Policy & Political Law


Our policy and political law practice is led by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Scott Thomas. He works hand-in-hand with others in the practice, including several team members who have held senior positions in Congress, federal and state agencies, and industry associations.

We help a broad spectrum of clients achieve their full range of public policy goals—advising them on the process of influencing the selection of government officials, and on the process of actually interacting with those officials about policy, and representing them in enforcement matters.

We advise corporations, trade associations, political action committees (“PACs”), charities, social welfare organizations, candidates, officeholders, and others in navigating the complex maze of campaign finance, election, lobbying, ethics, and tax laws at the federal, state, and local levels. We help with the creation of new organizations, design and implement training and compliance programs, and represent clients in investigatory and enforcement proceedings. We also have attorneys who are well versed in legislative drafting and federal and state governmental advocacy.

We work seamlessly with our government relations lobbying and strategic communications professionals, who can manage virtually every aspect of any governmental issue facing our clients. Our team also collaborates with the firm’s government contracts and white collar defense and investigations practices to provide clients comprehensive solutions when needed.

What We Do

Federal, State, and Local Lobbying Compliance

  • Counsel regarding applicability of federal, state, and local lobbying disclosure rules
  • Draft and file registrations and reports
  • Advise regarding gift and ethics rules applicable to persons that lobby
  • Conduct compliance audits
  • Create and implement training and compliance programs
  • Create and update 50-state charts related to various lobbying considerations

Corporate Political Activity and Corporate PACs

  • Assist corporations and corporate PACs with a wide variety of campaign finance and tax issues, including compliance with Federal Election Campaign Act (“FECA”), Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), and nonfederal requirements
  • Facilitate PAC formation and handle reporting responsibilities
  • Create and update 50-state charts regarding various aspects of state campaign finance laws
  • Design and implement training and compliance programs
  • Perform compliance audits
  • Counsel regarding direct corporate giving at the state level and independent spending in light of Citizens United

Candidates, Super PACs, and Non-Connected PACs

  • Advise candidate committees, super PACs, and non-connected PACs regarding campaign finance and election law issues at both the federal and state levels
  • Assist in formation, general governance, and relevant registration and reporting responsibilities
  • Design and implement training and compliance programs

Tax-Exempt Organizations

  • Advise (often as de facto general counsel) 527 political organizations and 501(c) groups, such as 501(c)(3) charities, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, and 501(c)(6) trade associations, and labor-management committees
  • Assist with entity formation, obtaining tax-exempt status, and ongoing corporate governance
  • Advise regarding federal, state, and local lobbying, ethics, and campaign finance laws
  • Advise regarding federal tax implications of political and lobbying activities
  • Counsel regarding state and local tax and solicitation registration issues

State Election and Voting Laws

  • Monitor and advise regarding state election and voting laws, including topics such as voter registration, absentee ballots, get-out-the-vote (“GOTV”) efforts, robocalls, independent expenditure spending, and ballot measure initiatives
  • Create and update 50-state charts regarding relevant topics
  • Act as liaison with state and local officials when organizations undertake campaigns and outreach related to voter registration and GOTV


  • Counsel companies that qualify as federal, state, or local contractors about rules related to restricting and disclosing political contributions
  • Create and periodically update 50-state surveys relevant to pay-to-play laws and potential legislation

Congressional, Federal Agency, State, and Internal Investigations

  • Represent corporations, candidates, and PACs in responding to inquiries or subpoenas from government entities, including the House and Senate Ethics Committees, the Office of Congressional Ethics, the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Justice, and State Attorneys General and other state regulatory agencies (develop strategies, defend depositions, draft testimony, and manage document requests)
  • Conduct internal investigations for companies and political committees

Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) Advice and Enforcement

  • Represent companies and political committees in proceedings before the FEC seeking formal guidance or addressing alleged violations of campaign financing law

Foreign Agents Registration Act

  • Advise corporations, nonprofit organizations, and lobbying firms regarding FARA compliance, including registration requirements and periodic reporting responsibilities

Ethics Law

  • Advise corporations, PACs, nonprofit organizations, and others regarding gift, travel, “revolving door,” and other ethics laws affecting contact with government officials
  • Develop and implement training and best practice guidance related to interacting with government officials
  • Assist organizations with events and public relations projects that involve attendance of public officials

Public Policy Assistance

  • Provide strategy, legislative drafting, coordination, and regulatory compliance legal services to assist with legislative or regulatory objectives


  • Provide ongoing “general counsel” services to a 501(c)(3) organization focused on voter protection, including nonprofit governance guidance, tracking of election laws in 50 states, and regular communication with state election officials.
  • Assist several large corporations with ongoing PAC disclosure and lobbying disclosure at federal and state levels.
  • Assisted a large corporation with an FEC enforcement matter over use of company resources for charitable match program encouraging support of company PAC.
  • Assisted a large private company with an FEC enforcement matter alleging coercive solicitation practices when raising funds for company PAC and various candidates.
  • Assisted several companies in merger or spin-off transactions to assure PAC and lobbying disclosure aspects handled properly.
  • Assisted with “pay to play” law compliance for several government contracting companies.
  • Assisted a member of Congress with an ethics inquiry before the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Ethics Committee.
  • Assisted a media production company with Foreign Agent Registration Act compliance matters.
  • Assisted a nonprofit organization with rescission of tax penalty for late filings.
  • Organized several nonprofit organizations, “super PACs,” and “hybrid PACs” and assured all federal and state filings and governance steps were handled properly.
  • Guided a presidential nominee through the appointment process, including assisting with required financial and background disclosures, such as the Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e), Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF 86), Office of the President’s Personal Data Statement, and Senate Questionnaire.
  • Assisted a private investment firm and related satellite communications company with response to a number of governmental investigations and oversight inquiries.   
  • Advocated for a foreign government before Congress and members of the Administration and provided counsel in connection with strengthening the country’s relationship with the United States.

News & Views

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