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Adams and Reese is pleased to announce that Blake Hale Hardwich, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, has joined the firm as Special Counsel on the Government Relations Practice Team. Hardwich focuses her law practice in government relations, economic development and litigation. Hardwich will practice in Montgomery and the firm’s Birmingham office.

Hardwich brings a broad range of public and private sector experience to Adams and Reese, developed both inside and outside the legal field. Previously, she served for two years as Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration under Gov. Bentley. In this role, she advised on legislative matters, public policy initiatives, strategic planning efforts and administrative initiatives. Prior to her government role, she served as Director of The Alabama Prosperity Project, a joint venture of trade association Manufacture Alabama and the Washington, D.C.-based Business-Industry Political Action Committee, or BIPAC, to encourage business and employee participation in the public policy process. Hardwich also previously served as Director of External Affairs for Manufacture Alabama.

“We are proud to welcome Blake to Adams and Reese,” said Britton Bonner, Adams and Reese Economic Development Team Leader, Partner in Charge of the firm’s Mobile office, and a government relations attorney. “Her unique public and private sector experience will continue to enhance our growing governmental relations team. Blake’s addition further strengthens our ability to help meet the business objectives and economic development goals of our clients. We are thrilled to have Blake join with attorney Mark Gaines as they lead our governmental relations practice in Alabama.”

“I am excited to join a firm with such a strong presence in government relations and a focus on helping clients pursue economic development projects throughout the Southeast.” Hardwich said. “I look forward to working with other Adams and Reese attorneys to turn client issues into solutions.”

Adams and Reese has a long-standing reputation as one of the region’s most prominent Government Relations firms with 16 offices in 15 markets across the southern U.S. and Washington, D.C. In 2015 rankings released by Southern Political Report, the firm ranked number one in the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee and among the top five in Mississippi and South Carolina on a list of leading government affairs and lobbyist firms in the South. The firm also ranked among Southern Business and Development’s “Best Economic Development Firms” in Louisiana in 2015.

Hardwich is an alumna of Leadership Montgomery, Class XXX, a leadership and diversity training program enabling Montgomery leaders to effect change within the community. She also serves on the Britton YMCA Board of Directors and is a member of Montgomery Rotary Club and Friends of the Cloverdale Playhouse. She earned her J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in 2002 and a B.A. in Political Science from Auburn University in 1999.

In hiring Hardwich, Adams and Reese further strengthens its government relations and economic development presence in the Southeast. Also this month, immediate former South Carolina House Majority Leader Kenneth A. “Kenny” Bingham joined the firm’s Columbia Office as a leading Government Affairs Advisor (non-lawyer).