Locke Becomes Partner with Law Firm Davis Wright Tremaineby Chris McGann, Capitol Correspondent
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - February 16, 2005
Former Gov. Gary Locke became a partner with the Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremaine yesterday.
He will specialize in China and government relations.
"I'm really excited," Locke said. "They are one of the oldest and most respected law firms in Washington and the first U.S. law firm to open an office in Shanghai."
During his two terms as governor, Locke traveled to China four times to promote trade.
That experience -- and the celebrity Locke earned in China when he became the nation's first Chinese American governor -- is the main reason Davis Wright Tremaine recruited him, said Norman Page, the firm's executive committee chairman and co-chairman of the China practice group.
"Although he was born in the United States, the Chinese think of him as their native son who's done good," Page said. "Each time he's traveled in China, it's been big news there."
Page said the firm does not expect any favors for the people or agencies Locke has worked with in the past. However, if a client needed advice about policy, he said, Locke's experience would be a tremendous asset.
Locke, who has not been in private practice for more than a decade, said his new job in the private sector will not differ significantly from what he's done as governor.
"I see this as a great extension of the work I've been able to do as governor," Locke said, "in terms of trade and opening up markets for Washington and U.S. companies in Asia as well as meeting the needs of Asia."
Locke said that besides China, the government-relations aspect of the new job was also appealing.
"The government relations group includes energy policy," Locke said. "I have a big interest in making sure the Northwest continues to benefit from the low-cost power produced by the Bonneville Power Administration."
Locke said he would continue to work on ways to meet the Northwest's needs for power while still protecting salmon.
And as for opening new markets, Locke said it's not just the region's airplane and software companies that could benefit from good trade relations.
"Washington produces water filters and medical technologies as well," he said.
"Governor Locke was very effective and well known," Page said. "The regular reports from Washington businesses were that the governor gave them great assistance and opened doors for them in China."
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