Homeland Security

The experience of Venable attorneys who helped shape the initial homeland security measures ensures that your Venable team will have the right skills to solve the issues you face in complying with government mandates. Our experience in a wide range of industries also ensures that the solutions we propose will be grounded in the only context that matters—the specific threats and opportunities in your business.

The world changed on September 11, 2001. On that day we entered a new era that has unsettled our private lives and the economy, and radically altered the priorities of our government. 

Venable quickly recognized that life would never be quite the same. We were the first law firm in Washington, DC to form a team to help clients cope with the threatening realities of today's world.

Thousands of homeland security bills have been introduced in Congress in recent years, resulting in a fundamental reorganization of the intelligence and security operations of the federal government. With these changes have come federal mandates that have created a maze of legal, regulatory, and legislative requirements that confront every business and industry.

Venable has a multidisciplinary approach that is helping companies navigate the confusing matrix of homeland security laws and regulations. Our experience—gained by practical hands-on government service—is helping clients leverage opportunities in the security field, while managing the costs and liabilities associated with government mandates. 

Venable attorneys offer broad and deep experience in understanding and dealing with government decision makers.

The many moving parts of homeland security

Homeland Security image


Legislative Focus

  • Homeland Security Act of 2002
  • Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 (Safe Port Act)
  • Transportation Safety and Security Act of 2001
  • USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005

Government Experience

Attorneys who formerly served as:

  • secretary of transportation
  • U.S. attorney general
  • chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee
  • chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
  • chief of the Environmental Defense Section of the U.S. Justice Department
  • Chief, Office of Management and Budget's Cyber Team, White House – Executive Office of the President
  • Legislative Director, Office of U.S. Representative Cedric L. Richmond
  • Senior Policy Advisor, Office of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu
  • Military legislative assistant/appropriations, Office of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu
  • Associate Deputy Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General
  • Secretary of Transportation, United States Department of Transportation
  • Deputy Secretary of Transportation, United States Department of Transportation
  • General Counsel, United States Department of Transportation
  • Professional staff member, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Virginia Port Authority


Instrumental In the Passage of the Safe Port Act

We represented various interests throughout the deliberations leading to passage of the most comprehensive transportation security bill since 2002.

Testing DHS Security Initiatives

Venable represented a client's interests before the Department of Homeland Security on new and emerging security initiatives, such as container security devices, Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) testing and the Secure Border Initiative (SBI net).

Implementing TSA Air Cargo Security Rules

We worked with air carriers and others on the sweeping new requirements.

Extending the Terrorism Risk Act

We represented a coalition of business interests in successfully lobbying Congress to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.

$17 Million Judgment Reversed, $12 Million Collected By a Private Security Firm

By challenging TSA procedures, we were able to reverse an impending judgment and secure payment to the client for security-related services at airports across the country. We also obtained congressional approval limiting the liability of airline passenger screening companies in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Implementing the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program

The Department of Homeland Security's CFATS Program has broad application, including to facilities not traditionally considered "chemical facilities." Venable works with clients in various industries, including utilities and manufacturing operations, to achieve and maintain compliance with the Department of Homeland Security's CFATS Program. We also represent clients' interests in recent legislative efforts to expand and permanently authorize the CFATS Program.

Defining Port Security

Venable was involved in the congressional and White House debate over foreign ownership of U.S. port terminals and in the legislative efforts to amend the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) process.

Maintaining Maritime Security

We counsel a diverse group of interests—including terminal operators, carriers, intermediaries, and others—on important issues, including those arising under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), the Trade Act of 2002, and the Security and Accountability For Every Port (SAFE) Act of 2006.

TSA Rules Changed

Venable led a coalition of transportation companies and trade associations in lobbying to modify the rules under which Transportation Security Administration regulations are put into effect. 

Help For Hotels Impacted By Terrorism Threats

We assisted in the passage of the Terrorism Risk Act, including provisions that require the government to support the insurance industry in cases of extreme losses due to terrorist attacks.

Federal Funding Helps Airlines Impacted By 9/11

Venable led a successful effort to obtain federal funding to assist the airline industry during the shutdown after September 11, 2001.

Innovative Technology Speeds Screening of Security Staff

We assisted a client in obtaining a contract to provide technology that helped screen security personnel as TSA transitioned to a federal workforce.

Oil Pipeline Improves Its Security

Venable assisted a major pipeline company in upgrading its environmental compliance system to accommodate additional security requirements.

Security Firms Obtain Federal Funding

We have assisted security-related firms in gaining access to government funds, securing government contracts, furthering relationships with federal agencies, and dealing with regulatory hurdles.


  • Chambers USA, 2016 – 2021 (Venable attorneys selected for inclusion)