Akin Gump Strengthens Public Law and Policy Team with Additional Republican Hires

(Washington, D.C.) – Following the recent arrival to Akin Gump of Hunter Bates, former chief of staff to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the firm has welcomed two of Mr. Bates’ former colleagues from Republic Consulting, the firm he co-founded: Lauren O’Brien and Chase Hieneman, who have joined the firm’s public law and policy practice as, respectively, senior policy advisor and senior policy specialist.

In addition to her tenure with Republic Consulting, Ms. O’Brien brings to Akin Gump over seven years in government experience, having served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to former Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY). During this time, she focused on his work as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and as chair of that body’s Human Resources Subcommittee, as well as his work as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, including passage of the Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act and the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act.

Prior to joining Republic Consulting, Mr. Hieneman served the Republican Caucus of the Kentucky State Senate during four sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly and also worked in the office of Sen. McConnell. Among the topics he followed during these stints were transportation, economic development, agriculture, banking and tax issues.

Regarding their arrival at the firm, Akin Gump public law and policy practice leader Donald Pongrace said, “Hunter was a tremendous addition to our team, and I am pleased that two of his former colleagues—Lauren and Chase—are joining us as well. They both bring to the firm great experience working in a variety of legislative settings on issues of great importance. Our ability to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle has never been more important, and Lauren and Chase’s respective backgrounds and perspectives will be of great help to their colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.”

About Lauren O’Brien and Chase Hieneman

Ms. O’Brien’s experience with policy issues includes appropriations, budget, economy and agriculture. During her tenure with Rep. Davis, she managed the legislative process for 10 of his bills that passed the House, five of which were ultimately signed into law. She received her B.A. magna cum laude from Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame. She currently serves as the networking director of the Saint Mary’s Washington, DC, Alumnae Club.

Mr. Hieneman has served as a parliamentary researcher for the Scottish National Party-Westminster Group in the British House of Commons. He serves on the committee for the nonprofit Taste of the South as well as on the board of directors for the Washington, D.C.-based Kentucky Business Council. He received his B.A. summa cum laude in political science and management from the University of Kentucky. He also studied at City University in London, England and graduated from Harvard Business School’s Summer Venture in Management program.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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