Many diverse corporations, trade associations and labor organizations turn to us for continuing assistance on government ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance and election law.
Our attorneys have experience in criminal, administrative, and legislative investigations and enforcement proceedings in matters involving white-collar crime, campaign finance and public integrity investigations. We often are involved in building and monitoring the effectiveness of compliance programs.
Clients engage us for such challenges as:
- Lobbying and Advocacy―What is “lobbying?” Who is a “lobbyist?” Simple answers to those questions do not exist because federal and state laws define terms differently. Consequently, activities that can be pursued freely in one state, without formal registration, can trigger investigations, penalties and sanctions in another. Our attorneys provide a consolidated view that clarifies these laws, allowing your employees to do their work while avoiding potential violations.
- Financing Campaigns―Organizations that actively fund political campaigns and activities trust Kelley Drye to ensure that their contributions are appropriately registered and reported, and that they comply with each state’s limitations and prohibitions. These clients often need guidance on a range of questions involving the amounts, timing and form of contributions, as well as the best approach to organizing political fundraising events.
- Ensuring Ethical Practices―Every time your employees interact with government officials, they run the risk of crossing the gray area between courtesy and transgression. A gift, a lunch, a conversation about future plans: these often-innocuous activities can be cast in a negative light by prosecutors. We clarify the laws and build lucid guidelines, to make sure our clients’ activities stay within recognized ethical boundaries.
- Hiring Former Officials―If you hire talent directly out of local, state or federal government, you could face potential civil and criminal penalties if these employees fail to comply with a myriad of post-employment laws. We provide insights into these laws, analyze the parameters of permissible activity and help you effectively leverage these employees’ unique skills and relationships in a lawful way.
- Pursuing Government Contracts―Regulation of public-private contracts is extraordinarily stringent; beyond federal laws, each state has its rules, creating multiple risks of losing a major contract due to a missed technical requirement. In addition, simply pursuing these contracts is considered “lobbying” in many cases. Clients look to us to maximize their opportunities for lucrative contracts, while minimizing potential missteps.
To prevent problems before they start, we create tailored lobbying, government ethics and political activity compliance programs for our clients. These programs train employees on the relevant laws, reinforce the right behaviors, and clarify when to ask for guidance. Through these programs, which we help clients audit and refine, we make sure that the money spent on prevention and training gets to the root of an organization’s unique challenges, and sets the stage for a highly productive—and significantly less risky—relationship with government and the political process.