Veteran Senate campaign lawyer Marc Elias will replace newly appointed White House counsel Bob Bauer as chairman of the political law practice at Perkins Coie, a source familiar with the firm’s decision confirmed Friday.
Bauer was tapped by the White House early Friday to replace White House counsel Greg Craig, who resigned amid criticism of his handling of the closure of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Considered one of the nation’s pre-eminent campaign finance experts, Bauer was President Barack Obama’s lawyer during last year’s campaign and continues to represent him personally. Bauer’s wife, former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, resigned from her post this week.
Elias’ promotion puts him at the helm of perhaps downtown’s most high-profile political law practice. During the past decade, Perkins Coie has represented the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Earlier this year, Elias’ firm became the outside lawyers for the Democratic National Committee and its new grass-roots outfit, Organizing for America.
Following the 2008 election, Elias also became a national figure, representing the campaign of now-Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) during his prolonged court fight with incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R).
The shuffle set off by Bauer’s departure also will elevate Perkins Coie partner Judith Corley, who will become the DNC’s lead outside lawyer.