Two large Washington law firms, Patton Boggs and Arent Fox, have each been tapped by two different Republican presidential candidates to serve as legal counsel as they navigate the 2012 field.
Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman hired Arent Fox partners Brett Kappel and Craig Engle, respectively, Kappel confirmed.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have signed on Patton Boggs’ Bill McGinley and Ben Ginsberg, respectively, according to the firm's senior marketing manager, Melissa Green.
Kappel said Tuesday that Paul would not seek reelection to Congress and would instead concentrate his efforts on his presidential bid.
Kappel said presidential campaign counsel typically advises candidates on the “legally complex” undertakings, including everything from renting office space and cars to buying advertising and intellectual property rights.
“It’s about a lot more than campaign finance law,” Kappel said. “Setting up a presidential campaign is like setting up a nationwide corporation that is going to be established, run and shut down all within 18 months.”
Kappel added that firms whose attorneys are working for opposing candidates do not pose ethical issues—so long as the firms develop a strict procedure to ensure that there is no cross-communication that includes campaign-related information.