Government: Government Relations - Nationwide
THE FIRM Akin Gump's marquee public law and policy practice comprises 55 lawyers and professional advisers. The team is equipped to assist clients with complicated legal reform and policy issues arising across a range of sectors, including healthcare, energy and environment, education, tax and transportation. The subpractice of political law and government ethics operates seamlessly alongside a number of other dedicated groups at the firm, catering to sovereign government policy as well as Congressional investigations, coalitions and organizations, enabling the firm to assist clients with a comprehensive range of matters. The group is also home to a number of former members of Congress, bolstering the firm's strong ties to the government and benefiting clients who seek lobbying assistance.
Sources say: "This is a long-standing, well-established practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Renowned government relations expert Joel Jankowsky is held in high regard for his expertise in public policy matters. He has particular strength within the fields of telecom, technology and entertainment.
THE FIRM The legislation and political law compliance group at Hogan Lovells boasts 59 attorneys, with high-profile clients including Nissan, Barclays Capital and Nestlé. In the past year, the practice has maintained its focus on assisting clients with federal funding matters, as well as navigating the federal grants and Congressional appropriations processes. The group's clients include hospital research centers, universities, and for-profit and nonprofit companies, among others. The team also continues to assist the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) with its communications with Congress and the development of an outreach strategy relating to the structure of post-season college football.
Sources say: "A leader here in DC."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Michael House is involved in the representation of BCS outlined above. He has assisted with communications with members of Congress relating to specific legislation, as well as in educating individuals about BCS and its impact on both students and educational institutions.
THE FIRM Patton Boggs is recognized for the extensive service it offers clients, which includes monitoring legislation, analyzing public policy, and lobbying on behalf of clients at both state and federal level. The firm's sizable public policy department is made up of over 100 attorneys representing organizations such as SICPA, McLane Company and the National Football League Players Association. A key matter for the team in the past year was advising the University of Minnesota on legislative issues relating to the implementation of a $1 billion light rail line that will run through the university campus between St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Client Service "This is a large firm, so the group is readily able to tap into a number of areas. There are partners to go to quickly for an answer, and with their depth of knowledge you can get answers very quickly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Hale Boggs is lauded by peers as "the best in town." One particularly impressed client asserts that "there's no brighter mind or person more experienced in Washington. He is always available with insight and guidance."
Nicholas Allard counseled the University of Minnesota in the aforementioned matter, helping it secure the Congress-approved funding which was required to mitigate potential environmental and safety risks posed by the rail line. Clients describe Allard as "thoughtful and intelligent – he always finds different ways of tackling our problems. He's very effective."
THE FIRM The government affairs department at Covington is home to a number of former government officials, and has expanded the group by securing some significant new hires in the past year. Clients of the firm include Wells Fargo, the National Association of Broadcasters and Amazon.com, which the group assists with matters of public policy. Work carried out by the team includes providing strategic advice on legislative matters and helping clients access key individuals within the government who are involved in decision-making processes.
Client Service "Covington has a very professional operation. It responds well to our problems and constantly keeps us updated."
Commercial Awareness "The firm has a breadth of experience from the top levels of Congress."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients are pleased with Roderick DeArment, who is considered "resourceful, energetic and collaborative." DeArment led in assisting Alcatel-Lucent successfully secure an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code, which will allow for continued payment of benefits to approximately 90,000 company retirees.
Sources say that Martin Gold is "highly regarded in debarment." Gold also assisted the 1882 Project successfully seek redress from Congress for a series of Acts discriminating against persons of Chinese origin published between 1879 and 1904. Gold's work resulted in an official expression of regret for this legislation.
Holly Fechner assisted DeArment in representing Alcatel-Lucent as outlined above, and also assisted the ERISA Industry Council organize a coalition with the purpose of educating members of Congress about proposed regulations governing hybrid pension plans. Fechner continues to receive praise from clients, who affirm that she is "smart, effective and persistent."
THE FIRM The government affairs team at this global giant has had an active year, having represented ZTE, a global supplier of telecom equipment, counseling the company through investigation by the House Intelligence Committee and making presentations to Congress. The firm also assists a US joint venture with Japan Central Railroad for the purpose of developing a maglev high-speed rail system in the Northeast Corridor, which requires the firm to advise on environmental issues, legislative authorization and appropriation issues.
Client Service "They're very good at bringing together a team and working collaboratively. They'll often preempt our needs."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources enthuse that John Merrigan is an "eminent name" in the government relations sphere. Clients are impressed, stating that he is "resourceful and very well connected." Merrigan led on both the ZTE and maglev matters outlined above.
James Blanchard has represented Public Affairs Associates on one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America, working with government officials to authorize a new bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada. Observers note that Blanchard is "very execution-oriented - he engages in an action plan and carries out the elements required. James is also very helpful with high-level strategy."
