W. Harrison Wellford

Retired Partner

Harrison Wellford retired from the partnership in June 2006. He was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office, where he also served as co-chairman of the firm's energy practice. In the 1980's, he was a leading advocate for the creation of the competitive power industry and was a founder of the largest trade association for the independent power companies. He served as outside counsel, strategic advisor and investor in two of the leading independent cogeneration power companies created during that time, Intercontinental Energy Corporation and Sithe Energies. From 1995-1998, he was Chairman of the firm's International Practice, directing Latham's expansion in Asia and other parts of the world. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Wellford was Vice Chairman of Sithe Energies, Inc., one of the world's largest merchant power generation companies. Since 2000, in addition to ongoing work in mergers and acquisitions and energy project finance, Mr. Wellford has assisted a number of renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource recovery and environmental technology companies with private equity financing, project financing, and mergers and acquisitions. 

Mr. Wellford holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University where he was a Danforth Fellow and Teaching Fellow and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law School. He was a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University and valedictorian of his graduating class at Davidson College.

Mr. Wellford has advised Democratic President-elects, Presidential nominees and Senate Committees on Presidential transition planning for over 20 years. In 1976-77, he was head of the Government Reform Task Force for President-elect Carter's Transition Team and prepared the White House staff organization plan for the new President. In 1980-1981, he served as Presidential Transition Director for Executive Departments and Agencies during the Carter-Reagan transition. In 1992, Mr. Wellford served as White House transition advisor to President-elect Clinton and served on the Economic Policy Group of the Transition Team with responsibility for planning Congressional budget strategy. In 2004, he chaired Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry's pre-election transition team responsible for organizing the transition of the White House Staff and the Executive Office of the President.

From 1977-1981, Mr. Wellford was Executive Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. He was in charge of management, reorganization and regulatory policy for OMB. He served for four years as Executive Director of the President's Reorganization Project which prepared and advocated before Congress executive agency reorganization plans for the Executive Office of the President, the Dept. of Energy, the Dept. of Education, the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency (FEMA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and several other agencies.

In the US Senate between 1972-76, Mr. Wellford served as Chief Legislative Assistant to the late Senator Philip A. Hart, chairman of the Antitrust and Environment Subcommittees in the Senate. Between 1969-1972, he was a public interest advocate, serving as Executive Director of the Center for Study of Responsive Law (popularly known as "Nader's Raiders"), and advocating environmental and consumer causes before the Congress and Executive agencies.

He has written two books, Sowing the Wind, a study of government regulation of environmental hazards, and Unfair Competition? The Challenge to Charitable Tax Exemptions. His articles have appeared in Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Monthly, the Outlook Section of the Washington Post and other national and professional publications.

Mr. Wellford served on the Board of the Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas, a NGO whose mission is the mitigation of Greenhouse Gases through the trading of carbon credits. He was Secretary Treasurer and a founding board member of Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies, a nonprofit that uses donations of art and garden landscaping to enhance the cultural ambience of American embassies throughout the world, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and the Center for Excellence in Government. He has also served as a Trustee of Davidson College and has served on the boards of public companies including Vivendi North America, Sithe Energies and the General Nutrition Corporation.



  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1976
  • PhD, Harvard University, 1976
  • MA, Cambridge University, 1963
  • BA, Davidson College, 1962