March 28, 2007

Claude Bailey, Former General Counsel for D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission and Washington Convention Center Authority, Joins Venable’s State and Local Government Group

5 min

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 28, 2007) - Venable LLP announced that prominent Washington public finance and development attorney Claude E. Bailey, who served as general counsel for both the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Washington Convention Center Authority, has joined the firm's Washington office as a partner in Venable's State and Local Government Group.

Mr. Bailey, 52, has been the principal legal advisor on three of the most high-profile public projects in the D.C. area in the past decade, including the construction of the new Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium, as well as the construction and operation of the Washington Convention Center and the MCI Center, now known as the Verizon Center.

At Venable, he will bring his considerable public sector experience to focus on real estate development, public finance, labor negotiations, and local legislative and governance issues, particularly in the Washington and Baltimore areas.

According to John G. Milliken, a senior member of Venable's State and Local Government Group: "A major league ballpark, a convention center, and a corporate center -- these are the hallmarks that help make Washington a world-class city and more than just a political town. Claude Bailey has been at the nexus, where the public and private sectors meet, on these important projects. We are extremely fortunate to have him join our group."

"Claude Bailey brings a distinguished career in both economic and community development with a keen understanding of large public projects," added Brock R. Landry, manager of Venable's Government and Regulatory Affairs Division. "Claude understands how things work -- and how to get great things accomplished -- here in Washington. It's an honor to have him join the firm."

As general counsel to the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission since 2005, Mr. Bailey steered legal and political efforts related to the development of the new Nationals Baseball Stadium. His contributions included helping select a master developer for the Ballpark District; negotiating complex lease, labor, and construction administration agreements; gathering the required political and local community support; and promoting the use of local, small and minority-owned businesses by the Commission.

He also advised the Commission and an appointed board on government contracts and governance issues, and assisted in negotiations between the Commission and Major League Baseball.

From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Bailey was general counsel to the Washington Convention Center Authority. There, he was responsible for legal matters related to the construction and operation of that $800 million facility. He advised on matters such as procurement ethics; historic preservation; real estate/eminent domain; community impact measures; and also compliance with Local, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (LSDBE) and First Source employment requirements.

Mr. Bailey worked with the District's bond counsel, as well as underwriters and financial advisors on the issuance of $525 million in tax revenue bonds to finance the new convention center project.

Citing both the new administration and the profound effect such large public construction projects can have on their surrounding neighborhoods, Mr. Bailey said, "This is an exciting time to be doing development work in the D.C. area, especially in areas such as those in Southeast D.C. I look forward to drawing from my broad range of experiences and working relationships, and to continuing to contribute positively to the community, as I shift my focus to private practice."

Mr. Bailey has worked alongside Venable attorneys in the past, including litigation chair J. Douglas Baldridge (who worked on the Nationals Baseball Stadium project) and litigation partner Kenneth Slaughter (who advised on the Convention Center project). "While new to Venable, I have already observed firsthand the firm's professional yet collegial nature -- how it makes the practice of law a satisfying and productive experience for its attorneys, as well as its clients."

Starting as special counsel to the D.C. Office of the Corporation Counsel in 1987, Mr. Bailey advanced in 1995 to the position of Principal Deputy Corporation Counsel. He advised District officials on the development and financing of the $180 million MCI Center. He also supervised and directed 225 attorneys, oversaw the office's $14 million annual budget, and was chief spokesman for the District in legal matters.

A former legislative associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, Mr. Bailey has considerable experience drafting legislation, preparing formal testimony for presentation to Congressional committees, and advising clients on matters pending before Congress as well as federal and state administrative agencies. For the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Washington Convention Center Authority, he drafted and presented testimony for hearings before the D.C. Council and Congress.

He has also served as Legal Counsel to Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly and as a law clerk to The Honorable Judge Damon Keith, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

"Claude's unique experiences and resulting knowledge base in complex public finance and real estate development projects expand Venable's depth and ability to represent clients, both in general transactional work and before a wide range of government and public agencies," Venable's Mr. Milliken added.

Mr. Bailey is committed to minority business and community efforts. He serves as Secretary to the Board of Directors for the Providence Hospital Foundation; on the Board of Deacons for the Metropolitan Baptist Church; and as Chairman of the Building Committee for the Metropolitan Baptist Church, which he recently advised on the construction of a $40 million new church campus in Largo, Maryland.

He received his J.D., cum laude, from the Howard University School of Law in 1983, where he was managing editor of the Howard Law Journal, and his B.A. from Morehouse College in 1977.

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