Interviewees affirm that Thomas Boyd is "a very fine lawyer." Boyd assisted with the ZTE matter, and continues as counsel to the National Business Coalition on E-Commerce & Privacy.
THE FIRM The public policy and regulation group at Holland & Knight supports clients including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Dow Chemical, FirstEnergy and Thomson Reuters Legal. The group has grown over the past year, and has a deep bench of lawyers accompanied by a large number of nonlegal professionals able to expertly advise in policy matters. The federal healthcare policy team recently achieved significant success assisting a number of clients across a range of sectors optimize opportunities arising out of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.
Sources say: "I am pleased with the firm's performance. The team that works with us is professional in every way, and their attention to detail is impressive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Gold's impressive practice covers a broad range of fields, including transportation, food safety, energy and environment.
David Whitestone is chair of the firm's transportation industry practice, which sees him counseling a vast number of rail, aviation and maritime clients in relation to their regulatory and public policy work. Sources admire Whitestone, saying that "he's extremely well liked, smart and a good strategist."
THE FIRM K&L Gates maintains a strong reputation in the government relations field, with a bipartisan team comprising 50 lawyers and nonlawyer public policy professionals. The team is home to a vast number of individuals with experience working on Capitol Hill and in government agencies, including a number of former Congressmen. The firm's global government solutions initiative relies on smart interaction between 48 offices worldwide. This service is ideally suited to support clients whose policy objectives extend beyond the USA. Notable clients include Annaly Capital, BNSF Railway, Boeing Employees' Credit Union and Columbia University.
Client Service "They work as a team and will draw on another partner as needed according to what the issue requires, yet still keep costs level."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Emanuel Rouvelas is founder and leader of the public policy and law group. Rouvelas is well respected for his specialty in maritime law and represents leading companies and trade associations across a broad range of sectors, including telecom, transportation, hospitality and the manufacturing industry.
THE FIRM The legislative and public policy group at Alston & Bird has a strong bench that provides strategic counseling to clients including Experian, Navistar and the National Geographic Education Foundation. The firm also represents Safeway, having provided assistance in tax and pensions issues, as well as advising the company in debates relating to healthcare reform, derivatives reform, climate change and food safety.
Sources say: "They have very good FTC, corporate and lobbying practices in DC."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Jones is leader of the group and has personally counseled Safeway as outlined above, in addition to assisting Autoliv in communications with the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Sources have been impressed: "He is energetic, willing and happy to help."
THE FIRM Clients of Arnold & Porter's legislative and public policy group include illustrious names such as Lloyd’s, which the firm advises in relation to a broad spectrum of legislative and regulatory issues affecting its trading position in the USA. This relationship sees the firm providing guidance on issues potentially arising in connection with natural catastrophe financing, massive pollution, aviation war risk and political risk. The team also represents the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting and the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism.
Sources say: "They've always been responsive and willing to work with us. They make sure we're satisfied."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Martha Cochran is noted for her work with asset managers and financial institutions, including the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting. Sources affirm that "Martha knows the ins and outs of securities law and has a significant background in this work, in addition to high-level relationships with commissioners at the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority."
THE FIRM This small but dynamic government affairs group packs a mighty punch in DC, counseling high-profile companies which include Universal Music Group and GE. The team provides ongoing counseling to New York-based technology company Aereo, which it has advised in relation to possible legislation and Congressional inquiries related to telecom and copyright policy.
Sources say: "They have helped us deepen our relationship with key government offices, and also helped us understand which issues are important to those offices."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gary Slaiman is the leader of Bingham's government affairs practice group.
THE FIRM Dentons's clients span the healthcare, finance, manufacturing, transportation and energy sectors, and include companies such as KV Pharmaceutical, Morgan Stanley, NextEra Energy and Allstate. The group has numerous former federal, state and local government employees, in addition to a number of former state attorneys general. The team is presently assisting the California State Parks Foundation in conducting a study of methods by which parks threatened with closure due to state budget cuts can utilize private funding in order to stay open.
Commercial Awareness "I have been extremely impressed by the Dentons's government relations group, in particular their comprehensive problem-solving skills, their knowledge of the inner workings of federal agencies and the media, and their ability to work well on a personal level with diverse groups of people in our organization and in government."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mike McNamara is chair of the public policy and regulation practice, and also leads the worldwide government sector team at Dentons.
THE FIRM The government law and strategy group at Dickstein Shapiro is bolstered by the work carried out by the firm's long-running and highly reputed state attorneys general practice. Clients of the firm include Peabody Energy, the US Chamber of Commerce, MasterCard, Walmart and PepsiCo. In the past year, the group has advised McAfee in relation to educating Congress about federal government cybersecurity programs, in addition to counseling on legislation that could enhance cybersecurity throughout the USA.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bernard Nash continues to represent Pfizer, assisting the company with legal and policy matters, as well as providing advice in the face of a number of investigations and litigations by attorneys general in relation to the marketing and sale of Pfizer products. Observers state that Nash is "very focused" and has "cornered the market among state attorneys general."
