Morgan Lewis
Washington Strategic Government Relations and Counseling

Washington Strategic Government Relations and Counseling

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Lawyers in our Washington Strategic Government Relations and Counseling Practice leverage their firsthand Washington, D.C. knowledge and insight to craft and execute legal strategies for navigating complex legal, regulatory, and legislative challenges. We focus on helping clients anticipate—and succeed amid—United States legislative and regulatory change and heightened congressional oversight. Our practice unifies strategic planning and advocacy for complete government relations representation.

A diverse group of lawyers with senior-level executive branch and regulatory agency backgrounds forms the core of this practice, which is bolstered by professionals commanding a thorough understanding of the U.S. Congress. Our years of working both for and with elected officials allow us to foresee congressional actions, monitor and analyze legislation and hearings, build strategies that ensure favorable outcomes for our clients, and create a dialogue between our clients and Capitol Hill.

Strategic government relations

Our team advises clients in various industries on United States government affairs and crisis management and provides counseling to corporate and individual clients on a broad array of legal and policy issues. We are well versed in managing competing objectives and minimizing risk while working in the public spotlight. We regularly represent clients in government investigations and prepare and represent witnesses in congressional hearings.

This multidisciplinary practice, backed by more than a dozen former prosecutors and other regulatory lawyers, includes alumni from both Republican and Democratic administrations who have held leadership or high-level positions in the White House and at field and headquarters divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This combination allows us to effectively engage with these and other agencies to advance the business objectives of our clients.

We also closely follow legislative and regulatory developments, identifying emerging trends and interpreting them for clients—allowing clients to anticipate upcoming government policies in time to craft effective advocacy responses and business plans. We advise clients on a diverse list of legislative priorities, including infrastructure, taxes, financial services, healthcare, energy, employee benefits, financing, pension and healthcare reforms, and labor/management relations.

Congressional investigations

Our lawyers have represented many companies as well as corporate officers, directors, and senior management across the spectrum of business entities in sensitive and high-profile United States congressional and independent commission–led investigations and in parallel investigations involving other federal and state executive branch enforcement agencies. Clients turn to us because we are not only trained in navigating such investigations and inquiries, but we are also attuned to potentially damaging collateral issues that could lead to further litigation risks, including enforcement actions and shareholder litigation, as well as potential public relations problems.


Fred F. Fielding—former Counsel to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, former Deputy Counsel to President Richard M. Nixon, and Commissioner of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission)—leads our Washington, D.C., practice.

George J. Terwilliger III has served as Deputy Attorney General, Acting Attorney General, and a U.S. Attorney, as well as Special Outside Counsel for a Senate committee investigation, Counsel to an executive commission, and Advisor to government officials involved in enforcement and other proceedings involving political affairs.

Daniel Levin is a former Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel; Senior Associate Counsel to the President and legal adviser to the National Security Council; Chief of Staff to Attorney General William Barr; Chief of Staff to FBI Director Robert Mueller; Assistant U.S. Attorney, Central District of California; Trial Attorney, DOJ Environmental Crimes Section; Counselor to Attorney General John Ashcroft; Associate Deputy Attorney General; and Counselor to Northern District of California U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller.

Matthew S. Miner served as Staff Director to the Senate Judiciary Committee and, at an earlier point, Majority Chief Counsel for Crime, Terrorism, and Oversight to the same committee. He also served as counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Timothy P. Lynch, senior director of our Washington Strategic Government Relations and Counseling Practice, provides advice and counseling to clients on government relations and public policy issues and is responsible for directing all activities of the practice, including the strategic and operational functions.

Environmental matters

Our Environmental Practice is anchored by a team of high-level United States government agency alumni and veteran environmental lawyers who deliver customized counseling on compliance, strategic policy, government relations, risk avoidance, crisis management, and litigation matters. We provide global corporations with guidance in environmental enforcement actions, in civil or criminal matters involving current operations or legacy environmental issues, in transactions, on securing permits and government approvals, and on strategies and challenges related to climate change.

