Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
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|No. of offices||20 worldwide|
|No. of attorneys||1,000+|
|No. of employees||1,800+|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Kim Koopersmith, chairperson|
|Revenue||$1 billion (2019)|
|Profit per equity partner||$2.599 million (2019)|
|Founder||Robert Strauss and Richard Gump|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is an international law firm and the largest lobbying firm in the United States by revenue. With more than 900 attorneys, the firm has offices in Dallas, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Houston, Irvine, Fort Worth, New York, Moscow, Philadelphia, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva and Hartford. Akin Gump is widely considered to be among the most profitable and prestigious firms in the nation and has been consistently ranked as among the top law firms in the United States by The American Lawyer. The firm is known for its influence on Capitol Hill and its representation of high-profile clients. With regard to compensation, Akin Gump is ranked by associates as one of the top 10 highest-paying law firms in the country.
In 1963, Jack Hauer left a competitor to join the firm, which became known as Goldberg, Fonville, Gump, Strauss & Hauer.
Goldberg left the firm in 1966 to accept a federal judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He was replaced by Henry Akin. Fonville's departure—and the ascent to named partner status of Alan Feld, who had joined the firm in 1960—gave the firm the name it currently bears.
In 2012, the firm's partnership elected Kim Koopersmith to serve as the firm's chairperson. She succeeded R. Bruce McLean, who had helmed the firm for 20 years and became the first woman to chair the firm and one of the few women up to that time to head an Am Law 50 law firm.
In 2013, Akin Gump adopted a "single tier" partnership structure, in which all partners have equity, abandoning the more popular "two tier" structure in which many partners have no equity interest.
In 2017, Akin Gump hired its first chief diversity and inclusion officer, Michele Meyer-Shipp, who joined the firm from Prudential Financial. She was succeeded by Nimesh Patel, who joined the firm in February 2019.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Akin Gump was one of the top law firms contributing to federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle, donating $2.56 million, 66% to Democrats. By comparison, during that same period Kirkland & Ellis donated $2.49 million, 59% to Republicans, while oil conglomerate ExxonMobil donated $2.66 million, 88% to Republicans. Since 1990, Akin Gump has contributed $19.84 million to federal candidates, and since 2003 has spent $8 million on lobbying.
The firm's clients includes the governments of Japan, South Korea, the Maldives, and Nicaragua.
Involvement in Russia investigation
Paul Manafort, a central figure in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation, was being represented by Melissa Laurenza, a partner of the firm. Melissa Laurenza's role in the Russian investigation centers from her representation of Manafort. The United States Office of Special Counsel compelled Melissa Laurenza to testify in the case. In October 2017, "New York University law professor Stephen Gillers said the judge was persuaded that there was significant evidence Manafort and Gates had duped their lawyer into sending inaccurate letters to Justice about their lobbying efforts and about what emails might exist about the work."
Involvement in US presidential impeachment inquiry
In 2019 lawyers from the firm represented Catherine Croft, a US State Department Ukraine specialist, when she gave testimony to the Select Committee on Intelligence, US House of Representatives.
In 2020, for the sixth time in seven years, the firm was selected for The American Lawyer's A-List, the annual ranking of the country's 20 leading law firms. 2017 marked the firm's 15th appearance on Corporate Board Member's list of the nation's top 20 corporate law firms. In 2019, for the 11th year out of the last 12, Akin Gump was named to The National Law Journal's "Appellate Hot List" of firms that "[won] big in federal and state appeals courts across the country."
Yale Law Women, the largest student organization at Yale Law School, named Akin Gump to its 2019 list of Top 10 Firms for Family Friendliness and, in 2020, as one of only three law firms to its list of Top Firms for Working Mothers and Family Planning. In October 2017, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association presented Akin Gump with the Thomas L. Sager Award in recognition of the firm's "sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys." (The firm won the award four times previously.) In 2019, for the 12th year in a row, Akin Gump received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, which rates employers on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors.
Chambers & Partners ranks the firm as top tier in 11 areas of practice around the globe including in bankruptcy/restructuring/insolvency, capital markets: debt, government relations, healthcare and Native American law.
