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WASHINGTON � David Cohen, former head of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, has joined Davis Wright Tremaine where he will lead a new venture to advise companies that invest and operate in the Pacific. The venture, named DWT Pacific, offers the only unified, trans-Pacific, legal and business advisory team in the market, according to the firm. Cohen will head the team, along with DWT senior partner Craig Miller and John Ridgway, managing partner of PLN Lawyers Sydney, Australia. As part of the venture, DWT and PLN will enter into a joint venture and Miller will move from Seattle to the Sydney office of PLN. PLN now provides co-ordinated legal and business advisory service to corporate Australian and international clients operating across Australia and the Pacific. More than 20 lawyers with considerable experience in Asia/Pacific legal and business representation, drawn from DWT’s U.S. and Shanghai offices and from PLN, will be actively engaged in DWT Pacific. Davis Wright Tremaine managing partner Dave Baca said the Pacific is seeing substantial new investment, most notably on Guam, which is preparing to become the new home for the military presence that has historically been based in Okinawa. The planned military buildup is expected to bring up to $15 billion of government defense expenditures to Guam and increase the island’s population by more than 25%.

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