Practices  |  Election Law & Government Ethics

Political Law Compliance Counseling

Overview

Federal & State Campaign Finance

As recognized in Chambers USA (2011), Wiley Rein has “formidable experience in campaign finance and ethics laws,” and the firm’s attorneys regularly advise clients on both federal and state campaign finance requirements and developments like the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010). 

Federal Campaign Finance Compliance Counseling. At the federal level, we help corporations and trade associations understand the complex laws governing political action committees (PACs), workplace political activity, and independent campaign advocacy. We also counsel numerous federal candidates, political parties, super PACs, politically active 501(c) organizations, and individual donors on federal campaign finance and related tax compliance issues. Our attorneys and reporting specialists review many of our clients’ campaign finance disclosure reports before they are filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). In addition, we routinely represent clients before the FEC in enforcement actions, audits, and other matters. 

State & Local Campaign Finance Compliance Counseling.  Campaign finance regimes at the state and local levels present similar challenges, and Wiley Rein attorneys are well-equipped to handle them. Each of the 50 states (and the District of Columbia) has its unique set of campaign finance laws that we catalogue in broad-ranging surveys and in a database containing more targeted insights. We offer guidance around the nation on complying with these challenging requirements. 

Federal & State Lobbying

Wiley Rein regularly advises clients regarding compliance with federal, state, and local lobbying laws. As recognized in Chambers USA (2014), our Election Law & Government Ethics Practice “[o]ffers expertise across a range of areas, including state and federal lobbying regulations.”

Federal Lobbying Compliance Counseling. We routinely advise corporations, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and lobbying firms regarding compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA). Our attorneys and reporting specialists assist clients with preparing and filing federal lobbying reports. In addition to assisting clients in complying with the LDA’s registration, reporting, and recordkeeping obligations, we represent clients during U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits. Notably, our practice features Robert L. Walker, a former Chief Counsel and Staff Director of both the Senate and House ethics committees who is an expert in congressional ethics and lobbying rules, and reporting specialists with particular experience regarding the LD-1, LD-2, and LD-203 lobbying reporting forms required by the LDA and HLOGA. 

State & Local Lobbying Compliance Counseling. Clients rely on our attorneys’ extensive knowledge of state and local lobbying laws, including procurement lobbying laws, to assist them with navigating these ever-changing rules. We regularly advise corporations, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and lobbying firms on whether particular activities are regulated as “lobbying” or “grassroots lobbying” as well as whether lobbying registration or reporting is required. In addition, our annual Lobbying & Gifts Survey provides a comprehensive overview of the lobbying, gift, and ethics laws in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Our attorneys and reporting specialists assist clients with preparing and filing state and local lobbying reports throughout the country. We also represent clients before state and local agencies and boards when necessary. 

Federal & State Ethics

Wiley Rein counsels a wide range of clients regarding compliance with federal, state, and local ethics laws.

Federal ethics laws arise in a variety of contexts, from the HLOGA to congressional and executive branch ethics rules. Wiley Rein offers an array of services to help companies, government officials, and private individuals navigate these regimes. We provide guidance on congressional and other government gift rules, financial-disclosure requirements, and other issues implicated by federal ethics laws.  We also represent both public and private clients in sensitive investigations by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the House Committee on Ethics, and the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Wiley Rein also advises on state and local level issues. Every state, the District of Columbia, and many municipalities have their own ethics laws governing dealings with government officials. Our annual Lobbying & Gifts Survey provides a comprehensive overview of the lobbying, gift, and ethics laws in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and we are available to provide prompt advice on these issues nationwide.

Federal & State Pay-to-Play

The regulation of political contributions by persons seeking or holding government contracts—“pay-to-play”—continues to grow.  Wiley Rein advises clients regarding compliance with these complex federal, state, and local pay-to-play laws. 

At the federal level, we routinely provide counsel to companies in the financial services industry, trade associations, and their PACs regarding Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) Rules G-37 and G-38, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 206(4)-5, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Rule 23.451. 

We also assist corporations in complying with the pay-to-play restrictions that have proliferated at the state and local levels. These rules, which impact all types of government contractors, often reach beyond corporate and PAC contributions and apply to contributions by directors, officers, sales employees, and even their spouses.  We have helped numerous clients develop and implement pay-to-play compliance processes, which often involve political contribution pre-clearance programs. Our semiannual State and Municipal Pay-to-Play Survey provides a comprehensive overview of the pay-to-play laws in states and major municipalities. 

News & Insights

News & Insights