Partner pay watch: Jenner's David Pressman, picked for ambassador to Hungary

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Jenner & Block offices in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Former Obama-era ambassador earlier worked at Boies Schiller
  • Pressman is on Jenner team suing Russian banks in U.S. federal court in case over downing of Malaysian jet

(Reuters) - International human rights lawyer David Pressman, a Jenner & Block partner in New York, revealed receiving more than $1.73 million in compensation from the law firm last year, according to an ethics disclosure released on Sunday as part of his nomination to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Hungary.

Pressman, a Jenner partner since June 2020 and co-chair of the firm's human rights practice, represented clients including Princeton University, First Republic Bank, and the Oshkosh Corp, according to the disclosure. In Manhattan federal court, Pressman is on the Jenner team suing two Russian banks on behalf of an American killed in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

He joined the firm from Boies Schiller Flexner, where his clients included Epic Games Inc, New York Yankees Partnership and Centene Corp, the disclosure showed.

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Many nominees for high-level U.S. positions, including ambassadorships, are required to submit a financial disclosure that can offer a glimpse at lawyer compensation and clients. Lawyers are generally prohibited from touching matters involving their former firms for at least a year after going into public service.

Pressman, whose disclosure reflects Jenner compensation from January 2021 to January 2022, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. His nomination is pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Chicago-founded Jenner employs more than 500 lawyers, and revenue per lawyer at the firm is about $1.03 million, according to The American Lawyer trade publication. The base pay for a U.S. ambassador serving as a chief of mission is about $165,000.

During the Obama administration, Pressman served as the Senate-confirmed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for special political affairs.

In 2016, Pressman was named executive director of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which was established by George and Amal Clooney. His service ended there in January 2020.

The Biden administration has filled many ambassador posts with career U.S. diplomats. In other instances, President Joe Biden has turned to attorneys at law firms including Winston & Strawn; Mayer Brown; and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

Former Republican President Donald Trump picked New York-based businessman David Cornstein as ambassador to Hungary.

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