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Richard L. Spees

Office Managing Partner 
Chair, Government Affairs & Public Policy Practice Group
750 Ninth Street, N.W.
Suite 750
Washington, D.C. 20001
Rick Spees serves as the chair of Akerman's Government Affairs & Public Policy Practice Group and the managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Rick leads a bipartisan team of professionals providing strategic counsel on policy and regulatory issues in the United States. With his experience working on Capitol Hill, and decades of advocacy on behalf of clients before federal agencies, Rick represents public and private entities in their interactions with the government, helping them secure funding from executive agencies and address issues raised by complex laws and regulations.

Rick represents a wide range of clients in the education, government, healthcare, and transportation sectors, including cities, counties, transit authorities, educational institutions, science centers, hospital systems, and other corporations. Prior to private practice, Rick served in a number of positions in the U.S. Senate, including three years as the staff director and chief counsel of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary, and Related Agencies. He also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a legislative assistant for Senator Paul Laxalt (R-Nevada).

In the community, Rick serves as the lead for Akerman's DC pro bono team supporting Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). He is a member of the board of A Brighter Tomorrow For Africa Foundation, which conducts feeding programs and other charitable work in Sierra Leone. For six years he also served on the board of Reading Partners—Washington DC, a children's literacy nonprofit organization.
Representative Experience
Appropriations - Experience includes assisting clients in securing federal funds, in legislative allocations, authorizations and agency grants.
Transportation - Experience includes work on several surface transportation reauthorization bills, part of the team that helped draft the State Infrastructure Bank legislation which was the first federal innovative financing program, and assisting ports and beach communities obtain funding and project management from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
Government - Experience includes work for cities, counties, transit properties, airports, educational institutions, science centers and foreign governments.
Council of American Overseas Research Centers - General Counsel
International Center for Middle Eastern+Western Dialogue (The Hollings Center) - General Counsel
Ocean Stewards Institute - General Counsel
Published Works & Lectures
Association of Science Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference, Speaker, "Defying Physics: A Countervailing View of Washington," October 2014
Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition Fall 2013 Meeting, Speaker, "Charting a Path Forward Without a Map," November 2013
"Paul Laxalt -- Man of Political Independence," The Maverick Spirit: Building the New Nevada, Chapter 11, 1999
Professional Memberships & Activities
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, Business Council, Member
Reading Partners DC, Board Member
Foundation for Prader Willi Research, Pro bono legal work
Related Professional Experience
U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary, and Related Agencies, Staff Director and Chief Counsel, 1982-1986
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Regulatory Reform, Majority Counsel, 1981 - 1982
Office of Senator Paul Laxalt, U.S. Senate, Legislative Assistant

Richard L. Spees

Government Affairs & Public Policy
Representative Clients
Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX)
Chabot Space and Science Center
City of Orlando, Florida
Nye County, Nevada
Ocean Stewards Institute
Peralta Community College System
Carson City, Nevada
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1979; with honors
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1976; Economics, with honors
Bar Admissions
District of Columbia
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