At Williams & Connolly, public service is in our DNA. That has been true since our earliest days: Before coming to Williams & Connolly, our own Brendan Sullivan began his career in the Army. And it has remained true ever since, as demonstrated by our strong commitment to hiring and developing veterans in our staff and among our attorneys. Our ranks include the former Secretary of the Air Force and the former General Counsel of the Department of Defense, as well as veterans of a wide range of combat arms and support branches from all four services.
Lessons learned by our veterans in the military translate directly into how they represent our clients: With fierce determination, singular focus on mission, and unwavering loyalty to their teams and our clients. We represent a variety of companies, large and small, that work in the defense industry or whose work touches on defense-related issues. Our clients even include veterans themselves: Williams & Connolly has an active pro bono practice representing veterans in discharge upgrade and veterans’ benefits cases, as well as veterans’ appeals at every level, including the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court. Abraham Lincoln famously charged our government “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” Our attorneys hold the government to that longstanding promise.
Continue reading for fascinating profiles of some of our veteran attorneys and staff. See our pro bono and news pages for information on how we are vindicating veterans’ rights. And check back regularly for updates on our veterans’ group and our veterans’ work.
Derrick Anderson commissioned in the United States Army as an infantry officer in 2006. Within a year of graduating undergrad and completing Ranger School, he deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division to Iraq for 15-months in support of “the Surge.” He was then stationed with the 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard,” where he conducted over 150 funerals in Arlington National Cemetery and competed in the Best Ranger Competition twice, placing 9th place in 2010. After his time at The Old Guard, he attended Special Forces Assessment & Selection in 2011, ultimately graduating from the Qualification Course in May 2012 and earning his Green Beret. Over the next four years, Derrick served as the Commander of Operational Detachment-Alpha 5126 and 5125 and the Executive Officer for Operational Detachment-Bravo of the 5th Special Forces Group out of Fort Campbell, KY. Derrick deployed numerous times as a Green Beret officer, to Jordan, Bahrain, Lebanon, Israel, and Afghanistan. Since coming to Williams & Connolly, Derrick has advocated for fellow veterans in pro bono matters.
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Ted Bennett was commissioned in the Navy in May 1986. After his flight training in Florida and California, he and his wife Lisa were sent to a base near Tokyo, where Ted was assigned as a Naval Flight Officer aboard the USS Midway. During his time on the Midway, Ted flew missions in support of security during the 1988 Seoul Olympics, spent hundreds of hours on Cold War missions off the coast of the Soviet Far East, China, and Vietnam, protected neutral ships during the Iran-Iraq war, and flew 24 combat missions during the Gulf War. In 1991, Ted took orders to NATO’s military headquarters in Belgium, where Ted, Lisa, and later, baby Timothy, lived in a tiny farming village. From there, Ted flew missions in support of various NATO operations, including peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia during its civil war. He resigned his commission in 1993 to attend law school.
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Greg Bowman was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1990 through the Navy ROTC program at Duke University, serving 14 years on active duty and later retiring from the U.S. Naval Reserve after 20 years of total service. As a submarine officer, Greg served on the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS TOPEKA (SSN-754) and in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directive (J-5) of the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. After attending law school, Greg served as a Navy judge advocate gaining experience prosecuting criminal cases before juries, litigating civil cases, and conducting complex internal investigations, including serving as counsel to a 29-member commission appointed by the Secretary of Defense to investigate a terrorist attack against the USS Cole in October 2000, and serving on a commission convened to review the Navy’s handling of espionage cases.
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When he was 17, Bill Burke enlisted in the Air Force as a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Princeton University. He was commissioned in 1991 and then attended law school at the University of Virginia while a member of the Air Force reserve. After law school, he served on active duty from 1995-2000 as a Captain in the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Department. His first assignment was at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., home of the 11th Wing, where he was a prosecutor in courts-martial, represented the Air Force in employment litigation, and served as a military aide at the White House. In 1998, the Air Force reassigned him to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where he was a defense attorney. In that role, he defended Air Force members in courts-martial, discharge boards, and other adverse proceedings. In 2000, he left the Air Force and was delighted to join Williams & Connolly, where he is honored to work with many other veterans.
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Terrence Hamm joined the Air Force in September 1990 and after completion of Basic Training was assigned to the 3451st Student Squadron at Lowry AFB, Colorado. After some time with the 20th Component Repair Squadron at Royal Air Forces Upper Heyford as an Avionic Technician, he was subsequently stationed at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, to the 27th Component Repair Squadron. On May 30, 1996, Terrence was honored with the John Levitow Award, the highest honor presented to a graduate of Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education (PME); a graduate must rank in the top 1% of his or her class. He was also honored with the Military Citizenship Award, awarded for academic and leadership skills.
