Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has announced the additon of Robert M. Couch to its Banking & Financial Services Practice Group. He joins as counsel in the firm’s Birmingham, Ala. office. Couch previously served as General Counsel of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from December 2006 to November 2008, initially as acting General Counsel until his Senate confirmation in June 2007. He acted as the chief legal advisor to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and other principal staff, providing advice on federal laws, regulations and policies affecting HUD programs. Prior to that he served as president of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), where he was responsible for administering its mortgage-backed securities program, involving over $414 billion in securities, and its $123 billion Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit program. Prior to government service, Couch was president and CEO of New South Federal Savings Bank, one of the largest thrifts in Alabama with $1.8 billion in assets and annual loan production volume of approximately $1.2 billion. He also served as general counsel and chief financial officer of First Commercial Bancshares, a bank holding company headquartered in Birmingham. An active member of the mortgage banking industry, Couch is a former chairman and a member of the board of directors of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). For seven years, he served on the Strategic Planning Committee of that organization. He has also served as president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama. "Rob is very well known and respected, both in Alabama and nationally, for his government service and work in the banking and financial services sector, and we are very happy to welcome him back to the firm," said John B. Grenier, managing partner. "He brings a broad base of experience to the table, and we have no doubt our clients will benefit greatly from his insight and expertise in a range of topics at the intersection of finance and government regulation." Couch holds a JD and BS from Washington and Lee University. He was a law clerk for Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. of the United States Supreme Court and previously was an associate at Bradley Arant Rose & White, a predecessor to Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. He is a certified public accountant (inactive), a member of the Arkansas Society of Public Accountants, and a Certified Mortgage Banker. For more information, visit www.babc.com.