CHARLESTON – Peter Markham, previous general counsel and deputy chief of staff for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and lawyer since 2003, was recently added as an attorney at Bowles Rice, where he feels a “strong family connection.”
Markham’s father was an attorney at Bowles Rice, where he “spent his entire career and was its seventh lawyer back in 1970,” Markham told The West Virginia Record.
Markham told the publication he is eager to work with the team and lawyers at Bowles Rice he has “long admired.”
“I chose Bowles Rice because the firm attracts, among other things, top-notch commercial, government relations and civil litigation work," he said. “I’ve advised and represented banks, labor organizations, energy companies, a Wall Street executive, a governor, and neighbors who needed help. So it made sense for me, as a generalist to land at a firm that gets wide-ranging work,” he said.
Markham said with his previous experience, including acting as general counsel to the governor, he learned many diverse practices and how to achieve success.
During his time serving with the governor, Markham said, “I learned how state government really operates while serving as Gov. Tomblin’s general counsel. The political science textbooks get the general process right, but they fail to capture how big personalities, budget constraints, outside pressures, and (mis) information all influence the great power struggle under the dome.”
Acting in this challenging role, Markham said, “He taught me to always look for compromise, because whatever the tough issue of the day is, it will return again next year, and it is better to make a good deal than generate bad blood.”
Here, he also learned that in order to have an advantage over others, it is always best to “obtain the best, most thorough, up-to-date information.”
Markham said he offered the governor “sound, conservative legal advice,” and credits his biggest accomplishments to, “advising the administration on managing the many disasters we faced, like the 2012 derecho, the 2014 water crisis, and the 2016 floods,” he said.
He credits Gov. Tomblin for his smooth way of “navigating that power struggle.”
With his new role at Bowles Rice, Markham believes he is “well prepared to assist all manner of clients at Bowles Rice and I look forward to rebuilding my practice here.”