Jim Jackson enrolled in the Army ROTC in 1977 at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. In June of 1977, he was the 1st ROTC cadet to complete the U.S. Army Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. In May of 1979, Jim was commissioned as an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant and also received his degree in Speech Communications. He started on Active Duty in September 1979 and attended the U.S. Army Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. During that time, the U.S. Army granted him a Regular Army Commission. In December 1979, Jim’s first duty assignment was at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he was assigned as a Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training Company Executive Officer. In 1981 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and became a Training Battalion Operation Officer. In 1981, Jim’s next assignment was with C Company, 4th Bn, 10th Infantry, 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama as an Infantry Weapons Platoon Leader. He later took over as the C Company Executive Officer. Upon promotion to Captain in 1982, he was selected as the Battalion S1 (Intelligence Officer). While in Panama, Jim attended the U.S. Army Jumpmaster Course. In 1984, he finished his assignment in Panama and returned to the states to attend the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Upon completion of his Advanced Course, Jim was assigned as part of the start-up cadre for the newly activated 10th MTN Division (LI), at Fort Drum, New York. In 1985, he was selected as the Battalion S1 (Personnel Officer) for the 1st Bn, 22nd Infantry (LI). This was the first Infantry Battalion to be activated for the 10th MTN Division (LI). In 1987, Jim attended the U.S. Army Ranger Course and upon successful graduation was selected as B Company Commander, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry. In 1989, Jim changed command and departed Fort Drum to work as Infantry Chief at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, responsible for advising two Infantry Brigades in the Pennsylvania National Guard. In 1990, Jim was promoted to the rank of Major. In 1991, Jim took sole custody of his 2 children and with that, he resigned his commissioned to be able to concentrate on his time with family.
David Kendall received his Army commission as a 2LT in June 1970 after finishing a two-year ROTC program at Yale Law School. His basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in summer 1968 involved a notable cultural shock, from leafy green Oxford, England, to a large hot Army base in southwestern Georgia in the aftermath of the Tet offensive. The whiplash was not all bad, because U.S. Army chow was so much better than the university food he’d been eating in England for the last two years (real vegetables, fresh salads!). The Army approved him finishing law school and taking on a clerkship. David was on active duty 1972-1973 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, not far from Camp Atterbury where he was born in 1944 and where his father was stationed on active duty in World War II. David was on reserve call until June 1978 when he was honorably discharged. During this time, for reasons best known to the Army, he was promoted to 1LT.
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Prior to his legal career, Simon Latcovich was a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy after graduating from the Naval Academy. During his service on September 11, 2001, he oversaw the emergency sortie of a destroyer so that it could take station off the coast of New York. Later in his career, he was the Tactical Action Officer on the USS Briscoe and facilitated the launch of twenty-five Tomahawk missiles in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Simon also led an armed boarding team onto merchant ships off the coasts of Somalia, Yemen, and Syria in support of intelligence and law enforcement operations for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. As part of his continued support for veterans issues, Simon endowed the Latcovich Family Scholarship for veterans at the Georgetown University Law Center.
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Chris Mandernach graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997. As a surface warfare officer, Chris served at sea for nearly three-and-a-half years in ships forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and Manama, Bahrain. Chris participated in battle group operations throughout the Western Pacific, and later, during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, conducted mine-clearance operations in the waterways of Iraq and the Northern Arabian Gulf. Ashore, Chris served on the Chief of Naval Operations’ political-military affairs staff and taught for two years in the political science department at the U.S. Naval Academy. At Williams & Connolly, Chris leverages his service background to assist defense-industry clients in complex investigations and litigation.
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John McNichols enlisted in the United States Army as an infantry private in 1991. After a tour in Korea, he attended Special Forces Assessment & Selection in January 1993, ultimately graduating from the Qualification Course in December 1994. Over the next four years, John served with Operational Detachment-Alpha 741 of the 7th Special Forces out of Fort Bragg, deploying numerous times to Honduras, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Since coming to Williams & Connolly in 2005, John has advocated for fellow veterans before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and written articles on the employment and re-employment rights of former U.S. service members.
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Liam Montgomery was commissioned in the Navy in 1994, first as a Navy Intelligence Officer and later as a Naval Flight Officer flying F-14 Tomcats. He started Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps at Duke University during the Cold War, but when he was commissioned, the military was undergoing a historic drawdown in what promised to be a period of peace and prosperity. September 11, of course, changed everything. Liam was on duty that morning. Within hours of the attack, he was ordered to fly his jet to the USS John F. Kennedy off the Virginia coast to defend the Capitol area from further attack. Six months later, he was flying combat missions supporting ground troops in Afghanistan, bewildered by how much the world had changed. Since leaving the Navy in 2005, Williams & Connolly has enabled and encouraged Liam to continue his dedication to service and commitment to his fellow veterans.
