North Carolina’s Richard Burr joins global law and lobbying firm after leaving Senate

Former Sen. Richard Burr has joined DLA Piper as a principal policy adviser and chair of the Health Policy Strategic Consulting Practice, the international law and lobbying firm announced Tuesday.

Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, spent nearly 30 years representing the state in Congress.

Burr is not a lobbyist for the firm. As a former member of the Senate, he must abide by a two-year cooling off period before he is allowed to lobby.

“The addition of Senator Burr is yet another way the firm is further distinguishing and refining its service offerings and capabilities in the life sciences and healthcare sectors with the aim of keeping our clients advised of what’s around the corner,” Frank Ryan, the firm’s Americas chair, global co-chair and co-CEO, said in a statement. “Senator Burr and his team will offer strategic advice based on institutional knowledge, political intelligence and a nuanced understanding of marketplace conditions in a complex global economy.”

Former Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina joined McGuire Woods, a law and lobbying firm, following his retirement. Members of the House have a one-year cooling off period, so Butterfield is serving as an adviser at the firm.

Burr served on the Senate’s committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Intelligence and Finance committees. The news release credits Burr for accomplishments that include:

  • The 1997 FDA Modernization Act

  • The Pandemic All Hazards Preparedness Act

  • The PREVENT Pandemics Act

  • The creation of the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health.

Burr spent 10 years in the House of Representatives and 18 more in the Senate, but announced before winning his third Senate term that it would be his last, and that he would not seek election to any other public office.

Former Gov. Pat McCrory, former Rep. Mark Walker and former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley all ran to replace Burr in the Senate, but his seat ultimately went to former Rep. Ted Budd, a Republican from Davie County, not far from Burr’s hometown of Winston-Salem.

Burr was under investigation for insider trading until around the time of his retirement, but was ultimately cleared by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Burr is bringing with him to DLA Piper two former congressional staffers who the firm said would serve as policy advisers and would supplement its legal, policy, economic, medical and technological attorneys and advisers in health care and life sciences.

“In addition to the draw of DLA Piper’s strong platform, its expansive global footprint is one of the reasons we chose the firm,” Burr said. “Life sciences is global by every nature, and this allows us to build a roadmap to advise clients no matter where they’re doing business.”

For more North Carolina government and politics news, subscribe to the Under the Dome politics newsletter from The News & Observer and the NC Insider and follow our weekly Under the Dome podcast at or wherever you get your podcasts.