Lobbying & Election Law Compliance
Our lobbying and election law compliance attorneys provide comprehensive legal advice and counsel to corporations on all matters associated with lobbying and political activities at the state and federal levels. We offer extensive experience handling compliance with lobbying and election laws that is unparalleled in New York State.
Communications with public officials at the federal, state, and local levels are subject to strict rules and regulations as well as intense media scrutiny. This includes not only direct face-to-face interactions, but can also include nontraditional lobbying, such as grassroots lobbying and social media. And, in New York State, the rules and regulations apply not just to lobbyists and government-relations employees, but to lawyers, corporate officials, public-relations consultants, and other individuals and groups seeking to shape government policy and decision-making. We, therefore, assist our clients in identifying when they are lobbying, registering when required, and filing timely and accurate disclosures to avoid fines and unwanted media attention. In the event that a client becomes the focus of a lobbying audit or investigation, we help navigate the process to minimize or avoid as much exposure as possible.
Our attorneys are engaged by large and small companies to provide the following legal services:
- Advising on registration triggers and disclosure obligations, including providing advice on permissible lobbyist activity, expenditures, and political contributions
- Assisting in complex registration and reporting obligations
- Advising on gift rules and prohibitions
- Formulating an overall company strategy in implementing a lobbying plan
- Advising on strategies regarding grassroots activity to ensure that efforts comply with applicable jurisdictional reporting requirements
- Interpreting and communicating changes in lobbying laws
- Seeking clarification from state agencies and commissions regarding new and existing rules as well as troubleshooting compliance and civil and criminal exposure issues
- Auditing, creating, and implementing data-collection procedures to identify the activities and expenditures that may trigger registration and reporting obligations
- Providing tax-related counseling and advice concerning IRS reporting requirements and restrictions regarding lobbying activity
- Representing clients during investigations, civil penalty hearings, and criminal referrals resulting from violations of pertinent lobbying laws
We also assist clients in maximizing the benefit of their political contributions while ensuring compliance with all applicable state and federal election laws, rules, and regulations. Our lobbying and election law compliance attorneys specialize in political-fundraising compliance at the state and federal level. In particular, we have extensive experience with requirements for corporations and their employees; political action committee (PAC) activities including formation, strategy, and compliance; political contributions by corporations; the use of and participation in SuperPACs; and the ethical guidelines and prohibitions governing public officials and government employees.