Akin Gump nabs Supreme Court veteran

Lobbying giant Akin Gump snagged one of the federal government’s top attorneys for its Supreme Court and national appeals practice.

Pratik A. Shah, who had worked in the Office of the Solicitor General since 2008, will serve as a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, the firm announced Tuesday.

Most recently serving as an assistant to the solicitor general, Shah has argued 13 cases before the Supreme Court, including cases on same-sex marriage, financial securities and environmental issues.

“He is a brilliant advocate with a rigorously analytical mind,” said his new colleague, Patricia Millet, head of Akin’s Supreme Court practice and co-head of the national appellate practice.

Shah, who left his post this month, called the job with Akin Gump a "tremendous opportunity."

“The firm’s reputation and achievements are known to everyone in the industry, and Patricia’s reputation, in particular, as a top-tier Supreme Court advocate is second to none," he said in a statement.

Akin Gump’s practice features a former federal appellate court judge, a former state appellate court judge, former assistants to the solicitor general and former Supreme Court law clerks.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Shah worked within the appellate and Supreme Court practice at law firm WilmerHale, where he was the primary author of a successful request of habeas corpus rights for the firm’s Guantanamo detainee clients.

Shah also worked as a Hugo Black Faculty Fellow at the University of Alabama School of Law, teaching and writing on constitutional law.

Not long after graduating from University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 2001, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.