Former Deputy White House Counsel Leslie Kiernan Joins Akin Gump

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump is pleased to announce that Leslie B. Kiernan has joined the firm as a partner in its litigation practice in Washington, D.C.

A highly respected and experienced litigator, Ms. Kiernan brings decades of experience in private practice and public service to Akin Gump, including serving most recently as senior advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. From 2011 to 2014, she served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy White House counsel. Prior to her tenure with the White House, Ms. Kiernan was a litigation partner at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.

“Leslie is tremendously well regarded, with a distinguished record of success both in private practice and at the highest levels of government,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “Our clients will benefit greatly from the skill and wisdom she brings to each matter, as well as the deep respect she commands on all sides of the negotiating table. She’ll be an excellent addition to our litigation team, and I’m very pleased to welcome her to the firm.”

Ms. Kiernan boasts over two decades’ experience in assisting businesses and individuals in navigating complex congressional investigations, ethics issues and white collar criminal defense matters. Her clients have included corporations, trade associations, governmental entities and current and former public officials, whom she has advised on matters arising under the congressional gift rules, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and various federal and state conflict-of-interest, campaign finance and criminal laws.

Ms. Kiernan’s practice also includes the representation of clients before committees of the House and the Senate as well as before the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys’ offices, the Office of the Independent Counsel, inspectors general and the Federal Election Commission. She conducts internal investigations for private companies and for governmental and not-for-profit entities. Ms. Kiernan also assists clients in developing and implementing government affairs compliance programs.

“Adding someone with such a rich and deep record of experience in the private and public sectors represents a phenomenal opportunity for our team and our clients,” said Stephen Baldini, head of Akin Gump’s litigation practice. “Leslie has had success in all facets of her career steering clients through sensitive and critical matters, and I’m thrilled that she will be bringing this same level of intensity to Akin Gump.”

Added Ms. Kiernan, “Akin Gump is a top-tier firm with deep roots in Washington and a preeminent litigation and investigations practice, so this is a very exciting move for me. The firm provides an ideal platform and fit for my practice, and I relish the opportunity to bring the knowledge and perspective gained throughout my career to bear on behalf of the firm’s clients.”

About Leslie B. Kiernan

Leslie Kiernan has worked in private practice for more than 25 years, advising clients on complex and sensitive matters that often presented parallel civil, criminal, regulatory and congressional proceedings. In addition to her work representing organizations and individuals in investigations and white collar matters, Ms. Kiernan has also represented numerous government officials with respect to their transitions to the private sector, as well as prospective nominees requiring Senate confirmation on the multifaceted legal, political and public issues presented by executive branch nominations process.

From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Kiernan served in the White House as deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel to the president, where she provided strategic advice to the president and senior White House staff on a wide range of compliance, risk management, policy and oversight issues. She also served as counsel to the White House Council on Women and Girls and as counsel to the Office of the First Lady, advising on public-private partnerships and on issues related to women in leadership.

Most recently, Ms. Kiernan served in the U.S. Department of State as a senior advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where she represented the United States in the 69th Session of the General Assembly and advised the permanent representative and the Mission’s senior leadership on a variety of human rights and gender equity issues and legal matters.

Ms. Kiernan received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, and her A.B. in history and political science from Brown University.

 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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