Hunter Bates, Former Chief of Staff to Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Justin McCarthy, Former White House Official, Join Akin Gump

Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 13:34

Akin Gump announced today two significant additions to its public law and policy practice in Washington, D.C.: Hunter Bates, who previously served as legal counsel and chief of staff to current Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Justin J. McCarthy, who formerly served in the George W. Bush administration as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs and in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, will join the firm as partner and senior advisor, respectively. Mr. Bates joins Akin Gump from government affairs consulting firm Republic Consulting LLC, which he co-founded; Mr. McCarthy most recently served as a lobbyist at Peck Madigan Jones.

Hunter Bates brings to Akin Gump more than 20 years of law, policy and advocacy experience, along with a strong track record working with senior Senate Republican leadership. As chief of staff to Sen. McConnell, Mr. Bates worked with the Senator and other members of the Senate and House on a wide range of issues, including appropriations, tax, trade, health care and civil justice reform, among others. During a stint as chief counsel of the Senate Rules Committee, Mr. Bates also advised Sen. McConnell on ethics and campaign finance issues.

In private practice, Mr. Bates has employed his legal and policy knowledge and experience to advocate on behalf of a wide range of clients, developing and executing successful government relations and legislative strategies. Mr. Bates’ clients include Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and nonprofit organizations.

Justin McCarthy adds significant depth to Akin Gump’s experience on issues relating to trade, tax and health policy and also strengthens the firm’s capabilities on policy matters concerning, among others, financial services, energy, technology, appropriations, intellectual property and agriculture.

In particular, Mr. McCarthy’s recent efforts include working to secure the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority in 2015 and working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. His extensive background on trade issues in the public and private sectors, coupled with the firm’s existing comprehensive trade policy and regulatory practices, further strengthens Akin Gump’s ability to serve clients in this important area.

At Akin Gump, both Mr. Bates and Mr. McCarthy will not only work with the House and Senate Republican leadership but also advise clients on a breadth of issues that are under the jurisdiction of the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith commented, “At Akin Gump, we pride ourselves on offering our clients a premiere public law and policy team capable of addressing their most pressing and challenging policy issues. Hunter and Justin represent tremendous additions to our ‘best-in-class’ team, and I’m thrilled to welcome them to the firm.”

Added Akin Gump public law and policy head Donald Pongrace, “We’re proud to put forward a strong, bipartisan team that excels in its ability to advise clients on any number of issues in Washington that affect their business. Hunter and Justin bring outstanding experience and have sterling reputations throughout Washington. They will be ideal complements to our existing practice, and I am excited to welcome them.”