Is Alabama Power Ready to Cut the Ropes with Balch?

[This post originally appeared on November 13, 2017. Today, almost a year and a half later, it is more truthful than ever: Mark Crosswhite, Alexia Borden, and Houston Smith need to make their future brighter and end the relationship, no matter how wonderful it was in the past, with Balch & Bingham. Balch & Bingham used to be respected and feared. No more. Even insiders were overheard laughing about Balch and Crosswhite’s troubles at Topgolf recently. ]

Demonstrating how toxic Balch & Bingham ‘s reputation has become, the Board of Directors of Alabama Power promoted two former Balch & Bingham partners but intentionally avoided mentioning their prior association with the embattled law firm in a press release.

Promoting former Balch attorney Alexia Borden to Senior Vice President and  General Counsel, the release states, “Before joining the company, Borden practiced law for over a decade in Birmingham and Montgomery, representing Alabama Power and other clients in environmental and natural resources matters and governmental relations.”

Another Balch partner, Houston Smith was also promoted by the board to Vice President of Governmental Affairs, and the release states, “Prior to joining the company, Smith practiced law in Birmingham, principally in litigation matters.”

With the President and CEO of Alabama Power Mark Crosswhite, also a former Balch & Bingham attorney, the Southern Company subsidiary is saturated with former Balch attorneys and partners.  In all fairness, the Balch firm they worked for was probably a different animal back in the day.

We congratulate Alexia and Houston, but call on them and the Board of Directors at Alabama Power to immediately suspend their relationship with Balch & Bingham.

There are many other viable law firms that can produce the same work product or perform the same lobbying efforts.

On top of that, Balch’s former top D.C. lobbyist William F. Stiers  jumped ship and left the firm after two decades. Will others soon do the same?

The Board of Directors of Alabama Power appears to have affirmed that Balch & Bingham has more than an image problem.

Time to cut the ropes.