WASHINGTON, D.C. – Global law firm Reed Smith today announced the addition of two attorneys to the firm’s expanding state Attorneys General (AG) team, as well its global IP, Tech & Data practice group.

Paul W. Connell, the former Deputy Attorney General and Senior Counsel for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, joins Reed Smith as a partner, and Aaron R. Lancaster, former counsel at Baker Hostetler, joins as counsel. Both are resident in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, and Connell will also spend time in the Chicago office.

“As a former Deputy Attorney General, Paul developed a network of relationships with state attorneys general nationwide, and he has a deep understanding of the risks and challenges that companies face when they find themselves in the crosshairs of complex investigations, compliance and regulatory matters brought by AGs,” said Washington, D.C.-based partner Divonne Smoyer, who heads the firm’s State Attorneys General team. “As AGs move more aggressively into investigating businesses across a vast array of industry sectors, Paul’s combined experience as a former AUSA [Assistant United States Attorney] and in state government is an extreme value add for Reed Smith’s clients.”

In his role as Deputy AG, Connell served as principal advisor to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and directed day-to-day operations at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, including directing and managing litigation for, and supervising, some 110 assistant attorneys general and all cases led by the Office of the Solicitor General.

“There are few law firms, and even fewer lawyers, who focus on the state AG practice, and this is a clear differentiator for Reed Smith, which makes it a perfect fit for my return to private practice,” said Connell. “I look forward to working with Divonne, Aaron, and the rest of the AG team to proactively address issues important to our clients and help them address issues when AGs initiate investigations or litigation against individual companies or entire industries.”