The National Law Journal has named Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP partner Brian Gunn one of its “Minority 40 Under 40” as part of a special report on law firm diversity.
The publication selected Gunn, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, for his work as a lobbyist for Native American issues on Capitol Hill. Lawyers from law firms, government agencies, academia and public interest organizations were named to the list. In soliciting nominations for the list, the National Law Journal sought lawyers who have wielded national influence in their practice areas and beyond during the past five years and have used the law to effect major change.
A partner in the firm’s Washington, DC, office and the leader of the Indian Tribal Governments practice team, Gunn was noted for his role in helping Indian tribes win access to homeland security funding and in securing legislation to ratify Indian water rights settlements for four tribes in New Mexico. The water right settlement, part of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, will deliver clean drinking water to the tribes and resolves litigation first filed in 1966.
Gunn also secured the first major federal appropriation for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, an entity within the Department of Energy that benefits Indian tribes nationally. He is currently working on a legislative initiative to ease restrictions on energy production and promote biomass projects on Indian lands.
Gunn’s practice focuses on a wide variety of issues for tribal clients in the U.S. Congress and Federal agencies. He specializes in matters related to the Federal budget and appropriations, the Federal trust responsibility, natural resources and public lands, and tribal energy development. In addition to his governmental relations expertise, Gunn also serves as lead counsel in three tribal trust-related lawsuits in Federal courts.
Gunn earned his law degree from the University of Washington Law School and his bachelor’s degree from Washington State University.