Trey Trainor, an election law attorney who was nominated by President Donald Trump to the Federal Election Commission last year, has left Akerman‘s Austin office to start his own firm while he awaits Senate confirmation to the post.
Trainor said he timed his departure to coincide with the Oct. 31 end of Akerman’s fiscal year.
“With my pending nomination to the federal elections commission, I didn’t want to get started in a new fiscal year in a firm. It was just easier for me to leave and take my clients with me,” said Trainor, now managing partner of Trainor Law Firm.
In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Trainor for a position on the FEC, but it remains pending. Trainor said he did not know when the U.S. Senate would consider his appointment.
“Clearly it’s a priority for me. My hope is with the new Congress coming in and a new makeup of the Senate and a new makeup of the House, there will be a renewed focus on the Federal Elections Commission,” he said.
Trainor joined Akerman in Austin in 2016 when his former firm, Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, dissolved and 30 trial lawyers joined Akerman offices in Texas and Louisiana.
At the Republican Convention in Cleveland in July 2016, Trainor worked as Trump’s counsel to the rules and platform committees, was part of a legal team that derailed a roll call vote that would have released Trump delegates from their obligation to vote for the New York businessman at the convention.
For about three months at the start of Trump’s term, Trainor served as a special assistant to Defense Secretary James Mattis in the office of the general counsel. Trainor said he left Akerman’s partnership for the period he was in that job, and then returned to Akerman as a partner in March 2017.
Trainor, who specializes in election law, campaign finance and government ethics work, said he “thoroughly enjoyed” practicing at Akerman, but thought it would be easier to transition to the FEC, assuming his nomination is confirmed, if he had a solo practice.
Trainor said his clients include Empower Texans, a politically conservative nonprofit, and Texas Right to Life.
In a statement, Akerman said: “Trey is an excellent lawyer and we wish him well as he starts this new chapter of his career.”