Cozen O’Connor has announced that aviation industry attorney Rachel Welford has returned to the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group. She joins Cozen O’Connor from American Airlines, where she served as the director of security and government affairs. Welford will reside in the firm’s Washington D.C. office.
Welford brings substantial capabilities to the firm on a wide range of matters in the area of aviation security law and policy involving U.S. government agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Welford focuses her practice on representing airlines, airports, and other regulated entities before TSA on civil enforcement actions as well as counseling regulated entities on compliance with TSA security regulations. She also advises on the legal and business ramifications of evolving TSA and CBP legislative and regulatory changes as well as transactional matters with an aviation security nexus.
“Rachel’s experience with aviation security matters, particularly at the intersection of security law, policy, and compliance will be of great value to the firm’s airline and other aviation industry clients,” says David Heffernan, a member of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group and co-chair of its Aviation Industry Team. “Our clients are facing increasingly complex legal and operational challenges in the security area.”
Previously at Cozen O’Connor, as part of her broader aviation practice, Welford guided major aviation companies through the increasingly complex safety and economic regulatory measures promulgated by domestic and international regulatory bodies. She also counseled U.S. and foreign airlines on strategies for compliance with consumer protection and aviation safety laws implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration. In addition to helping clients secure economic and code sharing authority and international frequencies from the DOT, she guided enterprises through aviation regulatory issues concerning mergers and acquisitions, licensing and certification, and briefed clients on due diligence associated with multi-million-dollar commercial aviation transactions.
“Aviation industry regulation is intense and unremitting. To meet compliance directives and maximize economic performance, our clients need dedicated aviation counsel with a proven track record,” says Jeffrey Lawrence, chair of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group. “That’s what Rachel brings, and I’m thrilled to welcome her back to the firm.”
Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor, Welford was an associate with Wiley Rein LLP’s Aviation and Corporate Practice groups, advising high net worth individuals on FAA regulations pertaining to personal use of business aircraft and providing counsel on the regulatory landscape surrounding commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems.
Welford earned her J.D. at George Mason University School of Law and her B.A. at the University of Michigan.