"Winning Boeing - Serendipitous encounter pulled Wilkins into hunt for Boeing" Columbia Regional Business Report May 16, 2012
"Winning Boeing - Serendipitous encounter pulled Wilkins into hunt for Boeing" is the cover story of the May 14th edition of the Columbia Regional Business Report.
Billy Wilkins & Leighton Lord
pictured on the cover of
the May 14th, 2012 edition of the
Columbia Regional Business Report
Veteran reporter Jim Hammond detailed the lead role Nexsen Pruet attorney Billy Wilkins played in bringing the aerospace manufacturing giant to South Carolina.
An excerpt of Hammond's article:
"In August 2009... State Treasurer Converse Chellis was attending a Greenville luncheon and had a chance conversation with William W. 'Billy' Wilkins, a former chief justice of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals....
'Chellis was talking as if Boeing was just gaming South Carolina, by acting like they had some interest in South Carolina, but they were just using us to leverage the unions in Washington,' Wilkins said.
Wilkins went back to his office and called J. Michael Luttig, with whom Wilkins had served for 15 years on the appeals court bench. Luttig had resigned from the court when the Boeing Co. offered him the job of senior vice president and general counsel in 2006....
Luttig told Wilkins that he’d been authorized to ask Wilkins to put together an economic development team to work on behalf of Boeing 'to see what we can do.'
...Wilkins and his team lined up a meeting on Monday morning with Senate President pro tem Glenn McConnell, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman and state Sen. Paul Campbell in the offices of Nexsen Pruet in Charleston."
Within a couple months of Wilkins' initial contact with Luttig, a team of Nexsen Pruet attorneys had negotiated an incentives package that was approved by the South Carolina Legislature and the Boeing board had voted to locate its 787 Dreamliner assembly line in South Carolina.
Leighton Lord led the economic development team that included attorneys April Lucas, Ric Tapp, Stephanie Yarbrough and former director of the state Department of Revenue, Burnett Maybank.