Federal Legislative and Regulatory Policy
Our experience with legislative and regulatory matters includes work on a number of issue areas, including international trade, taxation, energy, food safety, transportation, environmental compliance, fisheries regulation, and labor. We further endeavor to build a comprehensive understanding of regulatory frameworks and agency administration, as well as familiarize our clients with comparative regulatory practice in the governments of analogous countries.
Federal Legislative and Regulatory Policy
The work of the Firm’s lawyers on legislative and regulatory policy matters has extended across diverse issue areas. We have advocated before the Congress and the Executive Branch in support of statutory and regulatory provisions that would benefit our clients’ businesses. We also have worked with our clients to develop legal and policy arguments in opposition to proposals that would adversely affect their businesses.
Our general approach is to work with clients to identify issues and areas of need, and determine whether a legislative or regulatory solution is the proper vehicle to address those issues or needs. We then work with our clients to craft the appropriate solutions, and shape and communicate the appropriate policy arguments to support our proposals. Oftentimes our work on policy issues includes drafting the desired legislation or regulations and the explanatory language to be used as legislative history or regulatory guidance. Drafting white papers in support of our proposals also is essential to our advocacy.
As lawyers, the key to our policy work is knowledge of the relevant law and an understanding of what can or cannot be done within the strictures of complementary laws and regulations. Throughout the process of a particular project, we act as an ongoing resource for the relevant Congressional or agency staff. In this respect, we assist not only with legal issues, but also policy and political issues. Where appropriate, we also assist in the organization of coalitions of parties with similar interests or concerns to increase our effectiveness by leveraging the knowledge, experience, and political resources of a broader group of interested parties trying to achieve the same goal.
Our lawyers counsel clients with respect to proposed and enacted legislative and regulatory changes and the effect of such changes on their businesses. We have prepared clients for testimony before Congressional committees and administrative agencies, and through our involvement in public policy matters, we also have advised clients with respect to lobbying disclosure, campaign finance, and Congressional ethics rules. We also advise on and ensure compliance with regulations regarding the registration and activities of foreign agents, as well as with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Federal Taxation – Exempt Organizations
Our lawyers have experience working on a number of issues related to tax-exempt organizations. In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service and Congressional tax-writers have increased their oversight and scrutiny of such organizations, and our lawyers have worked with exempt entities to ensure that they are in compliance with the laws that govern them.
We have assisted with the establishment of non-profit entities through state incorporation and their application for tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. In doing this, we counsel clients with respect to permissible purposes for which they can be established, activities they can undertake to further their purposes, and issues related to fundraising and use of organization assets. We assist in the preparation of applications for tax exemption, and represent clients before the IRS throughout the application process.
In addition to assisting with the establishment of tax-exempt organizations, our lawyers have counseled 501(c)(3) non-profit entities, 501(c)(6) trade associations, and other exempt organizations on issues related to governance, disclosure, and reporting, as well as unrelated business activities, compensation issues, and permissible uses of organization assets.