Former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Lamar Smith Join Akin Gump

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump is pleased to announce that former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) have joined the firm’s public law and policy practice in Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen joins as a senior advisor, while Congressman Smith joins the firm as a senior consultant.

“As a firm that operates at the intersection of business, law and policy, we recognize the valuable skills, knowledge and perspectives that Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Smith bring to our clients,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “They will be great additions to our top-tier policy practice, and I am very proud to welcome two individuals with such long and distinguished careers on Capitol Hill to the firm.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has served in public office for 36 years, including nearly three decades as the U.S. representative from Florida’s 27th Congressional District, and was the first Hispanic woman ever to serve in the Florida House, the Florida Senate and the U.S. Congress. Among the positions she held during her tenure in Congress were Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC)—the only woman, to date, to hold that position—and Chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.

Rep. Smith served for more than three decades in Congress as the representative for the 21st Congressional District of Texas, most recently serving as Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He also served as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, with jurisdiction over intellectual property, administrative law and immigration.

“These two long-serving members of Congress, with their lengthy tenures as chairs of their respective committees, will reinforce the strengths of Akin Gump as a top destination in Washington for policy work,” said G. Hunter Bates, co-head of Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice. “I am delighted to have Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Smith on our team and look forward to their many contributions here.”

“As home to the largest public policy practice in Washington, Akin Gump has always been a successful advocate on behalf of its clients, both domestic and foreign, on trade matters and other critical issues,” said Rep. Ros-Lehtinen. “My move here builds so well on the work I have accomplished during my time in Congress, and I am excited to begin this next chapter in my career.”

Added Rep. Smith, “Beyond Akin Gump’s outstanding public policy practice, the firm’s lawyers and advisors enjoy an excellent reputation for having broad and deep skills and experience that enable them to serve clients on nearly any subject imaginable. The firm’s ability to address both public policy and legal issues allows it to achieve outstanding results for clients from all over the world. I very much look forward to working with a firm that has such a well-deserved reputation.”

About Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Cuban-American elected to Congress when she won a special election in 1989 to fill the seat held by the late Claude Pepper. In addition to her leadership roles on the HFAC and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

As a member of the Florida legislature in the 1980s, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen sponsored legislation for the Florida Prepaid College Program, which is now the largest prepaid college tuition program in the United States.

About Lamar Smith

As Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith oversaw roughly $40 billion in budgets for agencies with a primary focus on research and development. While in Congress, he also served as Chairman of both the Judiciary and Ethics committees, making him the only recent member of Congress to have chaired three committees. In addition, Rep. Smith served as a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee.

Before entering Congress, Rep. Smith served as a Texas state representative and as a county commissioner in San Antonio.

Rep. Smith was ranked the most effective member of the House in the 112th Congress (2011-2012) in a study jointly conducted by the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University. According to the same study, he was ranked in the top 10 percent in effectiveness in the last eight Republican Congresses. He also has been named Policymaker of the Year by POLITICO for his work on patent reform legislation.

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.

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.

# # #