As one of the first environmental practices established at a major U.S. law firm, we combine powerful historical perspective on evolving public and legislative policy with experience across a wide range of industries, including energy, transportation, chemicals, manufacturing, and real estate. We closely monitor regulatory and legislative developments, acting as counsel to three cross-industry trade organizations that focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemakings, guidance, and policy statements under the Clean Air Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund). In addition to producing rulemaking comments and handling litigation challenges, we frequently provide clients with crucial updates and analyses on major regulatory and legislative developments.


Ronald J. Tenpas has served as Assistant Attorney General, DOJ Environment and Natural Resources Division; Associate Deputy Attorney General; U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Illinois; and Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland and Middle District of Florida.

Daniel Levin is a former Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel; Senior Associate Counsel to the President and legal adviser to the National Security Council; Chief of Staff to Attorney General William Barr; Chief of Staff to FBI Director Robert Mueller; Assistant U.S. Attorney, Central District of California; trial attorney, DOJ Environmental Crimes Section; Counselor to Attorney General John Ashcroft; Associate Deputy Attorney General; and Counselor to Northern District of California U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller.

Michael W. Steinberg served as Assistant Chief of the Environmental Defense Section at the DOJ, where he supervised and handled litigation against the EPA under all of the federal environmental statutes.

Energy (traditional, electric, nuclear, and renewables)

Our Energy Practice represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), state public utility commissions, other federal and state agencies, and federal and state courts across the United States. We handle investigations and other regulatory compliance matters, strategic planning and corporate restructuring, complex and traditional debt and equity securities issuances, transmission access, energy marketing and trading, and ratemaking. We have also represented clients in high-level policy meetings with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Energy, and other agencies and assisted our clients with capitalizing on government funding programs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


Kathryn M. Sutton, Energy Practice Group Leader, represents clients on the full range of issues involving the operation of existing nuclear power plants, as well as on NRC license renewals regulations and new plant license requirements. She also advises international utilities on U.S. regulatory initiatives.

Stephen M. Spina represents electric utilities and other energy industry participants before the FERC on a variety of matters, including industry restructuring, audits and investigations, reliability compliance, transmission, and other regulatory issues under the Federal Power Act.

Alex S. Polonsky focuses on energy and environmental law. His energy practice includes advising on NRC license renewal, power uprates, decommissioning, and enforcement proceedings, as well as nuclear export-related matters. His environmental practice includes advising clients on shale gas development and litigation and enforcement related to CERCLA and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Mark R. Haskell represents clients in FERC matters, including investigations, litigation and related court appeals, and in CFTC investigations. His clients include natural gas and power marketers, local distribution companies, end users, producers, industrial consumers, and LNG and shale gas developers.

Kenneth M. Kulak advises clients on the development and negotiation of power purchase agreements, renewable energy credit contracts, EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) and O&M agreements, and the purchase, sale, and financing of renewable energy projects. He also advises utilities on renewable portfolio standard compliance, procurement design, retail electricity markets, energy efficiency, and demand response programs.

Labor and employment, workforce relations, and compensation

We regularly represent and advise employers on all aspects of labor and employment law related to the DOL, the NLRB, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and other federal agencies. This breadth of practice lends our clients the capacity to monitor, anticipate, assess, and respond to issues from the United States Congress, federal agencies, and the White House, including matters such as labor law reform and the impact of U.S. healthcare policy changes, both of which can affect the collective bargaining process.

Along with our senior DOL and NLRB alumni, the team includes a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for the DOL's Employment Standards Administration and a former Deputy Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.


Grace E. Speights—Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C., office and chair of the Systemic Employment Litigation Practice—has been ranked in the top tier for various labor and employment categories by such publications as The American Lawyer, Legal 500, U.S. News, and Chambers USA.

Jonathan L. Snare, former Deputy Solicitor of Labor at the DOL and former acting head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has testified before congressional appropriations and authorization committees. He also conducted briefings and negotiations with members of Congress and congressional staff on a wide variety of DOL topics and issues.

Donald J. Myers, former Counsel for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Regulation and Interpretation at the DOL and Assistant Chief of the Office of Disclosure Policy at the SEC, regularly represents clients before government agencies, including the DOL.

Charles I. Cohen, former member, executive, and staff attorney at the NLRB, represents clients in collective bargaining issues in all facets of labor and employee relations, including litigation.

John F. Ring frequently testifies before congressional committees on various labor and employment issues. Mr. Ring also counsels employers about their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, and other employment statutes.