The Low Key Johnny Depp Lawyer & What Motivated Him In His Career

Wayne Denniston may not have taken the high profile role in the now celebrated defamation win for Johnny Depp but an interview with Law.com revealed the factors that lead to his current success as a key player at Brown Rudnick.

The following interview was published by Brown Rudnick.

Partner Wayne Dennison, who played a critical role on the Brown Rudnick team that won a jury verdict for actor Johnny Depp in June, was featured in Law.com’s “How I Made It” Q&A series.

The Sept. 2 profile revealed that Dennison has spent his entire career at Brown Rudnick since starting as a co-op student in February 1991 during his final year at Northeastern University School of Law. He has worked full-time as a lawyer at the Firm since the completion of a two-year appellate clerkship in August 1993.

Dennison, a practice group leader of the Firm’s Litigation & Arbitration practice, said he has held a leadership role in Brown Rudnick’s Dispute Resolution & Restructuring Department, for nearly 20 years.

He was promoted to practice group leader soon after becoming an equity partner. Dennison served as one of the Firm’s principal lawyers representing Massachusetts in its action against the tobacco industry. He was promoted to equity partner following the national settlement of those claims.

Asked what was the deciding point for the Firm to appoint him to practice group leader, Dennison said, “I had demonstrated the ability to bind existing clients to the firm and to grow those client relationships. I have always been ‘user friendly’ as a lawyer to both internal and external clients. Although my performance in the tobacco case was likely a factor in the decision, the fact that I was able to build strong relationships at the firm and with a major telecommunications company as it sought to build out its wireless networks certainly also contributed.”

Dennison cited his parents as the greatest influence in his career that helped propel him to his current role. “They owned and operate a wholesale/retail electrical supply company, Mills Electrical Supply, in rural upstate New York for more than 60 years,” he explained.

“My cousin still owns and operates it. Despite the proliferation of big-box retailers in their space, my parents saw a market opportunity in extending credit to builders and contractors through job completion (when the building trades would ultimately get paid). This flexibility ensured the continued vitality and success of their business. It is the kind of lateral thinking that I have always sought to provide my own clients.”

Click here to read the full Q&A. 

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