Lungren has taken a senior counsel role in King & Spalding’s government matters group and will split his time between the firm’s offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., while continuing to run government relations and strategic advisory firm Lungren Lopina, which he co-founded with former Patton Boggs of counsel Brian Lopina.
“This is an additional activity that I wanted to have; I miss practicing law,” Lungren said.
Before starting his own consulting firm, which took in $320,000 in federal lobbying revenue last year, Lungren represented California’s 3rd District, near Sacramento, from 2005 to 2013.
“I have talked to other firms since I have left Congress, all good firms,” Lungren said. “But King & Spalding gave me what I was looking for, and one of the exciting things is that they are committed to building up their state attorneys general practice. That’s an area in which I have a particular interest.”
Lungren is the fifth former member of Congress currently at King & Spalding. Having previously been California’s attorney general from 1991 to 1999, Lungren will primarily focus his efforts on the state attorneys general group within the firm’s government matters practice, as well as government and congressional investigations, government advocacy and public policy work.
“Dan’s relationships with significant players in California and peers in other states is an advantage and offering that is hard to match by others in California,” said a statement from Donald “Fritz” Zimmer, head of King & Spalding’s San Francisco office. “Given our priority to better serve clients on a range of matters in California, we are delighted to welcome him to the firm.”
Lungren, who grew up in Long Beach, California, first served in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1989, representing portions of his home county and Orange County. Lungren was elected as attorney general of California in 1991 and served two terms as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.
He then took a short break from public service to spend a year as a talk show host for a Catholic family radio station while also working as a self-employed legal consultant for two years before joining Venable as a partner in 2001.
In 2005, Lungren was elected to the first of what would be four more terms in Congress, where he served as chairman of the Committee on House Administration and chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on cybersecurity and critical infrastructure.
“With the experience I have of both being an attorney general at the state level and being a member of Congress on the federal level, I might be able to assist clients in understanding the entire picture and perhaps assist my law firm in giving an additional benefit to our clients from a legal standpoint,” Lungren said.
Lungren noted that state attorneys general are increasingly working with other states and the federal government on a variety of regulatory issues and complex litigations. As a result, he said it’s important for a firm to help its clients understand all matters of government, be it at the local, state or federal level. Lungren himself has at least one tie to the Trump administration.
Samantha Dravis served as an executive and legislative assistant to Lungren in 2006 and 2007 before she graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and worked as an associate at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister in Indianapolis. Dravis made news last week for resigning from her role as a top aide to embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt amid reports that she had not shown up at her job from November to January.
The EPA’s inspector general announced earlier this week that it would review Dravis’ employment records as senior counsel and associate director for policy. Lungren had nothing but praise in defending his former employee.
“She is a bright individual who is one of the hardest workers I know. She is very open and not someone who tends to hide her thoughts. She will share them with others, but not in a condescending way, not in a way that would turn someone off or discourage conversation,” Lungren said. “I think she is a real talent. I have not been able to get a hold off her for some time. Any law firm or association would benefit from her talent, experience and dedication.”
At King & Spalding, which saw its gross revenue and partner profits rise last year, Lungren said he is looking forward to working on government advocacy and data privacy issues for clients.
“I was very active on those issues. I have concerns about those issues, and I think joining King & Spalding gives an opportunity to pursue those kinds of issues,” he said.
King & Spalding opened a San Francisco office, the firm’s second outpost in the Bay Area, in 2008. Last month, King & Spalding hired Hogan Lovells health care transactional partner Torrey McClary in Los Angeles.