Retired House Majority Leader Dick Armey has confirmed that his post-congressional career will include work at the Washington and Dallas offices of Piper Rudnick LLP, a global law firm that has been aggressively building a government affairs practice with well-connected lawyers and professionals.
The Texas Republican will start today at Piper Rudnick as a senior policy adviser to some of the firm's largest clients, possibly in defense- and technology-related industries. He will not directly lobby his former congressional colleagues -- even after the elapse of a period during which departing members of Congress are not permitted to lobby, Armey and the firm said.
"Piper Rudnick is clearly a well-established operation with a clear game plan and design for what they want to accomplish," Armey said in a telephone interview before beginning work.
An economist by training and a member of Congress since 1984, Armey said he considered many offers in his last days on Capitol Hill.
Armey said he plans to continue pursuing conservative agenda items, such as the flat tax and homeland security, as a member of Piper Rudnick and through outside consulting. He said he also expects to work with the American Civil Liberties Union on privacy issues.
Francis B. Burch Jr., co-chairman of Piper Rudnick, which is Maryland's largest law firm, said Armey would be a "great complement." The firm was looking for someone just leaving Congress, specifically a Republican with experience in economic policy and tax issues, to bolster the government affairs practice, he said.
In October, Piper Rudnick acquired Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand -- a well-connected government affairs firm that brought as a partner former Maine Democratic Sen. George J. Mitchell. The firm also recently announced an alliance with the Cohen Group, a consulting business whose chairman is former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen.
Piper Rudnick has about 900 lawyers in 10 offices, including about 180 attorneys in Baltimore.