One of the state's top-ranked lobbyists, Alexander "Sandy" Sands III, is switching firms again. He's moving to the giant law firm Nexsen Pruet, which has more than 185 attorneys in offices in North and South Carolina.
The firm boasts several well-connected politicos on its government affairs team, including former Gov. Jim Holshouser, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly Lake, and former Assistant Commerce Secretary Ernie Pearson.
Sands served in the state Senate from 1986 to 1994. He had been working for Williams Mullen, representing clients ranging from Bank of America to Cisco to Phillip Morris to Blackwater USA. Sands had been with Williams Mullen since April 2010, when he left Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Sands had to testify before a grand jury about a fundraising scheme that sent then-House Speaker Jim Black to prison. He was not accused of wrongdoing.
Nexsen Pruet joined with the Sanford Holshouser firm in 2009, and has become one of the largest law firms in the state. It now has 19 attorneys in the Triangle, headquartered in Raleigh.