve on a number of not-for-profit boards focused on providing support to members of the military and their families. Skelton also expects to continue to be a source of counsel and advice to our nation's political and military leadership in the years to come.
"We are very proud to have Chairman Ike Skelton joining both our law firm, and more specifically, our Governmental Affairs and Public Policy team," said Steve Kupka, Washington, D.C. Managing Partner and Chair of the Husch Blackwell Governmental Affairs and Public Policy practice group. "His years of experience on Capitol Hill and his strong understanding of our nation's military and its highly specialized procurement processes should prove to be a huge resource for our clients."
Husch Blackwell's Government Contracts attorneys represent domestic and international clients in all areas of Federal supply, service and construction contracts. As one of Washington's most experienced Government Contracts groups, the team is involved in all phases of government contracting, including bid protests, compliance with Federal laws and regulations, Defense Contract Audit Agency audits, compliance audits, Federal Supply Schedule procurements, contract administration, change order negotiations, and claims and disputes.