The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (including Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland) has become a dynamic, attractive region for businesses looking to establish operations. The region is a favored area for overseas companies locating their headquarters in the United States, and continues to attract corporate headquarters from within the United States. Financial services, technology (including IT and cybersecurity), and other industries have combined with Washington’s traditional law and government sectors to create a robust, diverse regional economy.
K&L Gates is exceptionally well-positioned to assist clients in entering and thriving in this growing market. Located in close proximity to the White House, Capitol Hill, and various federal agencies, we have more than 170 lawyers and policy professionals working in a wide variety of practice disciplines, each closely aligned with businesses’ needs. The lawyers and government affairs professionals within the Washington, D.C. office service clients throughout the United States and internationally.
The office is known nationally for its work in the diversified financial services area and offers one of the largest such practices in the country. It includes a preeminent investment management practice — consistently ranked among the leading such practices in the United States — in which our lawyers counsel investment companies, investment advisers, mutual fund complexes, private funds, hedge funds, and retirement plans on a variety of regulatory, tax, ERISA fiduciary and compliance matters. It also includes attorneys focusing on governmental agency (e.g. DOJ, FDIC, CFPB, and HUD) enforcement proceedings, and mortgage and consumer finance-related litigation. We also have a broker-dealer practice that provides frequent regulatory counseling to a significant number of broker-dealers. Additionally, members of our consumer finance group have particular experience in the FinTech space, with a focus on regulatory challenges facing emerging payment systems.
The office also has one of Washington’s largest and most successful public policy and lobbying practices. Founded 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 practice as one of the premier policy practices in the nation and we are consistently ranked among the top law firms in the National Law Journal’s Influence 50 survey. This group includes a bi-partisan team of more than 50 attorneys and policy professionals with an in-depth knowledge of the legislative process, substantive experience and strong ties to key decision makers in Congress, and over 500 years of collective government experience. Among our attorneys and professionals are a former U.S. Senator, two former House members, a former Secretary of the Army and member of the House of Representatives, and key former Republican and Democratic counsel and staff to the House and Senate leadership and committees. Our public law and policy group has built its practice by understanding how the complex policy-making process works from start to finish. Our victories have required creative strategies and the successful integration of lobbying, regulatory implementation, coalition building, political assistance, public relations and practical day-to-day operational excellence. We have strong relationships with Democrats and Republicans in the House, the Senate and the Administration. Our state policy practice has a strategic geographic footprint, with regional headquarters in Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Carolina. Members of the policy group join forces with the firm’s Global Government Solutions® initiative and together, provide a uniquely effective set of capabilities to help clients deal with government-related issues around the world.
Our government enforcement practice is one of the largest and geographically diverse of any law firm and encompasses representation of financial services firms, regulated entities, public companies, their officers and directors, and other individuals in investigations and actions brought by federal and state regulators, including the DOJ, SEC, FINRA, state Attorneys Generals and other agencies. Our practice includes alumni of the SEC, CFTC and DOJ. In addition to our financial services and policy and public law practices, the Washington, D.C. office has a strong litigation group that handles a variety of general commercial, securities, financial institutions, antitrust, government contracts, environmental and insurance coverage matters, as well as criminal and civil actions brought by, and civil actions against, governmental agencies. Our litigators, led by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, have been involved in a number of high-profile internal investigations, including serving as the lead investigator in the WorldCom bankruptcy, in the internal CBS investigation of the “60 Minutes” story involving President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard, and in the bankruptcy of sub-prime lender New Century Financial.
The office also includes prominent national practices in energy, government contracts, and antitrust. Our energy lawyers have been in the forefront of the development of competitive energy markets, including oil and natural gas trading and transportation and regional transmission organizations, with substantial experience in energy mergers and acquisitions, energy market structure, rate regulation, electric power sale transactions, market based rate authority, commercial natural gas and LNG transactions, oil field service agreements, development and acquisition of new interstate pipeline infrastructure and capacity, and advocacy of imports and exports of oil, natural gas and LNG. We regularly represent clients in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission litigation and appeals, as well as related state public utility commission proceedings, and advise clients on oil and natural gas matters pending before the Departments of Energy, Interior and Transportation.
The firm’s government contracts practice represents federal, state and local contractors relative to all aspects of the procurement process. Primary areas of representation include bid protests, compliance, internal investigations and mandatory disclosure, defense of fraud proceedings, and claims and disputes. Our antitrust lawyers regularly represent industry leaders in cases and investigations involving allegations of abuses of market power, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and agreements among competitors. Virtually all of our antitrust lawyers regularly practice before regulatory agencies and most of our energy lawyers have antitrust experience.
Our growing corporate and finance group, in addition to providing advice to public and private companies on a variety of transactional, regulatory, and other matters, also includes a structured finance practice and project finance capability. Members of the real estate team operate at the intersection of real estate law and public policy, focusing on transactions, legislative counseling, and the securing of various economic incentives for clients seeking the best location for new facilities. The Washington, D.C. office also has one of the country’s leading exempt organization practices, representing major U.S. and foreign universities, private foundations and innovative research and charitable organizations. Our lawyers advise non-profits on a wide range of operational and organizational matters, including governance, employee benefits, litigation, retirement and health law, executive compensation, and taxation. The group also provides advice on establishing and monitoring grant-making programs, negotiating major gift agreements, establishing joint ventures, and negotiating endowment agreements.