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US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's Washington DC office is taking on the outgoing deputy administrator of the Panama Canal Commission.
Joseph Cornelison is joining the firm as senior counsel to advise clients on business opportunities in Latin America, with the emphasis on Panama.
He will also advise on maritime law, infrastructure development, project finance, intergovernmental relations, government contracting and the environment.
Five years ago, Cornelison was appointed by President Clinton to oversee the preparations for the transfer of the Panama Canal from the US to Panama. He has had a 31-year career in government.
Head of Akin Gump's international practice group Warren Connelly says: "We are excited that Joe has chosen to join us after his impressive career in government. He brings to the firm expertise in a variety of areas, which will enhance its abilities to service its clients."
Akin Gump has 900 lawyers worldwide and has European offices in London and Brussels as well as eight practices in the US, one in Moscow and one in Saudi Arabia.