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A number of military contractors working in Iraq found themselves in the unwelcome spotlight of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week. The focus of the hearing: the killing of four Blackwater USA security contractors by a mob in Fallujah in 2004. Blackwater came under criticism from families of the four men, who said the contractors were inadequately equipped for their mission. Democrats on the committee also vented at the Pentagon for what they saw as a wasteful system of multilayered subcontracts involving a number of different companies. Of course, all this oversight meant plenty of work for the high-priced lawyers representing the companies. Advising Blackwater were Crowell & Moring’s David Hammond and Beth Nolan, formerly a Clinton White House counsel. ESS Support Services Inc., a logistics contractor whose trucks the men were escorting during the attack, had McGuireWoods’ Timothy Heaphy and John Williamson. Fluor Corp. was repped by Stanley Brand, the former general counsel to the late House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill Jr. (D-Mass.). Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s Paul Butler, who served as chief of staff to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was also at the hearing. Butler also represents Fluor in certain matters, though he tells Legal Times he was there merely to observe. Finally, what would an oversight hearing on Iraq be without Halliburton? Counseling the company’s subsidiary KBR Inc. were Vinson & Elkins’ Craig Margolis and C. Michael Buxton and Akin Gump’s Steven Ross.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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