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Balch & Bingham LLP today announced that Lucien Smith, Gov. Phil Bryant’s former chief of staff, has joined the firm’s Jackson, Miss., office as a partner in the Governmental Relations Section. Mr. Smith brings deep experience in government relations gained from time serving as counsel to multiple Mississippi governors, as well as experience in business and financial litigation.

Mr. Smith has an extensive background in crafting and implementing legislative and public policy strategies. While serving as a chief of staff and policy director for Gov. Bryant, he advised on public policy, public finance, communications and legislative strategy, and oversaw multiple executive agency operations, including those of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration and the Mississippi Development Authority

“Lucien is known across Mississippi for his integrity, a steadfast commitment to public service and a tremendous knowledge of key issues impacting our state. He will strengthen our ability to be an active voice for our clients throughout the legislative process,” said Scott E. Andress, managing partner of the firm’s Jackson office. “We are pleased to welcome him back into our Jackson office and look forward to the great work he will do for our clients.”

Prior to working with Gov. Bryant, Mr. Smith was an attorney in Balch’s Jackson office, focusing his practice on civil litigation, primarily for clients in the energy sector. During this time, he also represented clients on government relations and regulatory issues.

He previously served as legal counsel to Gov. Haley Barbour, managing litigation for the governor and state, including serving as primary counsel on Mississippi’s successful constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Smith also advised Governor Barbour on state budget and fiscal issues.

“It is an honor to return to Balch and I look forward to working with the firm's extraordinary team of professionals,” said Mr. Smith. “Balch is a respected firm known nationally for the quality of its lawyers and clients, and I am excited to be a part of the team.”

A former law clerk to Judge Rhesa H. Barksdale of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Mr. Smith received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Proficient in French, he earned his master’s degree in global economic law from the University of Paris I and Sciences Po. He received his A.B. in government with honors from Harvard College.

He is a member of the Mississippi State Bar, Downtown Jackson Rotary Club, Capital Area Bar Association and State Republican Executive Committee.