The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (including Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland) has become a dynamic, attractive region for businesses looking to establish operations. The region is a favored area for overseas companies locating their headquarters in the United States, and continues to attract corporate headquarters from within the United States. Financial services, technology (including IT and cybersecurity), and other industries have combined with Washington’s traditional law and government sectors to create a robust, diverse regional economy.
K&L Gates is exceptionally well positioned to assist clients in entering and thriving in this growing market. Located in close proximity to the White House, Capitol Hill, and various federal agencies, ours is one of the 20 largest law offices in Washington, D.C., with approximately 200 lawyers and policy professionals working in a wide variety of practice disciplines, each closely aligned with businesses’ needs. The lawyers and government affairs professionals within the Washington, D.C. office service clients throughout the United States and internationally. The office is known nationally for its work in the diversified financial services area and offers one of the largest such practices in the country. It includes a preeminent investment management practice — consistently ranked among the leading such practices in the United States — in which our lawyers counsel investment companies, investment advisers, mutual fund complexes, private funds, hedge funds, and retirement plans on a variety of regulatory, tax, ERISA fiduciary and compliance matters. It also includes one of the country’s largest consumer finance/mortgage banking groups, which provides clients with assistance and representation in buying and selling mortgage companies and mortgage-related assets; in securitizing such assets; in obtaining required federal and state licenses and approvals; and in ongoing federal and state regulatory and licensing compliance, governmental agency (e.g. HUD, DOJ) enforcement proceedings, and mortgage and consumer finance-related litigation. Our government enforcement practice is one of the largest and geographically diverse of any law firm and encompasses representation of financial services firms, regulated entities, public companies, their officers and directors, and other individuals in investigations and actions brought by federal and state regulators, including the DOJ, SEC, FINRA, state Attorneys Generals and other agencies. Our practice includes more than three dozen alumni of the SEC and DOJ. We also have a broker-dealer practice that provides frequent regulatory counseling to a significant number of broker-dealers.
The office also has one of Washington’s largest and most successful public policy and lobbying practices. Founded four decades ago, at a time when few law firms had lobbying practices, the policy group has grown from a single lobbyist to become the largest of any fully integrated global law firm. In July 2014, K&L Gates was ranked among the top five law firms in the National Law Journal’s Influence 50 survey. This group includes a bi-partisan team of nearly 50 attorneys and policy professionals with an in-depth knowledge of the legislative process, substantive experience and strong ties to key decision makers in Congress. Our public law and policy group has built its practice by understanding how the complex policy-making process works from start to finish. Our victories have required creative strategies and the successful integration of lobbying, regulatory implementation, coalition building, political assistance, public relations and practical day-to-day operational excellence. We have strong relationships with Democrats and Republicans in the House, the Senate and the Administration. We have over 500 years collective government experience. Among our attorneys and professionals are a former U.S. Senator, two former House members, and key former Republican and Democratic counsel and staff to the House and Senate leadership and committees. We also work closely with our counterparts in the EU and Asia, and with our dedicated state policy practices in Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina, to offer a truly Global Government Solutions capability.
In addition to our financial services and policy and public law practices, the Washington office has a strong litigation group that handles a variety of general commercial, securities, financial institutions, antitrust, government contracts, environmental and insurance coverage matters, as well as criminal and civil actions brought by, and civil actions against, governmental agencies. Our litigators, led by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, have recently been involved in a number of high-profile internal investigations, including serving as the lead investigator in the WorldCom bankruptcy, in the internal CBS investigation of the “60 Minutes” story involving President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard, and in the bankruptcy of sub-prime lender New Century Financial.
The office also includes prominent national practices in energy, government contracts, telecom, media and technology, and antitrust. Our energy lawyers have been in the forefront of the development of competitive energy markets, including oil and natural gas trading and transportation and regional transmission organizations, with substantial experience in energy mergers and acquisitions, energy market structure, rate regulation, electric power sale transactions, market based rate authority, commercial natural gas and LNG transactions, oil field service agreements, development and acquisition of new interstate pipeline infrastructure and capacity, and advocacy of imports and exports of oil, natural gas and LNG. We regularly represent clients in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission litigation and appeals as well as related state public utility commission proceedings and advise clients on oil and natural gas matters pending before the Departments of Energy, Interior and Transportation. The firm’s government contracts practice represents federal, state and local contractors relative to all aspects of the procurement process. Primary areas of representation include bid protests, compliance, internal investigations and mandatory disclosure, defense of fraud proceedings, and claims and disputes. Our interdisciplinary, industry-focused telecom, media and technology (“TMT”) practice serves the specialized needs of businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors and investors in these converging sectors. The group provides strategic counsel for businesses in these industries and has deep experience with how TMT businesses are regulated, the kinds of transactions they engage in, how they market their goods and services, the types of disputes they encounter and the kinds of IP they seek to protect and enforce. Our antitrust lawyers regularly represent industry leaders in cases and investigations involving allegations of abuses of market power, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and agreements among competitors. Virtually all of our antitrust lawyers regularly practice before regulatory agencies and most of our energy and telecommunications lawyers have antitrust experience.
Consistent with the strength of the Washington, D.C. office, the 2015 U.S. News-Best Lawyers® awarded 14 Tier 1 rankings for the following practice areas: Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Compliance Law, Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Derivatives and Futures Law, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Energy Law, Litigation - Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Mutual Funds Law, Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, and Securities Regulation. For a second straight year, K&L Gates is proud to be named the Law Firm of the Year for Securities Regulation.