Partner pay watch: BakerHostetler's Dettelbach, picked for ATF head

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Signage is seen outside of the legal offices of the BakerHostetler law firm in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Longtime white-collar defender reported more than $1.7 million in compensation
  • Clients listed on disclosure included Cardinal Health, Deloitte

(Reuters) - Veteran criminal defense lawyer Steven Dettelbach reported earning more than $1.7 million in partner compensation at law firm BakerHostetler from January 2021 to February 2022, according to a financial disclosure released on Friday as part of his nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Dettelbach, a former federal prosecutor who co-leads the law firm's white-collar and investigations practice, provided legal services to clients that include Cardinal Health Inc, Biglari Holdings Inc, Deloitte LTD and the law firm Latham & Watkins, the disclosure showed.

Financial disclosures are mandatory public forms for many nominees and other high-level U.S. government officials, and they offer a glimpse at lawyer compensation and clients. The documents capture income received during the prior calendar year up to the date of the filing.

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Dettelbach's nomination, announced in April, is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Friday.

Profits for equity partners at 932-lawyer BakerHostetler increased more than 11% last year to $1.7 million, according to a report in February at The American Lawyer trade publication. Revenue per lawyer rose about 3% to $897,000.

Newly arriving executive officials are generally barred from touching matters that involve their old firms or clients for at least a year.

Dettelbach rejoined BakerHostetler in 2016 after serving nearly seven years as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. He earlier worked in the Justice Department's civil rights division and as a counsel in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Dettelbach in 2018 unsuccessfully ran for Ohio attorney general as a Democrat.

President Joe Biden in April revealed a new federal rule to crack down on "ghost guns" and ban the manufacturing of the untraceable firearms. The effort is expected to draw a legal challenge.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the judiciary committee, last month in a letter called Dettelbach "another gun control advocate being put forward for a position that requires respect for the Second Amendment."

A confirmation hearing date has not been set on the judiciary committee's calendar.

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