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Former Congressman Russ Carnahan joins Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner


Former U.S. Congressman Russ Carnahan is joining international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in a leadership role.

The firm specializes in real estate, financial services, and corporate risk cases and employs more than 14,000 lawyers in 30 offices around the world. Carnahan will serve as a senior policy advisor for the firm’s Public Policy & Government Affairs Group.

“I am especially excited to be joining Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner at this time when there’s been a change in the landscape of policymakers in Washington,” Carnahan told The Missouri Times. “Any time there’s a change, there are challenges and opportunities. The firm is unique in other ways, with strong roots in St. Louis that have grown into a global firm with such a great reputation. It’s a really exciting place and an exciting time to be working there.”

Prior to his congressional career, Carnahan served in the Missouri House beginning in 2000. During his time in the lower chamber, he served as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and deputy minority whip. Carnahan represented Missouri’s 3rd congressional district from 2005 to 2013, serving as senior whip and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations. 

Following his legislative career, he was a partner with Carnahan Global Consulting in St. Louis, where he specialized in international business and legal and governmental consulting. Most recently, Carnahan backed President Joe Biden in his successful bid for the Oval Office. 

Jack Oliver, head of the group, said Carnahan’s experience and expertise would be assets for the team going forward. 

“Russ will be an invaluable resource for our clients,” Oliver said. “He is very tuned in to a variety of businesses and industries and understands their needs to effectively navigate the fast-changing regulatory environment. We are pleased to welcome him to the firm.”

Carnahan is part of a well-known family to those in-touch with Missouri politics; his parents are former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan and late Gov. Mel Carnahan, and his wife, Debra, is a municipal judge in St. Louis.