Brendan M. Dunn, Former McConnell Policy Advisor, to Join Akin Gump

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump is pleased to announce that Brendan M. Dunn, formerly policy advisor and counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), will join Akin Gump as a partner in its public law and policy practice. Mr. Dunn, who served as chief advisor to Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate GOP leadership on tax, trade, financial services and pension matters before Congress, was the key staff architect of the successful effort to secure the passage last year of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He is expected to start at the firm on May 24.

“The addition of Brendan further underscores why our public law and policy practice is so highly regarded,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “He is a very talented individual with skills in a wide range of areas—including tax, financial services, trade, and health care—that our clients will find invaluable. I am truly delighted to welcome Brendan to Akin Gump.”

While working for Majority Leader McConnell for the past five years, Mr. Dunn served as the primary liaison to the business community on a wide range of policy issues. Following the 2016 election, he served as the point person for the Senate GOP leadership on tax reform negotiations with the so-called Big Six—the White House, Department of the Treasury, Senate Finance Committee, House Ways & Means Committee, Senate Majority leadership and House Majority leadership. Mr. Dunn also helped shepherd the Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to ease the regulatory burden on community banks via banking regulatory relief legislation (S.2155).

Prior to working with the Senate GOP leadership, Mr. Dunn served a two-year stint as special counsel and general counsel of the Senate Finance Committee, advising the committee’s ranking member, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), on a range of health, tax and entitlement issues.

Mr. Dunn will represent the second recent significant hire Akin Gump has made of an individual with close ties to Senate Republican leadership, following the arrival of Zach Rudisill, former tax counsel to Sen. Rob Portman, on May 14.

“Brendan has a tremendous breadth of experience working with Senate Republican leadership and the administration in areas such as tax, trade, banking, health care and judiciary matters,” said G. Hunter Bates, co-head of Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice and former chief of staff to Sen. McConnell. “This, coupled with his close work with the business community, will be of great value to our clients as they seek guidance on issues that are crucial to their business. Having worked closely with Majority Leader McConnell and the Trump administration to help guide the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation, along with his efforts on trade and helping to help pass the banking regulatory relief legislation, Brendan is uniquely positioned to serve as a valuable resource for a wide range of clients.”

Added Mr. Dunn, “Throughout my career, I have enjoyed many opportunities to work across the aisle on important issues, and I look forward to continuing to do so from Akin Gump’s phenomenal platform. The firm’s stature in the public policy space, bipartisan team and strength in areas such as financial services, tax, trade and health care were significant factors in my decision to join Akin Gump. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to advance the interests of the firm’s clients who are focused on tax reform implementation and many other important issues before Congress and across the administration.”

About Brendan M. Dunn

Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, Mr. Dunn was an associate at a large international law firm providing legislative and regulatory counsel to a variety of health care clients on matters related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and provider reimbursement.

Mr. Dunn began his legal career as a law clerk for a federal judge in Virginia. He also worked as counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, advising Sen. Hatch in his capacity as vice chairman. He previously worked with Sen. Hatch on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary at the full- and sub-committee level on legislative matters and nominations, including the Supreme Court nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Mr. Dunn received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross. He also has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in political science from Fordham University.

About Akin Gump’s Public Law and Policy Practice

The public law and policy practice at Akin Gump has long understood that solutions to many issues facing clients involve the very processes by which legislation and policy are conceived, developed and implemented by governments in the United States and around the world. For this reason, Akin Gump has built and maintains one of the largest and most diverse government relations practices of any major law firm worldwide. The firm’s practice stresses careful evaluation of client issues and detailed design of strategies and tactics to achieve objectives and provide advocacy that is executed in an effective, timely and coordinated manner.

The practice is consistently top rated in the field of government relations by legal directories Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500, and its members have been named “Top Lobbyists” by The Hill and “MVPs” by Law360 and as industry leaders by a number of business and legal publications.

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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