WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reed Smith today announced that Kendra Perkins Norwood, a government contracts lawyer, has joined the firm’s global Regulatory & Investigations practice as a partner based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Norwood represents clients who do business with federal and state governments. With more than a dozen years in private practice, her clients have ranged from global aerospace and defense contractors to small and 8(a) firms, as well as technology and R&D start-ups. Norwood advises on a broad spectrum of regulatory, compliance, transactional and litigation matters. She also handles government investigations and has advised clients on all aspects of the government procurement process under agreements with nearly all major federal contracting and grant-awarding agencies.

Before law school, Norwood worked for more than 10 years at the National Aeronautics & Space Administration. At NASA, Norwood managed the agency’s portfolio of science, technology, engineering and mathematics grants and cooperative agreements, was deeply involved in legislative and intergovernmental affairs, and served as a budget and procurement analyst. Norwood’s extensive NASA experience gives her keen insight and understanding of related legal issues and makes her particularly astute on issues arising under technology investment agreements and Other Transaction Authority. She also has specific experience with companies involved in the Small Business Administration’s, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

“With decades of experience in government and private practice, Kendra’s knowledge of government contracting and procurement matters, including bid protests, government contracts due diligence, transaction support, and all procurement-related counselling work, will help us shape and grow our practice,” said Regulatory & Investigations chair Mike Lowell. “Kendra brings a great combination of litigation experience, industry connections and a diverse perspective that will benefit our clients and our firm; we are excited to welcome her to Reed Smith.”

Norwood’s wide-ranging practice includes representing clients in bid protests, contract claims and disputes, terminations, M&A, False Claims Act matters, suspension and debarment proceedings, and federal grant matters. Norwood also helps clients navigate and comply with the varied and often complex procedural requirements of doing business with federal and state governments. She is known for providing creative, yet practical advice derived from her depth of experience, with a strong focus on client service.

“I look forward to leveraging Reed Smith’s global platform to help build out the firm’s leading government contracts practice, whose collaborative approach to serving clients is well-aligned with my own,” Norwood said. “I am likewise impressed by Reed Smith’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Because Reed Smith not only values diversity, but also recognizes the importance of equity and inclusivity in the legal profession, this inevitably leads to the best client outcomes.”

While Norwood has helped clients in a broad range of cutting-edge industries – including aerospace and defense, information technology, telecom, higher education, security, architecture and engineering – her experience at the intersection of government and healthcare is a true differentiator. Norwood advises on government-funded contracts under Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Her work on the healthcare insurer side, including with pharmacy benefit managers, significantly bolsters Reed Smith’s market-leading managed care practice.

“Reed Smith’s Life Sciences Health Industry Group will provide immediate value to Norwood’s health care industry clients,” said Lesley Reynolds, the firm’s Washington, D.C., office managing partner. “Our global platform will also help her stay connected to the many relationships she has built over time.”

Prior to joining Reed Smith, Norwood was a partner at Wiley Rein, where she practiced for eight years, and an associate at both Blank Rome and Hollingsworth.
Norwood earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, her M.P.P. from Harvard University and her B.A. from Southern University and A&M College.

A thought-leader in her field, Norwood founded, and was the inaugural chair of, the National Bar Association’s (NBA) Government Procurement Law Section. She is also the past president of the Washington Bar Association, one of the largest and oldest affiliate chapters of the NBA. Norwood is likewise an active member of the ABA Section of Public Contract Law, where she had held several leadership roles. Norwood is also an adjunct professorial lecturer in government contracts law at Howard University School of Law.

Norwood serves on the Boards of Trustees for the Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys.