Skip to Main Content
Professional Photo

Wendy Huff Ellard


Wendy Huff Ellard is the co-leader of the Firm's Disaster Recovery and Government Services Team and maintains a national regulatory practice focused on disaster recovery, government contracting and public policy.

Featured Videos

Preparing for Hurricane Season: Updates to FEMA's Program and Procurement Rules June 24, 2021
How Health Care Organizations Can Take Advantage of Increased Federal Funding of COVID-19-Related Costs March 11, 2021

Professional Biography

Ms. Ellard maintains a national regulatory practice focused on disaster recovery, government contracting and public policy. She has extensive experience with the intricacies of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Recovery and Emergency Assistance Act and regularly represents public and not-for-profit entities, contractors and industry associations to support grant eligibility and federal procurement compliance.

Ms. Ellard has devoted more than ten years almost exclusively to assisting clients with the legal and policy issues associated with disaster response and recovery. During this time, she has represented varying stakeholders and gained insight from different perspectives. Her unique knowledge and awareness of prior policy applications and interpretations applicable to the recovery process contributes to the effective, efficient approach she brings to her practice. 

Ms. Ellard focuses a large part of her time on the various forms of dispute resolution available under FEMA's Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Programs including appeals pursuant to 44 CFR § 206.206 and arbitration pursuant to 44 CFR § 206.209 for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since 2007, Ms. Ellard has served in the state of Mississippi by providing regulatory and policy advice to aid the FEMA recipient/grantee in its administration of more than $3 billion in federal disaster aid, including the preparation and submission of responses to more than 300 administrative appeals. She has also represented public and private non-profit subrecipients/applicants throughout the country in navigation of the complex federal and state regulatory frameworks to help those entities obtain and maintain federal funding. This work has included counsel through all aspects of the state and federal audit process, including those performed by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General.

Ms. Ellard also devotes a significant amount of time to representation of public power entities and rural electric cooperatives, including on issues regarding proper procurement for federally funded projects, legal responsibility requirements and work/costs eligibility. She has prepared procurement templates and systems, as well as FEMA specific guidance documents for individual entities and statewide and national associations.

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named a Mid-South Rising Star by Mid-South Super Lawyers (2015 – 2020)
  • Named a Top 10 Finalist in Mississippi Business Journal's "Top 50 Under 40" (2018)
  • Named as one of Portico Magazine's "Top 10 Attorneys in Mississippi" (Class of 2018)
  • Named as one of Mississippi Business Journal's 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi (2017)
  • Mississippi Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Division 
      • Disaster Legal Assistance Committee Director (2012 – 2013); Committee Member and County Coordinator (2011 – 2012) 
  • Mississippi Bar Leadership Forum (2013)
  • American Bar Association
    • Member – Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness (2015 – 2018)
    • Young Lawyers Division
      • Selected as an "On the Rise - Top 40 Young Lawyer" (2017)
      • Received the "Star of the Quarter" award (2016)
      • Liaison to the Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness (2014 – 2015), (2015 – 2018)
      • Vice Director to the Disaster Legal Assistance Team (2014 – 2017)
      • Vice Chair to the Committee on Dispute Resolutions (2013 – 2014)
    • Member – Commission on Women in the Profession
    • Member – Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Capital Area Bar Association
    • Recipient – Outstanding Service Award (2016)
    • Chair of Women's Initiative (2014 – 2016)
  • Mississippi Women Lawyers Association
    • President (2016 – 2017)
    • Vice President/President-Elect (2015 – 2016)
    • Treasurer (2013 – 2014), (2014 – 2015)
    • Board of Directors (2012 – 2018)
    • Founding Member – Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Initiative
    • Member – Day of Leadership Committee (2011 – 2012)
  • National Emergency Management Association
    • Member – Focus Group for Private Sector Committee; assisted with preliminary comments to Federal Emergency Management Agency's white paper, "Procurement Challenges in Private Industry During Disasters" (July 2014)
  • Recipient – Judge Charles Pickering Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, Baker Donelson, Jackson (2018)
  • Recipient – The Lewis Donelson Public Service Award, Baker Donelson, Jackson (2016)
  • Member – Advisory Board of the Mississippi Center for Violence Prevention
  • "Anticipating and Responding to the Threat of Catastrophic Wildfires," National Rural Electric Cooperative Association G&T Legal Seminar (November 2021)
  • "Be Prepared When Natural Disaster Strikes: Navigating the FEMA Public Assistance Program," 90th Annual Mississippi Municipal League Conference (July 2021)
  • "Preparing for Hurricane Season: Updates to FEMA's Program and Procurement Rules," Florida Electric Cooperatives Association (June 2021)
  • Moderator – "COVID-19: A Multi-Perspective Review with Key Insights on the Year Ahead," ABA Section of Administrative Law Spring CLE Conference, Homeland Security Law Institute (May 2021)
  • "IAEM Disaster Cost Recovery & Finance Caucus COVID 19 Cost Recovery Webinar" (April 3, 2020)
  • "COVID 19 Cost Recovery," International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Disaster Cost Recovery & Finance Caucus Webinar (April 1, 2020)
  • "FEMA Fundamentals," National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 2019 Legal Seminar (August 2019)
  • "FEMA Fundamentals," National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 2019 Legal Seminar (July 2019)
  • "Preparing for Hurricane Season: Ensuring Eligibility for FEMA Funding" (June 2019)
  • "Engineering a More Compliant Recovery," Florida Electric Cooperatives Association, Engineers Conference (June 2019)
  • "Disaster Response Planning: It's Not Just for Florida," 45th ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility, Vancouver, Canada (May 2019)
  • "FEMA Procurement Update: Recent Issues for Cooperatives," Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, Ridgeland, Mississippi (October 2018)
  • "Looking Forward: FEMA Flood and Disaster Programs React to Increasing Disaster Costs and Budget Pressure," International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) 83rd Annual Conference, Houston, Texas (October 2018)
  • "FEMA Procurement Requirements: What's New and What Do You Need to Do to Comply?," Tax, Finance & Accounting Conference for Cooperatives (August 2018)
  • "Tax, Finance & Accounting Conference for Cooperatives" (August 2018)
  • "Post-Disaster Assistance from FEMA: the Basics, the Audits, and the Compliance Risks," Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association, Knoxville, Tennessee (June 2018)
  • "The Disaster Roadmap: Leveraging Funding and Best Practices," American Bar Association (December 2017)
  • "Hurricane Recovery: Federal Procurement Guidelines," City of Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering, Houston, Texas (November 2017)
  • "How New FEMA Changes Impact Public Power," American Public Power Association Legal & Regulatory Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 2017)
  • "FEMA Procurement: Recent Issues for Cooperatives," Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, Purchasing Section Meeting, Ridgeland, Mississippi (October 2017)
  • "FEMA Templates & Documents Procurement Workshop," Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (April 2017)
  • "How New FEMA Changes Impact Your Co-Op," Texas Electric Cooperative 44th Annual Managers Conference (December 2016)
  • "Procurement under FEMA's PA Program: Standards of Conduct and Prohibitions re Gifting," Nebraska Rural Electric Association Legal Seminar, Lincoln, Nebraska (September 2016)
  • "Understanding Procurement Rules Under the FEMA Public Assistance Program," Florida Municipal Electric Association's Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Forum & Roundtable (June 2016)
  • Host/Presenter – "Women's Empowerment, A Project for Turkey," U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, International Visitor Leadership Program (June 2016)
  • Moderator – "The Courage to Lead…In the Courtroom," Mississippi Women Lawyers' Association Eighth Annual Day of Leadership, "Empowering Women with Strength of Unity and the Courage to Lead," Jackson, Mississippi (May 2016)
  • "Protecting Public Power Utilities' Eligibility for FEMA Assistance," American Public Power Association (July 2015)
  • "In the Eye of the Storm: Disaster Response and Resilience," American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, Annual Fall Meeting, Chicago, Illinois (October 2014)
  • Panelist – "Reducing Vulnerability and Increasing Resilience," Fordham Environmental Law Review Symposium: Eye of the Storm - Hurricane Sandy Response and Rebuilding Strategies Through the Lens of Environmental Justice, New York, New York (February 2014)
  • "Rebuilding a School System After a Natural Disaster: Lessons Learned," ABA Mid-Year Meeting, Section of State and Local Government Law, New Orleans, Louisiana (February 2012)

Email Disclaimer

NOTICE: The mailing of this email is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Anything that you send to anyone at our Firm will not be confidential or privileged unless we have agreed to represent you. If you send this email, you confirm that you have read and understand this notice.
Cancel Accept