September 16, 2021 / Law360 Pulse – The past two years have been busy for Jon Henes, a former Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner who took his BigLaw experience in restructuring, crisis management and corporate governance and brought it into the political world as an aide on several campaigns. Now, he says he wants to bring systemic change to the corporate world to make society better.
In his most high-profile stint, Henes was the national finance chair for then-Sen. Kamala Harris' presidential campaign. In another one, he was an adviser to Ray McGuire, a Wall Street executive who ran for New York City mayor. He also advised Jamie Harrison, the current chair of Democratic National Committee who challenged Sen. Lindsey Graham at the polls in November.
None of those runs turned out to be successful, but Henes learned a lot from them. One of the things he brought home was "the power of diversity," he told Law360 Pulse. Working with diverse groups of volunteers, Henes tuned in with national conversations about race, gender and social justice, and got to listen to the voices of people demanding change, in particular people under 40.
In July, Henes left Kirkland to devote himself to his new passion. This week he announced the launch of C Street Advisory Group, a venture bringing together some people he worked alongside on the campaign trail. His objective, he said, is to help corporations and philanthropies navigate a fast-changing world filled with ideological extremism, and bring about change in society.
"It's a complex world right now," he said. "We are trying to help corporations and other organizations get ahead of what's going on, so they're proactive rather than reactive."
Henes talked to Law360 Pulse about his time at Kirkland, his new advisory firm and what he believes sets it apart from others in the market.