This time Washington lawyer Lanny Davis is going to hang out his own shingle as Lanny J. Davis & Associates. The move, which was first reported in The Washington Post today, comes just seven months after he joined McDermott Will & Emery from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Davis, who had been a partner at McDermott, has a somewhat unusual practice that includes litigation, lobbying, and related media strategies. He advises clients on crisis management regarding a broad range of public policy and regulatory issues. The new firm will continue to handle similar matters.
His longtime colleague Eileen O’Connor, who is counsel to McDermott, said Davis decided to make the move because of the client conflicts that were arising at a 1,200-lawyer firm.
“This is something he’s always wanted to do. Moving to a smaller shop will give him a lot more flexibility in the practice he has developed,” O’Connor said. She added that it will also allow him to hire non-lawyers.
Davis will continue to work closely with McDermott, O’Connor said, but will also “form alliances” with other firms. O’Connor is not making the move with him. “We’re going to continue working together closely, but I’m excited about the cases that I’m working on here at McDermott,” she said. It’s unclear whether Davis will be bringing anyone else with him from McDermott.
Davis is a well-known supporter of both former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. From 1996 to 1998, he served as White House special counsel and spokesman for Bill Clinton on issues ranging from campaign finance investigations to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he was an ardent proponent of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
Davis was not immediately available to comment on his move.