Alabama Chief Deputy AG Kevin Turner Joins Former Arkansas Senator and State AG, Mark Pryor, as Venable Launches State Attorney General Practice

5 min

Mr. Turner helped lead all criminal/civil matters handled by Alabama AG office, including financial services, energy and environmental regulations; joins team with other ex-state AG officials, including former U.S. Senator and Arkansas Attorney General Mark Pryor

Washington, DC - May 11, 2015 - As state attorneys general take an increasingly active, often high-profile role in civil and criminal investigations involving alleged business misconduct, Venable LLP has announced the formation of a State Attorney General practice, to be led by former Arkansas Attorney General and U.S. Senator Mark Pryor and joined by Kevin L. Turner, Alabama's former Chief Deputy Attorney General. Mr. Turner joins the firm as counsel in its Washington, DC office.

Mr. Turner has been principal legal adviser to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange since 2011 and in charge of a staff of nearly 200 professionals. In that role he had his hand in virtually every type of criminal, civil and policy matter handled by the attorney general, including financial services regulations, energy and environmental policy, gaming, data privacy and security, as well as food, drug and tobacco regulations. In addition to helping oversee litigation and settlement negotiations for the state, he reviewed all official opinions, participated in multi-state investigations and served as a voting member of the Alabama Securities Commission. Mr. Turner was also heavily involved in state legislative matters.

Mr. Turner regularly collaborated on legal policy matters with key professional organizations, trade groups and think tanks, such as the National Association of Attorneys General, the Republican Attorneys General Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, the Heritage Foundation Legal Center and the American Tort Reform Association.

At Venable, Mr. Turner joins a formidable bench of former government enforcement officials and regulators experienced in matters that come before state AGs. In addition to Senator Pryor, the firm's new practice includes Michael Bresnick, former executive director of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force; Leonard Gordon, former Northeast Regional Director for the Federal Trade Commission, who, in that capacity, worked extensively with state AGs and at least six other partners who have significant experience as Assistant State Attorneys General.

"State AGs have become among the most active and influential participants in government enforcement in recent years, a role that has grown more robust since the financial crisis, with a number of states forming special departments dedicated to cracking down on misconduct in banking, retail, consumer services and other sectors," said Senator Pryor. "They are more nimble than the federal government and able to move faster to effect change," he continued.

"It's critical for businesses to have access to advisers with current first-hand understanding of the issues and processes that can drive an investigation or enforcement action by a state AG's office," he added. "And these actions frequently occur on a multi-state level, with companies facing challenges from multiple AGs working in coordinated fashion, and often in competition with federal regulators."

"The group we've put together for our AG practice has exceptional experience shepherding clients through the gauntlet of a state-directed enforcement proceeding with many moving parts," Senator Pryor said. "We are pleased to bring Kevin Turner into our practice. He has been center stage at numerous legal contests initiated by the Alabama AG's office and he knows how state attorneys general around the country are flexing their powers in driving investigative and enforcement matters across so many sectors, especially those involving financial services and energy."

Mr. Turner commented on his move: "We've witnessed a substantial ascension in recent years of state attorneys general in the national enforcement power structure – indeed, AG offices in many states have taken the lead in launching and leading a number of headline investigations and prosecutions against businesses and individuals."

"Venable has assembled a first-rate platform for advising clients on matters involving any sort of state proceeding or review," he continued. "Having a former attorney general as well-regarded as Mark Pryor was a key decision point for me. Venable also has strong leadership in all regulatory issues that businesses must contend with at a state level – from financial and environmental regulations to consumer protection, insurance, privacy and other areas. I look forward to helping make Venable a go-to adviser for matters involving state oversight."

Prior to joining the Alabama Attorney General's office, Mr. Turner worked in private practice on corporate and governmental affairs issues.

He earned his J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Alabama School of Law and Maderson Graduate School of Business (2007) and his B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College (2003).

Alabama Attorney General Strange, commenting on Mr. Turner's departure, said: "I have known of the Venable firm for many years, and I have first-hand experience with the high quality legal services its attorneys provide. While I am disappointed that Kevin is leaving Alabama, I am excited that he has this great opportunity to work with former Arkansas Attorney General and U.S. Senator Mark Pryor in building a State AG Practice at Venable. I wish him great success."


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