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Government Relations, State and Local

Clients tell us they value the depth of knowledge, years of experience and influential affiliations that our attorneys and government professionals draw upon in providing counsel on the state and local levels to help clients reach their goals. Composed of top-notch governmental relations attorneys and advisors, including former state Speakers of the House, Majority Leaders, judges and other public servants, our team leverages relationships to design and implement sound public policy strategies and serve clients in industries across the economic spectrum. We collaborate closely and creatively with them to meet their challenges, advance their interests and enhance their businesses.

Consider these examples:

  • We were retained by one of the largest cities in the South, a booming city, economic powerhouse and a cultural center with a worldwide brand. Yet, when city officials came to us, they needed help to improve the city’s brand and relationships within the state legislature.  Consequently, we launched several initiatives to do just that.  Because we understand state and local political dynamics, we helped and continue to help cultivate relationships throughout the state, build bridges across the partisan divide and develop measures to help avoid or reduce the landmines that sometimes erupt in today’s political environment. As a result, city officials tell us we’ve helped enhance the city’s brand at the Capitol.

  • Increasingly, major national companies set their sights on the Southeast when they consider relocating or expanding their operations. Often they turn to our team to help plot a course through the state and local public-policy issues inherent in making such moves, and to negotiate incentives packages on their behalf, often at a fraction of the cost that national site-selection firms may charge. In this regard, we frequently work hand-in-hand with our government relations colleagues in Washington on the federal front. In Tennessee, we have been counsel for two of the most significant headquarters relocations to take place under the current administration, reflecting a total of more than 1,200 new jobs for the Volunteer State. We guided a major technology company through the labyrinth of state and local processes involved in its move into New Orleans. With our economic development team, we helped clients on the governmental matters involved in their foreign direct investment (FDI) manufacturing projects in Alabama.

Summary

We foster collaborations with our clients, taking a true “we” approach as we work side by side in our partnership. We want and need to understand their business from top to bottom and, to do this, we conduct both research on our own as well as client interviews to absorb everything we can about their business priorities and objectives and their legislative agenda. Once the strategy is put in place, our team uses its political insights to our clients’ advantage, going to work in both the legislative and executive branch of state government to further the clients’ objectives. We work to advocate or oppose legislation, sometimes using creative solutions such as building coalitions or leveraging grassroots support in furtherance of clients’ policy objectives. Our team members attend scheduled legislative committee meetings and report on activity taken by these committees to our clients. We also track and analyze state and local legislation and policy moves through several sources, often by tapping the relationships we’ve nurtured with policy makers, industry associations and trade groups.

Because clients frequently need counsel in multiple states, we pull together seamless project teams that comprise lawyers, lobbyists and technical professionals from our offices across the region. We apply the breadth and depth of our collective experience and knowledge to craft strategic solutions and drive our clients’ projects in multiple jurisdictions.

We pride ourselves in our relationships with top state officials, and know how to help government officials understand how a client’s interest align with sound public policy, as well as to assist clients in building a stronger governmental relations presence throughout our footprint.

Defining Strengths

Many of our clients operate in heavily regulated industries, governed by both sweeping state legislation and nuanced local rules. Our attorneys and government relations professionals have the firepower, influence and strength required to get clients’ traction where and with whom they need it. We create custom-designed strategies for each client and perform these and other service functions:

  • Examine and help shape business objectives
  • Draft, monitor, promote and report on legislation
  • Track, evaluate and manage political risks
  • Advance client interests before government departments, agencies and legislative bodies and in broader policy arenas
  • Build grassroots support and address cross-jurisdictional policy issues by working with the firm's federal government relations professionals
  • Conduct research and analyze policy, draft or deliver testimony, and prepare and distribute formal and informal advocacy material