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Darrell L. Conner

Darrell Conner is a government affairs counselor in the firm's public policy and law practice group, one of the largest policy groups in the United States. As a government affairs counselor for K&L Gates, he has more than 30 years of experience working with Congress and the executive branch. Since 2017, he has been recognized by The Hill as one of the nation's Top Lobbyists. Darrell is known for his experience in the maritime and fisheries sectors, where he combines his substantive knowledge of those areas with his understanding of policymaking in government and Congress to assist clients with achieving their goals. Darrell leads the Firm’s maritime policy practice and was previously a leader of the public policy and law practice group of K&L Gates. 

Darrell's practice focuses on federal government relations, where he represents clients on a range of matters, including:

  • Domestic and international shipping (including military sealift);
  • Port and maritime security;
  • International trade;
  • Fisheries and natural resources;
  • Domestic energy policy;
  • Transportation and infrastructure; and
  • Federal appropriations and budget.

He also has extensive legislative experience in general public policy analysis and planning, strategic counseling, and coalition management and coordination. Darrell also assists clients in incorporating public policy into their strategic planning, integrating public relations into their legal and advocacy activities, and legislative drafting.

His principal representations include cargo and passenger vessel operators, a ship classification society, transportation product manufacturers and service providers, fishermen and other fishery stakeholders, and a leading coalition of U.S. maritime interests.

He has worked with the Department of Transportation (including the office of the Secretary, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Maritime Administration), the Department of Commerce (specifically, the office of the Secretary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Marine Fisheries Service), the Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Coast Guard), and the Department of Defense (including U.S. Transportation Command).

Darrell is previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Propeller Club of the United States, and is a past president of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the International Propeller Club.

He served on the staff of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries of the U.S. House of Representatives under its ranking member, Congressman Bob Davis (R-MI).

  • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States as a Recommended Lawyer for Shipping - litigation and regulation, 2024
  • The Hill’s: Top Lobbyists 2023, The Hill, December 2023
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