Leigh S. Ratiner

Resume and Detailed Chronology

Well known Washington lawyer and diplomat 

Leigh Ratiner has practiced international law and negotiations, commercial law and maintained an active legislative practice for forty years. In government service he served under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Reagan and has been a senior government executive in the FAA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, the Department of Energy and the Department of State. He has also been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United Nations and the Governments of Liberia and Sri Lanka. He has received the highest honors from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Interior. He was recently made an Honoree of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

He devoted fifteen years to negotiating the Law of the Sea Treaty (which regulates all uses of the world's oceans including military navigation, fishing, ocean mining, pollution and which establishes a world tribunal for settling ocean disputes). He rose through the ranks to beome America's lead negotiator during the concluding session of the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference (UNCLOS) in 1982 which was the largest law making international conference ever held. He headed an American delegation of over 100 members and chaired the caucus of industrialized countries to that Conference including Russia, Japan, the UK, France and Germany. 

In the 1980's he was a senior partner at one of Washington's ten largest law firms and managed the international department as well as the government relations practice. After being called back into government in 1981 to bring the treaty negotiations to an end, he returned to his law firm and became lead counsel in an array of complex litigation matters against departments and agencies of the United States government. 

In addition, he organized lobbying campaigns for large companies and citizen coalitions in numerous fields. He has represented such companies and groups as General Motors, Mitsubishi, BP, the Shrimp Harvesters Coalition, the New England Fisheries Coalition, the US Tuna industry and numerous others. 

He has been an adjunct professor at the American University School of Law and the University of Maryland school of Law teaching a variety of subjects ranging from effective negotiating, lobbying practice, ethics, pre-trial litigation, and oral and written advocacy.

He left large law firm practice in 1987 and went into solo practice, management consulting and consulting to lobbyists and public relations companies.

In 1989 he moved to Annapolis where he was selected by the Anne Arundel County Executive to serve on her advisory panel concerning the divisive development and transportation issues relating to a major base closure on prime Annapolis waterfront acreage. He was also a mediator and attorney for other community and business disputes. He represented the Government of Sri Lanka in its effort to persuade the United States government to assist in the civil war in that country and was retained to save the career of an FBI agent accused of lying to Congress. He also consulted for General Motors in its effort to better organize, and improve the effectiveness of, its technological innovation programs in Washington.

He headed Government Relations for a federation of community associations comprising 40,000 citizens in Anne Arundel County and was President of the Burley Creek Community Association for six years.

Leigh still practices law on a highly selective basis. He is an active member of the Bar of the District of Columbia. He continues to do political consulting for corporations and governments. 

In Baltimore, Leigh served as President of the Northshore at Canton Townhomes and subsequently founded the Boston Street Association to include additional communities and expand the political influence of the western portion of Canton.

He also chaired, the Baltimore City Liquor Advisory Committee- which includes a diverse group of citizens and bar owners-and worked in an advisory role to the State Board of Liquor License Commissioners for the City of Baltimore. He, and then Governor Ehrlich, were awarded Community Service Awards in 2006 by the Commissioners.

In addition to his civic activities he has been a political consultant and lobbyist for the Cignal Corporation regarding real estate development issues in Baltimore and the city’s real estate tax policy and publicist for procon.org, a web site dedicated to teaching students analytical thinking.

For additional details about Leigh and his various activities click here. 

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