The Hill Spotlights New Bipartisan Leadership for Akin Gump’s Policy Practice

In “Changing of the guard at DC’s top lobby firm,” The Hill reported the ongoing leadership transition in Akin Gump’s industry-leading public law and policy practice.

Practice head Don Pongrace will be stepping down this year, as partners Hunter Bates and Brian Pomper become co-heads of the practice (learn more here). The article quotes him on the importance of bipartisanship—Bates was a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while Pomper had worked for Democratic Sen. Max Baucus—as he noted, “We’re living in a world where bipartisanship is becoming increasingly important and remarkably less present. Having co-leaders in the practice group internally is a very strong signal that this is what the firm is about.”

Pongrace elaborated on the theme of bipartisan leadership by invoking the name of firm co-founder Robert Strauss, who, though, at one time, head of the Democratic National Committee, also advised Republican politicians and served as an ambassador to Russia during the George H.W. Bush administration.

Pomper and Bates are also quoted on, among other topics, the significance and strength of Akin Gump’s policy platform, internally and externally, both men noting the small-firm feel of the practice coupled to the impact of a 900+-lawyer global institution. As Pomper said, “The way I operated in my little six-person firm [Parven Pomper Strategies, acquired by Akin Gump in 2010; learn more here], that’s not any different from how we operate today, except that I have a giant army behind me of other lobbyists and lawyers and subject experts that I never had before.”

Additionally, Bates spoke to the enduring nature of certain aspects of advocacy: “There’s a lot of talk about how things changed in terms of how you get your message out, and I think the core of advocacy in Washington is still the same. It’s built on relationships and expertise and integrity.”

To read the full article, please click here.