Virtually every sector of the economy is affected by the government. Fates, futures, and bottom lines often shift substantially as a result of governmental decisions. Those who can shape decisions have a competitive edge. To achieve their goals, companies and other organizations need timely and relevant information and the ability to identify and access the right government officials about issues and proposed legislation or regulations that affect them.

The K&L Gates public policy and law group (policy group) operates at the intersection of public policy, law, and business. Founded over four decades ago, at a time when few law firms had lobbying practices, the policy group has grown from a single lobbyist to become the largest of any fully integrated global law firm.

A number of publications, including Chambers USA and Legal 500, have ranked the group as one of the premier policy practices in the nation:

  • In their 2017 edition, client commentary to Chambers USA included:
    • “The K&L Gates team stands out for its knowledge, creativity, and dedication to understanding and advancing our goals," according to clients. "Their attorneys act as if they are part of our organization, not just advisers. They think about issues from our long-term business perspective, rather than strictly from their own legal perspective. Their substantive and geographic breadth enables them to support us in almost every respect, while remaining coordinated within a single firm.”
    • "They consistently demonstrate hard work, perseverance, agility, strategic thinking, technical proficiency, transparency, strong collegial relations and very productive teamwork. As a client, we are being served extremely well and receive excellent value."
  • In their 2016 edition, Chambers USA said that the group “[d]raws on considerable expertise from its dedicated bipartisan team. Possesses a long history of service in the political sector and is recognized for the tremendous level of insight it provides,” while, in 2015, they stated the group is, “[a]n established and experienced government relations practice, with noted global reach and strength in depth.”
  • The group has earned recognition by Legal 500 in both 2016 and 2017 with the publication stating: “clients can rely on a rapid, professional response across the public policy spectrum.”
  • The group is also consistently ranked among the top law firms in the National Law Journal's Influence 50 survey, most recently in its October 2015 publication.

The group has more than 60 bipartisan lawyers and policy professionals with 500 years of combined government experience. The team’s successes are built on a philosophy that emphasizes a deeply substantive and teamwork-based approach to public policy. The goal is to understand a policy issue from every direction—substantively and politically—and to use the collective knowledge and experience of our team to help our clients achieve their objectives. The team helps clients meet their needs through the entire policy lifecycle—legislation to regulation and dispute resolution. This approach has worked for four decades, which is why the federal policy group has thrived through nine administrations and 23 Congresses. The state policy practice has a strategic geographic footprint, with regional headquarters in Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Carolina. Members of our international policy practice, based in Brussels, assist clients within capitals in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Middle East.

Members include:

  • James Walsh, former Republican U.S. representative from New York;
  • John McHugh, former secretary of the U.S. Army under President Obama and former Republican U.S. representative from New York;
  • Bart Gordon, former Democratic U.S. representative from Tennessee;
  • Slade Gorton, former Republican U.S. senator from Washington;
  • Emanuel Rouvelas, former U.S. Senate Commerce Committee counsel, top Democratic lobbyist, and founder of the policy group;
  • Dick Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and the former governor of Pennsylvania.

The team also includes numerous others, including the former general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House officials, counsels to two Speakers of the House, congressional committee counsels, senior executive branch officials, congressional chiefs of staff, leadership staff, senior counsel at various government agencies, senior gubernatorial aides, military officials, and others. Several team members were involved in the Trump campaign and the presidential transition.

A Policy Team with a Global Reach
Members of the policy group join forces with the firm’s Global Government Solutions® (GGS) practice and together, provide a uniquely effective set of capabilities to help clients deal with governments around the world. The GGS initiative brings together lawyers from various practice disciplines located in fully integrated offices in the primary political, commercial, and financial centers of North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and South America, including 12 world capitals.

The GGS team has published the 2016 Mid-Year Outlook, which includes a diverse collection of more than 40 articles addressing important industry and regulatory trends and their correlation with governmental and political developments. This edition covers varied topics, including Brexit issues; a review of the U.S. government’s aggressive approaches to securities regulation and white-collar criminal cases; an examination of the UK government’s increasing appetite for regulatory and criminal investigations and prosecutions; a look at the new U.S.-EU Privacy Shield Agreement; and analyses of developments in the financial services, trade, transportation, energy, environmental, and technology sectors.

This geographic reach, coupled with the depth and breadth of our practice, positions the firm to advance client interests efficiently and effectively and to develop and execute coordinated strategies in multiple locations. The widespread global network allows us the opportunity to respond to clients’ needs in a timely manner, delivering exceptional service by an experienced team not affected by cross-border limitations.

In their 2013 guide, Chambers said, “The firm's global government solutions initiative relies on smart interaction between offices worldwide. This service is ideally suited to support clients whose policy objectives extend beyond the USA.”