The 2009 Power 100

by Editorial


Sanford Ain
Principal and co-founder, Ain & Bank
Breakup Specialist: Washington’s top divorce lawyer is one of the country’s foremost experts in the field, which is probably why “divorce Ain style” usually means an out-of-court settlement rather than a bruising court battle. Made Partner: His law partner, Rita Banks, used to be his biggest rival until they joined forces.

Bob Barnett
Partner, Williams & Connolly
Super Agent: The legendary authors’ counsel (a.k.a. the man who made Barack Obama rich) has negotiated book deals for both Clintons, Tony Blair, Queen Noor, and Benazir Bhutto. Next Chapter: Barnett recently completed memoir negotiations for former President George and former First Lady Laura Bush; their combined advances are rumored to total more than $16 million.

Robert Bennett
Partner, Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom
Best in the Biz: Local folks who have found themselves in a fix (Clark Clifford, Paul Wolfowitz, and President Clinton) have run to this feisty top trial lawyer for years. Fashion Note: Bennett wears purple ties because he believes the color brings good luck.

Hunter Biden
Attorney and International Business Advisor
Next Gen: The Veep’s son recently stepped down as Vice Chair of the Board of Amtrak in order to make his move in Washington business community. Smart Move: The former corporate lobbyist changed careers in 2008 when his father ran for president; making him more difficult for Republicans to target.

Carol Elder Bruce
Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani
Worst Case: A force to reckon with in white collar criminal trials, this litigator has recently branched out into terrorism-related cases. Gitmo: Bruce is an active member of the so-called Guantanamo Bay Bar Association, the nickname given to lawyers who have represented the detainees, usually pro bono.

Tom Daschle
Special Policy Advisor, Alston & Bird LLP
Insider: Though the former South Dakota senator withdrew his name from cabinet consideration, he continues to be influential within the administration and on health care.

Paula M. Junghans
Partner, Zuckerman Spaeder
Tax Man Cometh: The city’s tax law guru brings years of prosecutorial experience from the Tax Division of the Dept. of Justice, where she rose to Assistant Attorney General. Best Case: Junghans specializes in complicated cases involving money laundering, tax evasion, and healthcare fraud.

Maureen E. Mahoney
Partner, Latham & Watkins
Near Miss: President Bush Sr. nominated Mahoney for a federal judgeship, but Clinton was elected before she was confirmed. Later she was a front runner to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, but lost out to Samuel Alito. Next Up: The former clerk to late Chief Justice William Rehnquist shines as a successful appellate litigator with a unique insight into how the justices think.

Michele A. Roberts
Partner, Akin Gump
Hard Knocks: This leading criminal defense attorney honed her formidable skills during eight years in the hurly-burly world of the D.C. Public Defender’s office.

Brendan Sullivan Jr.
Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP
Good Counsel: One of the best criminal defense attorneys in America, Sullivan is know for his $1,000 an hour fee, and for boasting that none of his clients has ever spent a night in jail. Who’s Who: Recent clients include former Sen. Ted Stevens (acquitted), members of the Duke lacrosse team (ditto), and financier R. Allen Stanford.

Jonathan Turley
Professor, The George Washington University Law School
On Air: The youngest full professor in the history of George Washington Law School, Turley frequently appears as an on-air legal analyst for NBC and CBS news. Top Secret: An expert on military law, he was chosen to represent workers at Area 51, the secret air base in Nevada, in a suit against the government.

Seth Waxman
Partner, WilmerHale
Appellate Star: A former solicitor general under Clinton, Waxman is one of the small coterie of top lawyers who can claim over 50 appearances before the Supreme Court. Landmark Case: The eloquent litigator successfully argued that Guantanamo detainees have the right to Habeas Corpus.

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