Staff Director to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Rejoins Akin Gump’s American Indian Law Practice

(Washington, D.C.)  Allison Binney has rejoined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as a partner in the firm’s American Indian law and policy practice following several years of service as a senior staffer in the Senate, the firm announced today.

For the past five years, Ms. Binney has served as staff director and chief counsel, and previously as general counsel, to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Prior to her tenure on Capitol Hill, she worked for several years as an associate in Akin Gump’s American Indian law and policy practice.

Don Pongrace, who heads the practice, said, “Allison’s work on Capitol Hill and extensive experience stand as strong testaments to her advocacy for and dedication to the advancement of the interests of American Indian tribes. We are thrilled to welcome her back to our team. Our clients will benefit tremendously from the wealth of knowledge and experience she brings.”

During her tenure with the Committee, Congress enacted a vast array of laws impacting Native Americans, including the Tribal Law and Order Act, the reauthorization of and amendments to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, and the provision of more than $2.5 billion to tribal programs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. She also facilitated congressional approval of a number of class-action lawsuit settlements, including the Cobell trust fund settlement, assisted with passage of Indian water settlements, guided congressional investigations, oversaw interactions with relevant federal agencies, and helped establish and enforce laws relating to housing, the leasing and development of Indian lands, homeland security and language and cultural preservation.

Ms. Binney remarked, “The decision to return to Akin was a natural one. The firm has a reputation for accomplishment on behalf of Indian tribes, and I am looking forward to helping to continue that tradition.”

In addition to her service on Capitol Hill and prior experience at Akin Gump, she worked as an associate at a boutique firm that focused on American Indian law. Ms. Binney also served as the program coordinator for the Indian Legal Program at the Arizona State University College of Law, and as a law clerk for the Native American Rights Fund in Washington, D.C., where she assisted with trial 1.0 in the Cobell class-action lawsuit.A member of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians in California, Ms. Binney received her J.D. and Indian Law certificate in 2000 from the Arizona State University College of Law and her B.A. in political science with a minor in Native American studies from the California State University, Chico. She is a past president of the Native American Bar Association of Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The firm’s American Indian law and policy practice provides legal and strategic advice to American Indian tribal governments and other entities that share a commitment to tribal political empowerment, sovereignty and economic development.

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