Founded over 50 years ago—when very few law firms had lobbying practices—our government relations practice has grown from two former congressional staffers to a team of over 30 bipartisan advocates that work in partnership with companies and organizations to develop and implement strategies to change government policy.
What’s the key to our longevity? The three hallmarks of our practice—in-depth industry knowledge, long-term relationships and an integrated approach—have served us well for over five decades, but we measure our success by the results we get for our clients. It’s advancing their interests and solving their problems that keep us coming to work every day.
Every client has its own unique business challenges and we tailor our strategies to meet them. We work with a diverse range of businesses and entities across many industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, technology, food, agriculture/aquaculture, defense and energy. Many of our clients have been with us for decades—they range from global leaders in their industries to small business entrepreneurs, to trade associations and coalitions that act on behalf of an industry.
We offer comprehensive guidance and a range of services that include:
- Legislative Advocacy. Our team emphasizes the key components of a successful legislative advocacy campaign—deep industry knowledge combined with strategic policy and legal insight. Our efforts range from day-to-day issue monitoring and outreach to the development and implementation of major campaigns for clients—often working to identify and involve key stakeholders and develop coalitions. We frequently pursue a single objective through multiple fora, using law, economics, government relations, public relations and grassroots advocacy to achieve our clients’ goals.
- Regulatory Counseling. We represent clients before federal agencies, where decisions on the promulgation and enforcement of regulations can have an enormous impact on businesses. Our team of attorneys and government-relations professionals represent clients in all aspects of agency advocacy, from formal submissions to informal communications. We make sure that the agencies hear from congressional supporters of our clients, when appropriate.
- Campaign Finance and Political Law. We advise diverse corporations, trade associations and labor organizations on all aspects of government ethics, lobbying and campaign finance and election law compliance at the federal, state and local levels.
- Uncovering Business Opportunities with Government Agencies. We find opportunities for companies to offer products, services and technologies in government procurement programs. We track agency budgets, identify departments with relevant funding, make contacts with officials, track legislative developments and participate in events to gather intelligence about programs that create opportunities for our clients.
Advertising and Consumer Protection
Together with our Advertising Law practice—one of the most respected and nationally recognized in the country—we advise our clients on consumer protection regulations, including those that are under consideration for legislative or regulatory agency action.
Agriculture and Food
We represent a wide range of companies, associations and coalitions in the agricultural and food industry. Our team has worked on many congressional and regulatory issues on behalf of the food industry, and has advocated for clients on major federal legislation, including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA); the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act; the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act; and the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act. We leverage the significant experience of our Food and Drug Law practice to advise clients on congressional regulatory reform initiatives, as well as general compliance and enforcement efforts.
We strategically advance our client objectives, calling upon our team’s deep knowledge of the substantive issues involved with the appropriations process to help achieve our clients’ goals. This niche is always important, as, is so often, legislation can get caught in gridlock.
Communications and Privacy
Together with the firm’s Communications and Privacy practices, we provide legislative and regulatory advocacy services to a range of clients. Kelley Drye’s Privacy and Information Security practice group includes recognized leaders in the field, including two former directors of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Together with the firm’s Government Contracts practice, we provide legislative advocacy related to federal contracts, including defense and national security issues. Our team has a deep understanding of the U.S. defense market with a special emphasis on military hardware and equipment, federal procurement of goods and services, policy issues associated with defense depots, and in the construction and engineering services markets. We regularly interact with numerous parts of the federal government, including the Department of Defense, Congressional Defense Committees and the Army Corps of Engineers.
We represent a broad range of companies and associations on energy and environmental issues, and our substantive experience is bolstered by our close collaboration with the firm’s regulatory practitioners. Our team advocates on behalf of both conventional and alternative energy producers and retailers, as well as energy consumers in a variety of industries. From some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies to a coalition of start-up renewable energy producers, and from energy-intensive manufacturers to a high-tech producer of semiconductor solutions for energy efficiency, we have experience with a broad range of energy policy matters before Congress and the Executive Branch.
We counsel clients on a broad range of federal legislative issues pertaining to air and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, toxic substances, pesticides, endangered species, wetlands and biotechnology. On the administrative level, we advise and represent our clients on participation in rule-making and policy-making activities by federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Fisheries and Maritime
We have one of the nation’s foremost multidisciplinary practices in fisheries litigation, regional fishery management council advocacy, regulatory procedure and government relations. Our experience includes work on the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act, and the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act.
We provide clients with strategic advice and advocacy support on healthcare legislation and regulation affecting the rapidly changing industry. Our experience includes work on the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act; the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA); and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Together with our Tax practice group, we advise clients on strategic tax planning issues related to current and pending legislation. We successfully advocate on behalf of our clients to reduce their tax burden, obtaining beneficial tax credits, deductions and depreciation changes.
The role of information and communication technologies in achieving government objectives, from energy efficiency to cybersecurity to intelligence analysis in the public and private sectors, is leading to rapid growth in the deployment of technology within government and across the economy. Our team helps clients track the trends, opportunities and barriers to adoption that are affecting technology companies today.
Trade, Tariff and Customs
For more than 40 years, Kelley Drye has been at the forefront of trade issues. We have worked on all of the major trade legislation of the past few decades. We offer data analysis from an in-house team of economists, which allows us to thoroughly understand the impact of trade policy for our clients. Our experience includes work on miscellaneous tariff bills and on legislative campaigns related to trade law initiatives, including decisions by the President of the United States and U.S. Trade Representatives.
We have experience with numerous transportation issues, including surface issues as well as Coast Guard and border security issues, as they relate to the overall transportation picture. Our experience includes work on the Transportation Reauthorization Bill (TEA-21); the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Bill (MAP-21); the Coast Guard Authorization Act; The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU); and the Surface Transportation Authorization Act.