Aviation Lawyer Naveen C. Rao Joins Patton Boggs

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    Noted Aviation Attorney Strengthens Firm’s Aviation Practice

    WASHINGTON, July 15, 2013 – Patton Boggs LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Naveen C. Rao, a noted aviation attorney with extensive experience in the public and private sectors, to the firm’s Aviation practice group as of counsel.

    Resident in the firm’s Washington DC office, Mr. Rao joins Patton Boggs from Jones Day. The latest addition to Patton Boggs’ Aviation practice, Mr. Rao offers extensive knowledge of the issues transforming the aviation industry, particularly those related to aviation regulation and policy.

    “Despite deregulation more than thirty years ago, few sectors of the national economy must comply with more complex regulation than aviation.  Increased national security concerns have further expanded government oversight of the airline industry,” said former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, a partner at Patton Boggs.  “We are thrilled to add Naveen to our growing team and expand the support we offer to our aviation and aerospace industry clients,” he said.   

    Mr. Rao is well-suited to practice at Patton Boggs. He acquired extensive experience at the Department of Transportation (DOT), where, as counselor to the assistant secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, he helped formulate U.S. aviation policy, administer economic programs affecting the airline industry, and coordinate international programs across multiple transportation modes. 

    Mr. Rao also acquired a deep understanding of safety regulations through his work as a regulatory attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and as a private pilot. Through his work for the government and the private sector, Mr. Rao has developed a keen sense for the needs of the aviation and aerospace industry during a transformative time – the industry is striving for greater profitability while grappling with an ever-evolving regulatory landscape and the ongoing introduction of new technologies. Mr. Rao’s exceptional perspective on this changing industry was a primary driver of Patton Boggs pursuing his expertise, which will complement and enhance the capabilities of the firm’s Aviation team in these challenging times.

    Mr. Rao joins an exceptional aviation team at Patton Boggs, which includes a number of former high-ranking officials of federal agencies with oversight of the aviation industry.  In addition to Secretary Slater, who served as secretary of transportation under President Bill Clinton and now helps clients plan a safer, more efficient, environmentally sound and sustainable worldwide transportation infrastructure, the aviation team includes:

    • Stephen J. McHale, partner, held a variety of senior positions during 24 years of government service in the departments of Justice, Treasury, Transportation and Homeland Security. Mr. McHale served as the first deputy administrator of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and oversaw the federalization of aviation security after the September 11 attacks. Mr. McHale represents domestic and international airlines before DHS, TSA and Customs and Border Protection and advises aviation clients on advising on international trade and investment, economic sanctions, anti-money laundering compliance and relevant security issues.
    • Gregory S. Walden, of counsel, is a former chief counsel to the FAA. Mr. Walden advises diverse facets of the aviation sector on specific matters pending before DOT, the FAA, CBP and Congress. He also advises these entities on pending policy developments, and advocates on their behalf before Congress.

    At Patton Boggs, Mr. Rao will advise aviation and aerospace clients on regulatory matters before the FAA and DOT, competition and antitrust concerns, environmental law, labor and employment issues, and corporate transactions including diligence advice.  In addition to his work at Jones Day the FAA and DOT, Mr. Rao served as vice president and general counsel of an aviation technology startup, and acquired experience at United Airlines, All Nippon Airways and with the Government of Japan.

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