Dentons’ Next Road Show, Starring Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich

Sept. 30, 2015, 3:00 PM

Howard Dean and Newt Gingrich, settling into their new roles at the global law firm Dentons, took the mike on Tuesday evening at a private reception in Washington, D.C., where colleagues and business contacts gathered for a night of celebration to inaugurate the firm’s new public policy team formed by the July 1 merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge.

“We are going to Cairo!... and then London!... and then we are going to those places and a lot more!” Dean said in a tongue-and-cheek speech before the crowd at the Zaytinya restaurant in Penn Quarter, imitating his famous rally cry during his 2004 presidential run.

Dean joined McKenna Long & Aldridge in 2009 after serving as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and this year teamed up with Gingrich once the former Republican speaker of the House joined his newly-merged firm, now known as Dentons, in May.

The pair, neither of whom are lawyers, were the star attractions of the evening and were surrounded much of the night by selfie-snapping Dentons employees and other attendees.

[caption id="attachment_4797" align="alignleft” width="346"][Image “Courtesy of Dentons” (src=https://bol.bna.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Dentons2.jpg)]Pictured: Newt Gingrich and Dentons U.S. Public Policy & Regulation co-leaders, Eric Tannenblatt and Mike Zolandz. Courtesy of Dentons.[/caption]

“I’m a futurist, and this is the world’s largest law firm — I’m going to have 3,700 Chinese colleagues — it can’t get any better than this,” said Gingrich, white wine in hand, grabbing a quick minute with Big Law Business at the event.

In January, Dentons announced that it would merge with Dacheng Law Offices, China’s largest law firm, although after eight months, the union is still pending. Two people affiliated with Dentons at the Tuesday reception said they had no insight into the merger.

Mike McNamara, U.S. managing partner of Dentons, said the event was significant for the firm because it illustrated it had an intersection of law, business and public policy all under the same roof. After the merger with McKenna Long, the public policy team consists of 130 lawyers and legal professionals, he said.

And as it turns out, there may have been more behind Dean’s playful rallying words: Eric Tanenblatt, the co-practice leader of Dentons’ U.S. public policy and regulation practice, said that the firm intends to take Dean and Gingrich “on a road show,” from New York to Los Angeles and more cities where they will speak their views on the latest policy issues.

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