Current employees and consultants
- Victor H. Fazio, former U.S. Representative from California
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former U.S. Representative from Florida
- Lamar Smith, former U.S. Representative from Texas
- Vernon Jordan Jr., former adviser to President Bill Clinton
- John E. Sununu, former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
- Al From, founder and former CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council
- Dario Frommer, former majority leader of the California State Assembly
- Lincoln P. Bloomfield Jr., former Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs
- Tommy Thompson, former governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Joe Donnelly, former U.S. Senator from Indiana
- George P. Bush, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
- Joaquín Castro, U.S. Representative, Texas' 20th Congressional District
- Julián Castro, former San Antonio mayor, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, candidate for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination
- Alan D. Cohn, former Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Planning, Analysis & Risk of the United States Department of Homeland Security
- Antonio Delgado, U.S. Representative from New York
- John M. Dowd, former U.S. Attorney, wrote Dowd Report and legal advisor to President Donald Trump
- Ben Fountain, award-winning fiction writer
- Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor, The Today Show
- Kay Hagan, former U.S. Senator from North Carolina
- Ken Mehlman, former chair, Republican National Committee
- Patricia Millett, judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Bill Paxon, former U.S. Representative from New York
- Michele A. Roberts, executive director, National Basketball Players Association.
- "Locations". Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP – Washington, DC – Law Firm Profile – Chambers and Partners".
- "The 2020 Am Law 100: Ranked by Gross Revenue".
- "The 2020 Am Law 100: Ranked by Profits Per Equity Partner".
- "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP|Company Profile|Vault.com". Vault. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP|Company Profile|Vault.com". Vault. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- "The American Lawyer Names Akin Gump to A-List for Fifth Straight Year". Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
- "Top of the Charts". The American Lawyer.
- "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP|Company Rankings|Vault.com". Vault. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- Knaub, Kelly. "Texas Powerhouse: Akin Gump" (PDF). Law360. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
- McGarr, Kathryn. The Whole Damn Deal: Robert Strauss and the Art of Politics. Public Affairs.
- Sullivan, Casey (August 11, 2015). "Akin Gump Elects Kim Koopersmith as Chairperson". Akin Gump. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
- Sullivan, Casey (August 11, 2015). "In Lean Times, Law Firms Reconsider Two-Tier Partnership". Bloomberg BNA. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
- "Akin Gump Welcomes Nimesh M. Patel as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer". Akin Gump. February 5, 2019.
- "Lawyers & Lobbyists: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics.
- "Energy/Natural Resources: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Organizations: Akin, Gump et al". Open Secrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- Vogel, Kenneth P.; Goldstein, Matthew (February 24, 2018). "How Skadden, the Giant Law Firm, Got Entangled in the Mueller Investigation". The New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
Among those reaping windfalls are large international law firms like the Washington-based Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which represents the governments of Japan, the Maldives, Nicaragua and South Korea, among others.
- "Mueller team won battle to force testimony from lawyer for Manafort and Gates". POLITICO. Retrieved 2017-11-02.
- NPR Staff (November 11, 2019). "Ukraine Specialist Catherine Croft's Impeachment Inquiry Testimony". Retrieved November 12, 2019.
- "Akin Gump Again on Am Law A-List of Top Firms in the US". August 6, 2020.
- Packel, Dan (August 5, 2020). "The 2020 A-List". The American Lawyer.
- "Akin Gump Again Named One of America's Best Corporate Law Firms". Akin Gump.
- "The Appellate Hot List 2019". The National Law Journal. October 25, 2019.
- "Top Ten Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness 2019". Yale Law Women. April 16, 2019.
- "Top Ten Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness 2020" (PDF). Yale Law Women.
- "Akin Gump Honored with Sager Award for Diversity". Akin Gump. October 5, 2017.
- "Human Rights Campaign Awards Akin Gump 12th Consecutive Perfect Score on Corporate Equality Index". Akin Gump. March 28, 2019.
- Wilson, Megan (January 11, 2016). "Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm". The Hill. Retrieved 26 February 2016.