HWG Partner John Nakahata Elected as Chair of the Firm

May 05, 2021

Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP (HWG) is pleased to announce that its partners have unanimously elected John Nakahata as Chair of the firm and that he will begin his three-year tenure on May 5, 2021.

The Chair leads the firm’s Executive Committee in setting the firm’s strategic development, supporting the firm’s representation of clients, and maintaining HWG’s culture of collaboration, innovation, diversity and excellence.

“From its start, HWG has fostered a culture where extraordinary lawyers are encouraged to pursue excellence in all aspects of their lives,” said Mr. Nakahata. “It is an honor to continue the firm’s commitment to building an inclusive and innovative workplace and to delivering exceptional service to our clients and communities.”

Mr. Nakahata, who ranks as one of the top U.S. telecommunications lawyers, joined HWG as partner in 1999 after serving as the Chief of Staff of the Federal Communications Commission.  He has led HWG’s telecommunications practice, a group that consistently receives Chambers USA’s top rank, and has served on the firm’s Executive Committee and as a co-founder and co-leader of its Diversity Council.  Mr. Nakahata will be among only a handful of Asian American lawyers currently leading a top-ranked U.S. law firm. 

Mr. Nakahata will take over the position from Scott Blake Harris, who co-founded HWG and has served as the firm’s Chair for the last seven years.  Under Scott’s leadership, HWG developed a national reputation for excellence, a culture committed to innovation and inclusion, and earned the devotion of scores of employees, alumni, and clients. 

“HWG wouldn’t exist without Scott’s vision, enthusiasm, and drive,” said Mr. Nakahata. “He challenged the operating model of traditional law firms, creating a firm where top talent could work on ground-breaking legal issues and where clients could pursue innovative ideas without the exorbitant legal costs driven by unnecessary overhead.  In so doing, he created a very special place to practice law.  And he has been an extraordinary mentor.  I look forward to continuing to tap Scott’s unique energy and vision.”

One of the key hallmarks of Mr. Harris’s tenure as Chair included his dedication to building client relationships. After stepping down from his current role, he will focus on the firm’s client relationships, continue his practice in the telecom and energy fields, and lead the firm’s energy practice group.  

“John represents the very best of HWG and the profession.  He was the first partner to join the firm not named Harris, Wiltshire or Grannis, and he has been central to its success.  John is also an exemplary leader and his deep commitment to excellence, innovation, and inclusion will allow HWG to thrive—and to continue to do pioneering work for our clients—in the years ahead.”

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About Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis – For more than 20 years, HWG has advised innovative organizations and individuals on complex legal issues. With deep roots in the telecommunications and technology industries, HWG has built its reputation by successfully representing clients before government agencies, in nuanced business transactions, and in complex disputes and litigation.

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