Overview

More than 20 of our lawyers have direct professional experience in problem solving before local, state and federal departments and agencies.  We offer our clients representation before Congress and federal departments, agencies, and commissions; the Ohio and Texas legislative bodies; and county commissions and city councils across the country.  We also provide representation before international institutions, from United Nations agencies to regional development banks, foreign governments’ ministries and their and our embassies.  We work on a bipartisan basis to ensure that our client’s interests are known and respected by elected and appointed officials of all parties.  Our goal is to help our clients achieve their objectives as promptly and efficiently as possible.

Vorys lawyers are supported in their Ohio state and local government relations efforts by the team at Vorys Advisors.  Vorys Advisors, a wholly owned subsidiary of the law firm, provides government relations and strategic counsel to Ohio businesses.  As former legislators, Vorys Advisors Principals Tom Niehaus and Lou Gentile, know firsthand how government works and use that knowledge to help clients craft effective strategies to support, oppose or amend legislation.  Other Vorys Advisors principals have vast experience advising Ohio, regional, and national clients on legislative matters and governmental relations. 

The types of clients our team represents include:

  • Fortune 500 companies
  • Trade associations and business alliances
  • Construction companies
  • Financial institutions
  • Health care entities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Private businesses

Our team has assisted clients in devising and drafting proposed legislation, ordinances, and amendments, and in preparing testimony and other submissions offered by clients, sponsors, witnesses, and advocates.  We know the intricacies of parliamentary procedure and help our clients develop proactive approaches to legislation that may impact their business functions.  Our team is experienced in advocating our clients’ positions to lawmakers, their staff, and potential supporters and/or coalition members.  We also advise our clients on compliance with federal, state, and local ethics, and lobbying laws, rules and regulations. 

Ohio Government Relations

Our lawyers and other professionals have decades of state, county, and municipal government experience, including serving in government as elected officials, in-house counsel and advisors to public bodies.  Through our long-term work in this area, we have developed unmatched credibility and strong bipartisan relationships with key decision-makers on all levels of Ohio government that help us to effectively advocate our clients’ interests.

We regularly assist clients by providing legislative research, drafting proposed bills and amendments, facilitating meetings with legislators and other significant decision makers, preparing testimony, analyzing pending legislation, and monitoring legislative and local activities to ensure that our clients keep abreast of developments and have the opportunity to respond to those developments.  When necessary, we offer hands-on representation before the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio administrative agencies.

Our experience includes:

  • Providing strategic legislative counsel, including expert witness testimony and lobbying, to assist clients in the successful enactment of the first asbestos and silica tort reform legislation in the country
  • Successfully representing Bob Evans Farms, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, and Worthington Industries in pursuing favorable tax reform legislation
  • Drafting and successfully lobbying for Ohio’s first civil and criminal SPAM statutes on behalf of major United States ISPs
  • Implementing Ohio’s minimum wage constitutional amendment
  • Helping clients receive appropriations for water resource and development projects, international humanitarian and development projects
  • Drafting environmental legislation for oil and gas companies, petroleum marketers, manufacturers, many municipalities and convenience stores
  • Creating trade associations and coalitions to support various legislation

Federal Government Relations

Our Washington, D.C.-based government relations attorneys use their experience with the U.S. Congress and the executive branch to assist our clients in their interactions with the federal government.

Businesses need access to federal agencies and officials to respond to fast-paced developments in our nation and the world, and to make their positions heard with respect to national policy and legislative and rulemaking initiatives that affect their goods, services and ideas.  Our practice is geared toward assuring that our clients' voices are heard within a framework that emphasizes careful compliance with all applicable statutes and rules.

Our approach to federal government relations is proactive rather than reactive.  We monitor legislative proposals to assure that clients have the earliest possible opportunities to assess the need for their involvement in the deliberative processes of the federal government.  Our attorneys regularly meet with Senators, Representatives, and their staff, with legislative research services officials, and with others in order to advance our clients’ positions.

We help our clients to identify and persuasively demonstrate problems with existing statutes and with pending legislation, and then we participate in the process of drafting bills and amendments designed to correct those problems.  We build the cases for our clients’ positions, highlight the data supporting those positions, and prepare testimony and other statements used in persuading members of Congress and other opinion leaders of the merit of those positions.

In addition, we regularly work with trade associations and public policy groups, other Washington offices, public relations firms, and lobbying coalitions to coordinate our clients’ approach to legislative activity, expand support for that approach, and enhance the effectiveness of our clients’ efforts.

Economic Development Incentives

Our government relations team has assisted in the creation of policies and laws that encourage economic development.

Our experience includes:

  • Drafting and providing expert testimony related to expanding Ohio’s Community Improvement Corporation law to assist with economic development in Ohio
  • Drafting or assisting in the drafting of nearly 20 statutory amendments related to economic development incentives

In addition, we frequently work with both public entities and private businesses to structure, secure, implement and maintain state and local economic development incentives in Ohio.  To learn more about our economic development incentives work in Ohio and across the country, click here.


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