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Terry O’Donnell is a 1966 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the Air Force and served as a Counterintelligence Officer in Washington D.C. and the Republic of South Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star. After graduating from Georgetown Law School, he served in the Air Force Judge Advocate’s Corps, resigning in June 1972 to work in the White House, first on the staff of President Nixon and then as Special Assistant and Personal Assistant to the President in the Gerald R. Ford administration. He joined Williams & Connolly in 1977 and was appointed in 1981 by President Reagan as a member of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, serving as Chair of the Board from 1984 to 1988. He was Nominated by President George Bush in 1989 as General Counsel of the Department of Defense, serving in that position through early 1992. He was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Secretary Cheney and the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for contributions to law enforcement.
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Whit Peters was Secretary of the Air Force from 1999 to early 2001. Prior to that, he served as Under Secretary and Acting Secretary of the Air Force and Principle Deputy General Counsel of the United States Department of Defense (“DOD”). During his time in the Air Force, he was instrumental in moving the service into a rotational, expeditionary force structure with Reserve and Guard forces being put on an equal footing with active duty forces for wartime and humanitarian missions. His tenure also saw the fielding of the C-17 and F-22 aircraft, the start of the F-35 program, and the launch of a new family of missile-warning satellites. In addition, he oversaw (and found funding for) the transformation of the Predator UAV from a science project to an armed weapon system. He is portrayed in a feature film, Last Full Measure, for his leadership in obtaining the Congressional Medal of Honor for A1C William Pitsenbarger. He has subsequently served on national and DOD boards and commissions and was recently the National Chairman of the Air Force Association. Early in his career, at the height of the Vietnam War, he was commissioned as a Reserve Line Officer in the Navy. Some three years later, he was involuntarily transferred to the inactive reserve as part of the massive drawdown of forces after the War. At Williams & Connolly, he has represented individuals and companies in disputes with the military services and DOD.
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Ed graduated from West Point in 1991, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Aviation Branch, and served as a helicopter pilot after graduating from the Army’s flight school in 1992. He later transferred to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, receiving his J.D. in 1998 from the University of Virginia where he attended under the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program. In 2004, he earned an LL.M. in Military Law with a specialization in Government Contracts from the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School.
During his time on active duty, Ed served with four different infantry divisions including assignments as: a scout platoon leader in the 2nd Squadron, 9th Calvary with the 7th Infantry Division (Light) (Fort Ord, CA); a command aviation platoon leader and brigade HHC executive officer with the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Fort Stewart, GA); a military prosecutor and legal assistance attorney with the 4th Infantry Division (Fort Hood, TX); and the senior defense counsel for the trial defense service assigned with the 3rd Infantry Division (Fort Stewart, GA).
As a JAG officer, Ed gained significant criminal trial experience handling felony-level cases. He also served as a civil litigation attorney with the Army’s Litigation Division, where he was appointed as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney defending the United States and its employees in wrongful death, negligence, medical malpractice, and Constitutional tort suits in federal court. In these roles, he first-chaired dozens of bench and jury trials, as well as numerous contested administrative hearings.
As a reservist, Ed taught federal litigation and advocacy as an adjunct professor at the Army’s JAG School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ed retired from the reserves as a lieutenant colonel in 2012.
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Dan Shanahan was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1992. Dan served four years as a Surface Warfare Officer, including serving as the Communications Officer, and then Repair Officer, on an Aegis Cruiser, followed by a short tour as a Flag Lieutenant for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. Dan then attended Georgetown Law as part of the Navy’s Law Education Program followed by six years of service as a JAG. As a judge advocate, Dan gained considerable trial experience trying cases ranging from theft to capital double murder. He also served as a civil litigation attorney with the Navy’s General Litigation Division, where he represented the Navy in federal courts in a wide range of civil matters including a large class action alleging violations of the First Amendment. Dan has handled multiple pro bono matters on behalf of current and former service members.
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Brendan Sullivan was commissioned as a United States Army Captain from 1968-1969. He began his trial career assigned to defend 27 soldiers in the “Presidio Mutiny Trials.” During these proceedings, Brendan gained a reputation as an aggressive courtroom lawyer and an outspoken critic of the system of military justice. As retribution, Brendan was summarily ordered to Vietnam. Senators called for a Congressional investigation into the suspicious circumstances of the transfer. Walter Cronkite declared that he had been punitively transferred to Vietnam because of his zealous defense of the soldiers. After an inquiry, Brendan’s orders were canceled by the Army on the eve of his departure.
Brendan’s courage brought him to the attention of Edward Bennett Williams, who quickly hired him. The rest is history. Since then, he has built a national practice focused on the defense of individuals caught up in high-profile cases.
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Ben Waldman commissioned as an Army armor officer in May 2015. He trained at Fort Benning, Georgia (now Fort Moore) on tank and reconnaissance operations. As a native Brooklynite, he learned to drive tanks before learning to drive cars. He then served in the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas. Ben first led an armored scout platoon before becoming a tank company executive officer. In 2017, he deployed with the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment to Syria and Kuwait for nine months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. Ben’s unit secured key supply routes in support of the fight against ISIS. Ben left the Army as a Captain in 2019.