Having recently left the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he headed up the Office of Legal Counsel since November 2007, Reed Russell rejoined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld on Feb. 9 as partner. Russell will focus on wage and hour disputes and employment discrimination cases in the firm’s labor practice.
“I think they’re a very entrepreneurial firm,” Russell says, “and notwithstanding what has been reported over the last year with some of the departures, I think they’re a healthy firm.”
Russell says he believes the firm is well positioned to help clients deal with an expected flood of employment litigation. According to the firm, Akin Gump employs about 80 attorneys in its labor practice.
Appointed to the EEOC by President George W. Bush, Russell served as the top attorney advising then agency chair Naomi Earp. As legal counsel, he oversaw a 30-lawyer team focused on policy issues, administrative issues, and interagency coordination.
Prior to the EEOC, Russell worked his way up from associate to counsel in Akin Gump’s labor practice from 1999 to 2007. He took a military leave from Akin Gump from June 2005 to June 2006 to serve as a major in the Army National Guard in Iraq, where he advised Iraqi security forces.