Government Relations

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Kutak Rock has a full-service government relations team that specializes in many of the areas the firm is known for throughout the country.  Kutak Rock’s primary clients include municipalities, corporations and nonprofit entities in the following specialty areas: agriculture, international trade, housing finance, tax, transportation and public infrastructure, energy and the environment, historic preservation, emergency response, federal government contracting, health care, banking and financial services, defense and national security (including base closure and reuse), student loan finance, insurance, and economic development authorities.  Our firm represents client interests on a variety of legislative and regulatory matters before state and local governments, federal regulatory agencies, Congress and the Executive Branch.  We are known for our ability to understand the technical aspects of an issue, craft a legislative or regulatory strategy and efficiently and effectively implement same working closely with the client.

Our firm has a broad range of expertise and an extensive network of contacts established through years of successful governmental efforts in Washington, D.C. and at various state and local government levels.  This expertise and network provides Kutak Rock clients with invaluable human and technical resources and access to proven experience focused on achieving our clients’ goals.

Kutak Rock’s team includes a former U.S. Senator, former senior federal government officials, experienced lobbyists and former association executives.

Familiarity with the myriad federal statutes, Executive Orders, rules, regulations and policies that govern federal agencies, and the critical understanding of the dynamics of the Administration, Congress and federal agency decision-making, are essential elements to the successful accomplishment of our clients’ goals. Our government relations team has a proven track record of developing and implementing strategies that work and are cost effective.

In working with Congress, the firm has demonstrated success over many years with not only authorization bills drafting and amendments, but also representing clients on key funding and appropriation matters.  There are few areas where the Kutak Rock governmental relations group members have not established a record of respected and effective representation in both the House and the Senate and with leaders of both political parties.

State and Local Government

Kutak Rock has broad experience representing state, county and city governments in a host of practices areas.

For example, Kutak Rock is nationally recognized as the premier law firm assisting impacted municipalities and states to contend with unique issues facing communities adjacent to Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Defense (DOD) installations.  The firm represents communities in negotiations with DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Army Reserve, Department of Interior, Federal Aviation Administration, General Services Administration, U.S. Postal Service, Federal Emergency Management Administration, U.S. Forest Service and numerous other federal agencies. The firm’s federal practice group assists communities to contend with unique legal and political issues presented by the federal government. The firm has an outstanding track record of experience assisting cities and counties to acquire federal funds and federal property and to create city to federal government partnerships.  In addition, the firm’s Base Closure and Realignment Group is the most experienced in the nation.

Kutak Rock is one of the most active bond finance firms, representing government entities across the nation as bond counsel, helping plan and publicly finance the facilities and infrastructure needed to deliver quality government services to their residents including drafting legislation and working within the legal specialized framework to authorize the issuance of bonds or increase the level of local revenue funding.

The Chair of the Government Relations team at Kutak Rock is former U.S. Senator David K. Karnes. He joined the firm in 1989 immediately following his tenure as a United States Senator representing Nebraska. He has served in senior executive positions in the federal executive branch, regulatory and legislative bodies and has broad expertise and familiarity with state and federal agency operations, including the White House. He has served as a Presidential appointee in both Republican and Democratic administrations.  Senator Karnes served as a member of the United States Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. This committee is appointed by the President and is composed of chief executive officers of 40 of America’s largest corporations as well as the leaders of key agriculture and labor organizations. The Committee, established by Congress in 1974, is the principal trade advisory group representing America’s private sector to the President and Congress on all trade issues such as the Uruguay Round of the GATT, the World Trade Organization, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. His public service also included more than 10 years as the Chairman of the $40 billion Tenth District Federal Home Loan Bank, a position requiring both White House and federal financial regulatory nomination and approval.