Scott Parven Speaks with Law360 About Akin Gump’s Cuba Practice

Scott Parven, a partner in Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice and leader of the firm’s Cuba initiative, has been quoted in the Law360 article “3 Ways Law Firms Are Homing In On Cuba.” The article reports on efforts underway by law firms to seek new opportunities in Cuba amid an easing of relations between that country and the United States and the “wave of legal work” that is likely to result from it.

The article notes that Akin Gump launched its cross-practice, cross-office Cuba initiative last September with several existing partners who have experience working with administration regulators. It also references the hiring of senior policy advisors Anya Landau French, an international relations professional with significant experience in U.S.-Cuba affairs, and Devry Boughner Vorwerk, a former vice president of corporate relations at Cargill who chairs the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba.

“When the president made the bold decision to aggressively move to strengthen the relationship [between the] U.S. and Cuba, we made a decision at Akin Gump, given our history of sitting at the intersection of law, policy and politics, that we should create a practice group that serves clients in that space,” said Parven.

Parven said the firm’s Cuba group is looking to operate in three main spheres: lobbying, working with the administration on policy and maintaining on-the-ground resources in Havana to help clients interested in business relations with the island. The key to all that, he added, is to bring in people with strong connections with both U.S.-side players on Cuba policies and with legal and government players in Cuba

Speaking about French, Vorwerk and others on the Akin Gump team, Parven said, “They have built previous relationships with government officials in Havana and are able to bring clients down to Havana for fact-finding trips, for creating new partnerships and making new relationships.”