Claude E. Bailey


Claude Bailey represents private sector clients whose business interests require frequent interaction with District of Columbia government agencies. Claude’s work involves high-profile real estate development projects, zoning and land use, and local legislative and regulatory matters, among others. He draws from his rich experience as an attorney with the DC government to counsel major companies and nonprofit organizations on local legislative and regulatory issues. He is familiar with all members of the Council of the District of Columbia, along with many senior officials in the executive branch and DC’s independent agencies. 

While serving in the DC government, Claude held a number of significant legal positions. As principal deputy corporation counsel (now chief deputy attorney general), he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the District’s legal office, which employed 250 lawyers. He also served as the official spokesperson for the Office of Corporation Counsel (now Office of Attorney General), responding to the media on all legal matters involving the District government. He served as general counsel to the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission and Washington Convention Center Authority, and oversaw all legal matters associated with the construction of Washington Nationals Ballpark and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. As principal legal advisor to both organizations, he handled a wide range of sophisticated transactional issues, including procurement, ethics, zoning and land use, construction contracts, historic preservation, real estate and eminent domain, community impact measures, and compliance with Local, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (LSDBE) and First Source employment requirements.


Government Experience

  • General Counsel, District of Columbia, D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission
  • Legal Counsel, District of Columbia, Office of Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly
  • Principal Deputy Corporation Counsel, District of Columbia, Office of the Corporation Counsel
  • General Counsel, District of Columbia, Washington Convention Center Authority

Representative Matters

  • Represented a national “big box” retailer in connection with its entry into the DC retail market 
  • Assisted a foundation with enactment of tax credit legislation that was crucial to the financing of a museum, to be established at Judiciary Square. Also assisted the foundation with obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for construction of the museum
  • Assists the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in dealings with the DC government, on issues such as airplane noise, regulations governing transportation network companies, tourism and other economic concerns, traffic and growth, DC Council oversight, and other matters
  • Represents the American Hotel and Lodging Association in lobbying the District government for the enactment of legislation to regulate online short-term lodging rentals in DC
  • Worked closely with Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the ownership group of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Mystics, to ensure enactment of legislation that would authorize Monumental to install digital signs on the Verizon Center (now Capital One Arena)  
  • Represented a transportation network company when it entered the DC market. Working with the company’s senior management, the Council of the District of Columbia, and the DC Taxicab Commission (now the Department of For-Hire Vehicles) 
  • Represented an outdoor signage company in ensuring that the District took into account the company’s views on the regulation of outdoor advertising
  • Advised private clients in preparing proposals for District government procurements, including the nation’s largest security services company 
  • Represented the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization in drafting proposed personnel regulations for the agency
  • Represented several clients before the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on liquor license matters, including assisting clients in obtaining liquor licenses 
  • Represented the national trade association for the paint industry in working with the Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, and the DC Department of Energy and the Environment, to draft and ensure enactment of legislation to create a paint recycling program in the District of Columbia 
  • Represented an international bank in negotiations with the DC Courts for a contract for banking services
  • Represented an international bank in negotiations with the DC Courts for a contract for banking services




  • J.D. cum laude Howard University School of Law 1983
  • Managing Editor, Howard Law Journal
  • B.A. Morehouse College 1977

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, board of directors, DC Chamber of Commerce
  • Former member, board of directors, DC Building Industry Association
  • Member, steering committee, DC Affairs Section, DC Bar Association
  • Member, board of governors, Howard University School of Law
  • Co-chair, Venable Success Network (VSN) Affinity Group


  • Savoy, Most Influential Black Lawyers, 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2023 – 2024


Pro Bono

  • Assisted Africare with a real estate tax exemption


  • Founding chair, DC Jazz Festival
  • Former member, board of directors, United Way for the National Capital Area