Our clients benefit from the relevant and effective personal experience of our attorneys, lobbyists, and communications experts. Their combined experience includes appointed offices in state and federal government, employment with North Carolina state agencies, senior positions within the U.S. Department of Defense as well as staff positions in the U.S. Congress, public policy foundations, media outlets, and other key positions in government relations. Our Practice Group attorneys represent businesses, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, government entities, political committees, and individuals wherever and whenever government relations experience, access, and analysis are needed.
Ward and Smith has a long history of supporting clients' government relations efforts. For example, we have drafted political action committee charters, drafted political contributions policies, lobbied both the federal and state governments on the specific issues of importance to clients, and assisted with legal advice related to government relations ethics and campaign finance compliance. Our clients are as varied as the issues they face. From international corporations to small family businesses, we work with clients to tailor a government relations plan that will best serve them. We represent individual companies as well as associations with multiple members and assist them with both the legislative and state agency advocacy, while helping with communications and grassroots efforts.
Clients look to our Government Relations Practice Group for a wide range of assistance, including:
- Policy intervention
- State and federal budget analysis and advocacy
- Regulatory and legislative monitoring
- State and federal government marketing and procurement
- Strategic public communications and planning
- Legal advice related to government ethics, campaign finance, and procurement regulation compliance
Ward and Smith provides on‑call lobbyists at both the national and statewide levels. Members of the Practice Group participate in legislative lobbying and agency actions at all levels. Through a variety of professional experiences, our team has developed a knowledge and understanding of the personalities and practical workings of the legislative and regulatory processes and the agencies involved in those processes. Members of the Practice Group have lobbied for complex legislation and have participated in drafting bills in Congress and at the North Carolina General Assembly ("NCGA"). The Practice Group advocates for clients before the NCGA, working to get bills passed that help our clients do business. We sometimes work to get bills amended or defeated altogether, in accordance with the best interests of our clients.
We help clients achieve and maintain legal compliance with state and federal political ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance issues. We are experienced in working with the statutes governing campaign finance, conflicts of interest, lobbying, and political ethics. We have a paralegal team who is fully versed in the filing and registering that is required whenever a business is engaged in government relations or retains a lobbyist.
The Practice Group has an efficient system that allows us to monitor political issues of importance to the client and supplement the information provided by trade associations or other sources of information the client may use. These organizations certainly provide a wealth of information and lobbying power, but clients often benefit from a system that advances their own best interests when it comes to government relations initiatives and analysis.
The Government Relations Practice Group members are proven problem‑solvers, seeking to settle conflicts through discussions and by making the right contacts, rather than through dispute. Our Practice Group not only draws on the experience of other attorneys in the Firm such as those in the Tax, Business, Construction, Environmental, and Litigation Practice Groups, but also builds strong working relationships with government officials and uses a network of attorneys, government officials, and interest groups to get the job done.
In summary, Ward and Smith has one of the most effective and successful practice groups of its kind in the State of North Carolina. If your legal needs include the government, our Government Relations Practice Group stands ready and able to assist.
We are your established legal network with offices in Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington, NC.