Government Affairs

Since 1995, Wilson Elser’s Government Affairs practice has helped clients determine the impact of laws and regulations on their organizations, navigate the corridors of state and local governments, make sense of the “alphabet soup” of regulatory bodies, and achieve desired, often hard fought legal outcomes.

A collective representation of multi-talented, bipartisan professionals, the practice has the unique advantage of being able to work closely and effectively with government officials of all political persuasions in developing innovative and lasting solutions to our clients’ most complicated issues. With a combination of solid legal skills, seasoned judgment and ready access to powerful players in government centers, we count among our clients a large and growing number of nationally and internationally recognized organizations as well as non-profits and local businesses.

While the Government Affairs practice is mostly active in New York State, we offer the same level of service in New York City, especially relative to legislative activities and appropriations. We also enjoy a growing presence in Connecticut and strong working relationships with New York’s federal representatives in Washington, DC.

Our large, loyal and growing client base specifically looks to our attorneys to handle one or more of the following:

Legislative/Policy Lobbying: Our Albany office has been ranked as the leading government relations firm by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics for more than a decade. Working closely with lawmakers and the governor’s office, we vigorously communicate our clients’ positions on key issues. Whether or not our legislative efforts culminate in signed law, they often elevate and clarify issues for legislators. This can be of equal or greater importance relative to effecting outcomes that benefit our clients.

Appropriations: Accessing legislative funds to support various initiatives is critical to many of our clients, especially nonprofits. Wilson Elser attorneys and Government Affairs professionals are familiar with the complexities of New York State’s budget process and are able to expedite program-based appropriations on legislatively approved projects.

Regulatory: Our attorneys and Government Affairs professionals are in frequent contact with virtually all state and local regulatory agencies, providing services with regard to licensing matters. Following the enactment of policy initiatives by the legislature, our attorneys become intimately involved in the development and implementation of associated regulations.

Procurement: Procurement law can be intensely complicated and highly prescriptive. For clients seeking to create or leverage new business opportunities, our partners provide highly specialized, timely and practical legal assistance.

In all of these areas, we offer more than just access to regulators and lawmakers. We offer sound and sensible strategies designed to resolve complex legal issues. This typically involves marshalling any of a vast number of resources—within our Government Affairs practice and throughout our office network—and leveraging our strong and enduring relationships with governmental and quasi-governmental entities.

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 At Wilson Elser, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is a foundational value, critical to the success of our firm and central to the integrity and vitality of the legal field. Bringing together people of different backgrounds and beliefs, people with diverse perspectives, fosters the innovative and creative thinking that enhances our response to the needs of our clients. Wilson Elser’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and training as well as the organizations to which we belong and the programs we sponsor.

We believe in creating a work environment free of barriers and bias, where individual outlooks and talents are respected and valued. Our firm’s policy is to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by the law. 

Beyond legal compliance, our firm strives to mirror the rich diversity of the communities in which we practice, to respect the diversity of our clients and their workforce and to employ best practices to identify, select, hire, retain and promote qualified individuals without boundaries or limitations, other than those imposed by their own choices and capabilities. This allows us to better represent our clients in today’s diverse, multicultural society. 

Wilson Elser is also committed to promoting diversity through the selection of vendors. We actively seek certified minority- and women-owned businesses and provide them with the opportunity to partner with us to provide services to our firm and our clients.