K&L Gates Adds Longtime Public Safety Professional as Austin Government Affairs Advisor

15 June 2020

Austin - The Austin office of global law firm K&L Gates LLP has added Skylor Hearn as a government affairs advisor in its public policy and law practice. Hearn joins K&L Gates after more than two and a half decades in government services, public safety, and law enforcement at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), where he was a lieutenant colonel and most recently served as deputy director for the law enforcement services branch.

As deputy director, Hearn oversaw the agency’s $1.4 billion annual budget as well as eight major divisions comprising more than 5,000 commissioned and non-commissioned personnel encompassing such programs as contracting and procurement, criminal justice information systems and data analysis, the forensic crime laboratory system, cybersecurity, and information technology along with finance, budgeting, and legislative appropriations. Hearn spent the last decade working closely with members of the state legislature and statewide elected officials on numerous issues impacting the state and DPS. Hearn also held other executive positions with DPS including division chief and regional commander.

Prior to his executive roles, Hearn served in the Texas Ranger Division. As a Texas Ranger company commander, Hearn oversaw high profile, sensitive, and complex criminal and administrative investigations, including training Texas Ranger personnel in investigative techniques and legal applications and organizing large-scale border security operations.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Skylor for a number of years, and it’s exciting to welcome him to our team,” said Jack M. Erskine, managing partner of K&L Gates’ Austin office. “His knowledge of procurement, cyber, the legislative process, and criminal and law enforcement all greatly enhance and expand our client services. He is highly respected both in Texas and nationally, and a very significant addition to the firm’s policy practice.”

Hearn’s arrival follows the additions of government affairs counselor Jeff Denham and partner Andrew Wright to the firm’s public policy and law practice last year, as well as the 2019 additions of health care partner Jacqueline Hoffman in Dallas; a team of four intellectual property lawyers led by partner Stewart Mesher in Austin; and construction partner Bart Turner in Houston.

K&L Gates also has welcomed more than a dozen new partners and of counsel during the first several months of 2020, including in the firm’s Charleston, Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Melbourne, Paris, Frankfurt, Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., offices across practices such as corporate, tax, health care, environment, land and natural resources, asset management and investment funds, IP litigation, restructuring and insolvency, government contracts, and investigations, enforcement and white collar.

K&L Gates’ leading public policy and law practice has more than 50 bipartisan lawyers and policy professionals with 500 years of combined experience in federal and state government, including four former members of Congress, the former general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House officials, other congressional committee counsels, senior executive branch officials, congressional chiefs of staff, leadership staff, senior counsel at various government agencies, senior gubernatorial aides, military officials, and others.

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