Andrew Shipley Andrew Shipley

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr is adding a top government contracts lawyer, Andrew Shipley, to its ranks on Tuesday.

Shipley joins Wilmer from Perkins Coie, where he was chair of the firm’s government contracts practice. He will be part of Wilmer’s national security and government contracts group and its government and regulatory litigation group in Washington.

“WilmerHale is an exceptional firm,” Shipley said. “The opportunities that it presents with its long-established footprint in Washington, D.C., and strong client roster I think complements well with my background, and it seemed to be a perfect fit.”

Before joining Perkins Coie in 2012, Shipley worked in-house at Northrop Grumman for 16 years and served as assistant general counsel. He said that experience gave him “a sense of perspective on approaching legal issues from the client’s vantage point.”

“Lawyers are an asset for companies, but that asset is maximized when the lawyers understand what the client is trying to accomplish, and my time in-house really helped me to understand that,” he said. “Being in private practice sort of hones the skills you need to be able to deliver those legal services.”

Wilmer co-managing partner Robert Novick said Shipley’s “collaborative and entrepreneurial” nature, vast experience with federal contracting issues and years with Northrop Grumman made him an excellent fit for the firm.

“Lawyers with Andy’s experience and skills are in very great demand,” Novick said in a statement. “Given that, we are thrilled that Andy chose Wilmer as the best platform for the next phase of his career.”

Shipley noted Wilmer’s bench of former senior government lawyers with regulatory and contract expertise, which he said complemented his experience approaching the same issues from a contractor’s perspective.

Wilmer counts more than 100 former federal government lawyers among its ranks, and the firm’s attorneys can often be found near the center of high-profile battles over government policy, enforcement and regulations.

Wilmer litigation department chair Howard Shapiro has touted the firm’s prowess as “an extraordinary shadow Department of Justice,” a claim bolstered by its association with influential alumnus Robert Mueller, who left a multimillion-dollar partnership at Wilmer last year to serve as special counsel investigating Russian interference into the 2016 presidential campaign.