San Antonio City Attorney Michael Bernard has been tapped to join the Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, an international legal team that has an office in San Antonio.
Bernard has served as the city's chief legal advisor since 2005 and before that he was first assistant district attorney for Bexar County. The move signals a shift back into the private sector for Bernard after having served in a public capacity for many years.
Tullos Wells, a senior partner at the law firm, said he was the perfect fit for the position.
"Michael has a terrific reputation as city attorney and as a trial lawyer," Wells said. "As we substantially increase our footprint in public finance in the greater central and south Texas area, Michael was an obvious choice."
Bernard most recently oversaw the implementation of the controversial non-discrimination ordinance. The objective of the new law was to consolidate the language into one place and it added three new classes to the list of protected groups in San Antonio: Gender identity, sexual orientation, and veteran status.
Wells said Bernard will serve as a key cornerstone of the public finance division of Bracewell & Giuliani as a partner in the San Antonio office. He said that includes representation of public entities in acquiring bond financing for schools, roads and other public projects. He'll also help governmental entities do business at the business-government intersection.
"We went to Michael. We sought Michael out on this," said Wells. "Many of us had known him as a friend for many, many years. After a while we were able to coax him into leaving the public sector and coming back to the private sector."
So far there is no date set for Bernard's departure from the city and when he will begin his new position.
"He will come on board as soon as the mayor, the city council, and the city manager release him," said Wells. "Michael has committed to join us but he's not sure of his start date until he has the concurrence of the city council."