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Former Undersecretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson is returning to familiar territory, rejoining Venable’s Washington, D.C., office. Hutchinson, 56, a former two-term Republican congressman and once the chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration, headed up the firm’s homeland security practice before exiting in March 2006 to launch an unsuccessful bid to become governor of Arkansas. “We are thrilled to have Asa back at Venable,” says Karl Racine, managing partner of the D.C. office. “When Asa was here during his last stint, he was a significant contributor not only to our homeland security practice but also to our litigation practice.” Unlike his previous tenure at Venable, in which he lobbied for homeland security clients such as Verizon Wireless, Intelligenxia, and ImmuneRegen Biosciences, Inc., Hutchinson will be a partner in the firm’s litigation division. “I want to re-engage as a lawyer-litigator,” says Hutchinson. “I have very intentionally negotiated being in the litigation division. Previously I was in the legislative shop and hope to be supportive when I can, but my focus and concentration will be in the litigation arena.” Before being elected to political office, Hutchinson practiced law for 21 years in Arkansas where he tried more than 100 jury trials and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. After the creation of the Department of Homeland Security following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President George W. Bush tapped Hutchinson to become the department’s first-ever undersecretary. While there, he was in charge of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate, the largest division of the department. Hutchinson says he will focus on complex litigation, corporate investigations, and government oversight at the firm. In addition to his stint at Venable, Hutchinson will be splitting his time between Washington and Arkansas as a partner and chief executive of the Hutchinson Group, a homeland security consulting firm he founded. Asked of the potential of a future in politics, Hutchinson says he wants to re-establish his credentials as a litigator, but that he isn’t “making [a] forever type” of statement about whether or not he’d try again for public office. Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected]

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