Ken is a veteran counsellor to businesses navigating complex legal environments.
Over the past twenty years, Ken served as a senior in-house counsel to one of the nation’s largest defense contractors and later to one of the largest government contractors in the healthcare administration market. Beyond his deep experience in government contracts law, he has guided clients through the gamut of challenges presented by rapidly changing markets—from the paradigm shift in security environments following 9/11, to major acquisitions and divestitures, to financing hurricane recovery and rebuilding. He is currently engaged in supporting efficient responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ken has been an ethics and compliance leader in highly regulated environments. He has coordinated complex investigations, government and public reporting, and has structured tools to manage potential conflicts and competitor collaboration.
As a corporate officer and manager, Ken has extensive experience on the “buy side” of the decision to select and retain outside counsel, as well as instituting and defending litigation while budgeting and managing costs.
Ken spent the early years of his career in private practice, focused on commercial litigation and representing lenders and other creditors in bankruptcy.
- After starting his career in commercial and litigation practice and developing an emphasis in bankruptcy litigation, Ken spent the largest block of his career as Senior Counsel to one of the nation’s three largest defense contractors, primarily supporting U.S. Navy shipbuilding programs from the company’s sector headquarters in Mississippi. The Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula is Mississippi’s largest private employer. The facility, financed by and leased from the State of Mississippi, is the major industrial asset of the State and a key part of America’s national defense infrastructure as the largest venue for construction of Navy surface combatant ships over decades.
- Ken served as Program Counsel for many years for the Amphibious Assault Carrier (LHD/LHA) program, with each ship constructed under a multi-year, multi-billion dollar contract.
- He was also counsel for the Compliance and Ethics organization, supporting internal ethics investigations and mandatory governmental reporting, and Navy and Defense Department civil and criminal investigation matters. He provided legal supervision to the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act programs—he was counsel to the Political Action Committee and to federal, state, and local lobbying organizations. He also conducted some state and local lobbying functions directly. He supported matters involving state and local taxation and real estate matters, such as external leasing and the shut down of outdated industrial infrastructure, and the donation of an older manufacturing site to the State for public parkland.
- Ken also supported a series of shipyard modernization and recapitalization efforts, working with the State of Mississippi. In particular Ken provided legal support for a major Gulf Opportunity Bond issue to finance reconstruction and modernization following substantial damage to the shipyard in Hurricane Katrina.
- Ken was also involved in a range of technology endeavors, such as supporting the negotiation of a complex international software development agreement for a new ship design tool and addressing intellectual property issues in defense vendor bankruptcies.
- Early in his shipbuilding career, Ken was program counsel for commercial shipbuilding programs, including a Navy and Maritime Administration-subsidized effort to revive U.S. domestic building of deepwater cruise ships. The customer’s bankruptcy filing after 9/11 led to fascinating projects to realize as much value as possible from a partially completed hull and two ship sets of machinery and equipment, to terminate and settle international subcontracts, and to negotiate Maritime Administration liens and Navy subsidy and cost accounting issues.
- Drawing on his experience as a commercial bankruptcy attorney, Ken became the in-house bankruptcy counsel nationally for the defense contractor, working cases involving customers and vendors in aerospace ventures and government services.
- In more recent years, Ken has served a similar in-house role in the government healthcare administrative services sector. Among other things, he was Assistant General Counsel for the country’s largest Medicare Administrative Contractor. Healthcare is the one area where federal spending exceeds defense—the federal acquisition regulations are the same, but the work involves differences in specialized language and culture, expanding Ken’s skillset in client service.
- Most recently, Ken has provided contracting and compliance support to COVID pandemic response programs.
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- American Bar Association
- Public Contract Law Section
- International Section, Africa Committee
- Corporate Counsel Association
- Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
- Rotary Club of South Jacksonville, Florida (Board Member)
- United Methodist Church
- International democracy assistance volunteer; previously served as Resident Director for East Africa for U.S. funded NGO and taught and observed elections in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Egypt