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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld launched a new global climate change practice last week. Its members will advise firm clients — which include coal-based power plants — on how to meet new restrictions on carbon emissions. But one of the group’s D.C. leaders, Paul Gutermann, says the practice will also help clients navigate around regulations that could hinder business. “We try to help them [the client] keep their business objectives in a lawful manner. .�.�. If there are gaps in the regulatory program, sure, we will help them try to fit within the law,” Gutermann says. Ken Mehlman, who was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007 and managed President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, is leading the Washington climate change group along with Gutermann. Though pushing climate change legislation has never been a top priority of the Bush administration or of the GOP, upon joining Akin Gump this year, Mehlman became vocal on the topic. In March, he observed to The Wall Street Journal that he foresees “increased scrutiny of the emission of carbon” on the horizon. The new practice draws from a wide range of practices at Akin Gump, including project finance, emerging markets, private equity, investment fund, public policy, environmental, and energy litigation groups.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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