Newt Gingrich Joins World’s Largest Law Firm (Which Happens To Be Part Chinese)

The former Speaker of the House and author Newt Gingrich reportedly joined Dentons law as a senior adviser on June 1st.

Dacheng, one of the biggest law firms in the People’s Republic of China, is set to merge with Dentons and another law firm, McKenna Long & Aldridge.  This will create the largest law firm in the world, according to Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept magazine.

The merger will reportedly give the Chinese companies that Dacheng represents – including major Chinese state-owned firms – access to attorneys and policy professionals in the United States who work for Dentons and McKenna Long – and vice versa.

McKenna Long and Dentons also engage in lobbying, giving Dacheng’s clients a new avenue for understanding and influencing the American system.

The arrangement will have an interesting arrangement of policy professionals all under the same roof.

The new mega-firm will employ, via Dentons: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Democratic National Committee Chair Joe Andrew, and former Rep. Van Hilleary, R-Tenn., among others. McKenna Long’s roster includes former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, former Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., and former Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo.

Some of the individuals, like Hart, do not have a law degree or practice law, but work in the “government affairs” departments of the two firms, a phrase used to describe lobbying-related business.

Does this seem like a conflict of interest to you?  Perhaps Gingrich might be good at bankruptcy law.

Newt Gingrich’s well-known health-care think tank filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2012, according to federal court filings, “shuttering the most profitable of Mr. Gingrich’s former enterprises and potentially putting a big piece of his net worth in jeopardy,” writes the Wall Street Journal in 2012.

Gingrich Group LLC, whose main business was the Center for Health Transformation, charged clients as much as $200,000 in membership fees for advice on health policy.  In 2012, it disclosed that it had less than $100,000 in assets and had up to $10 million in debt.  According to The Wall Street Journal, the group’s attorney declined to comment.

Court documents listed 64 creditors in the Center for Health Transformation bankruptcy, including the state of Missouri for income taxes ($894) and two Atlanta hotels – the St. Regis ($46,000) and Ritz Carlton ($8,500).

Benjamin Carlsen, an Atlanta attorney representing Chain Bridge Bank ($283,000), asked Gingrich Group LLC, about the hotel expenditures.

“We had quarterly member meetings  we tended to hold in very nice places,” they told him, according to Reuters.

(Updated article)


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