THE FIRM In the past year, King & Spalding undertook significant effort on behalf of multiple US manufacturing companies to overturn a US Court of Appeals decision prohibiting the use of countervailing duty law to counteract illegal subsidies on goods from non-market economy countries, including China. The team was successful in its substantial three-month lobbying campaign, resulting in a law which overturned the court decision being enacted in less than one month. The law, passed in March 2012, assists US companies facing unfair competition from foreign competitors selling products at artificially low prices. The firm also represents notable clients including Toyota, Embraer, JMC Steel Group and Raytheon.
Sources say: "This is a cohesive group with a lot of good talent on the government affairs side. They understand the environment that we inhabit, and they're happy doing work for us without rocking the boat."
KEY INDIVIDUALS One client says that Lloyd Hand is "a Washington institution in and of himself." Hand is considered to be particularly well connected with senior members of Congress, and he has great experience in providing counsel to Fortune 500 companies and foreign governments on legislative, administrative, regulatory and international trade issues.
Thomas Spulak is chair of the group and a former general counsel to the House of Representatives. Spulak has developed a niche in understanding the political rules regulating campaign finance and Congressional ethics, and sources are quick to praise him: "His word is golden. He has incredible contacts, a good grasp of the law and terrific political instincts."
Theodore Hester has amassed great experience in representing companies in Congressional investigations, and observers enthusiastically note that he is "terrific."
THE FIRM The government relations team at Mayer Brown is able to draw on an impressive wealth of state and local government experience amassed throughout its seven US offices, particularly its Los Angeles and Chicago branches. The firm also has significant experience in handling government affairs at both a federal level and on the international stage. The group has been representing Google in its driverless car project, assisting by obtaining permission for the vehicles to be tested within the states of Nevada, Florida and California, as well as in presenting the technology to the US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sources say: "The firm operates cohesively, and the individuals we work with are responsive and stay on top of our particular area of business. Government relations are a very strong area for the firm, and we are able to draw on their contacts in both parties in Congress."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very talented" Howard Waltzman is a former chief counsel for the House Energy & Commerce Committee, focusing on telecom and the internet. Waltzman has a particular specialty in privacy compliance, communications and internet law.
THE FIRM The firm represents Kia Motors and CRE Finance Council, among other illustrious names. It also provides ongoing counseling to AOL and Facebook on legislative and regulatory issues relating to internet privacy and telecoms, requiring the team to effectively liaise with the FTC and FCC. The group has also represented the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, successfully campaigning for the inclusion of language in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act to clarify the meaning of tobacco 'manufacturers', which subsequently clarifies the tax position for these manufacturers.
Commercial Awareness "They are a law firm and lobby shop. They serve as regulatory counsel and help draft compliance guidelines for us. They've looked at our needs and are hired to service them, so I'm aware that when we have a need they'll help us."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "talented" Scott Sinder is praised by clients, who state that "he is extremely well positioned and he gives us tremendous strategic and legal advice." Sinder is head of the department, and continues to represent the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers following the Dodd-Frank financial services overhaul, liaising with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the new Federal Insurance Office to ensure that state implementation efforts progress.
THE FIRM Van Ness Feldman provides ongoing counsel to BrightSource Energy, which has included advocacy work on Capitol Hill in relation to a number of solar industry tax incentives, as well as representation during a Congressional investigation into a Department of Energy loan guarantee program relating to several Department of Defense energy initiatives. Other clients include the Coal Utilization Research Council, Puget Sound Energy, Kinder Morgan, McKesson and TransCanada.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bob Szabo is a key contact and the practice business development coordinator.
THE FIRM This specialist government affairs firm based in DC manages dedicated practices in federal appropriations, Congressional oversight and investigations, and international government affairs. The firm has particular specialty in financial services and tax policy, and has great experience in dealing with the Treasury Department and IRS to advance the objectives of its clients.
Sources say: "A leading law firm in tax reform."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Hart is "well regarded" by peers and considered a prominent lobbyist in DC. He is highly renowned for his proficiency in tax matters.
THE FIRM The defense, national security and government contracts practice at WilmerHale comprises 29 attorneys who are highly adept at assisting clients with government affairs matters across a broad range of industries. The firm has seven offices across the USA, and the team is home to a number of attorneys who have formerly held senior positions in various government departments and agencies, including the DOJ.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "outstanding" Jamie Gorelick is praised for her strategic advice in addition to her experience as "a major player in DC." Gorelick is chair of the department, and has particular expertise in public policy, regulatory and enforcement matters.
Elizabeth Moeller is head of the practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and is respected by peers for her work representing clients in the water, energy and transportation industries, among others.
The "highly regarded" Russell Smith of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP represented Telcordia Technologies during a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States of the $1.5 billion acquisition of the company by Ericsson.