U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign turned to Perkins Coie as the Massachusetts Democrat embarked on her bid for the party’s nomination, paying the firm $80,000 in February for legal consulting, according to a financial disclosure filed this week.
The expenditure was among several that provided a first glimpse at some of the Big Law connections established by Democratic contenders.
Between late February and mid-March, Peter Buttigieg’s campaign paid Jenner & Block nearly $82,000 for legal consulting as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, readied himself for the Democratic primary. His campaign, formally launched just days ago with an event in South Bend, reported paying Jenner & Block in three separate installments—the first and largest, totaling almost $45,500, on Feb. 25.
Jenner litigation partner Previn Warren in Washington is serving as general counsel to the Buttigieg campaign, a firm spokesperson said. Warren was a classmate of Buttigieg’s at Harvard College.
The Warren and Buttigieg campaigns did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Perkins Coie declined to comment on the firm’s work.
Julian Castro’s campaign reported a debt of nearly $20,000 to the Washington-based firm Utrecht, Kleinfeld, Fiori, Partners for legal services. Castro, whose fundraising did not rival some of the other contenders, joined the Obama administration as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development after serving as mayor of San Antonio.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat who began her presidential campaign in January, paid $10,000 to Bergeson in February and another $4,553 in legal fees to Dentons in early March, according to her disclosure.
The four Democrats were the only candidates who listed expenses for legal consulting in the first quarter of 2019, a three-month stretch that saw the primary field grow crowded with more than a dozen contenders.
New Jersey Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign did not list a legal consulting expense, but it did report that it owes about $28,000 to Capitol Compliance Associates, a Washington-based firm specializing in campaign finance, for “compliance and financial management” services.
Skadden was paid more than $1,200 for “reception-catering and facilities,” according to Gillibrand’s disclosure, and Wilmer received about $300 in early March for “reception-catering.” The payments put the two firms in the company of Nocking Points Wine and Oliver Cheng Catering And Events as beneficiaries of the Gillibrand campaign’s reception and catering budget.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign spent $1.64 million on legal consulting, with the bulk of those expenditures going to Jones Day.
The firm, whose alumni have filled prominent posts within the Trump administration and received nominations to the federal bench, received nearly $1.25 million from the campaign in the first three months of 2019, a total that tracks closely with what Jones Day received in late 2018.