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Government Relations

We partner with clients at the intersection of strategic and political objectives at the federal, state and local levels

Kutak Rock maintains a national government relations practice and represents private companies, municipalities, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, industry associations/groups, and individuals on matters and issues related to state and federal laws, regulations and policies. We give clients a voice in Congress, at statehouses across the country, in local town halls, and in every level of administrative agency when they require political and policy engagement that aligns with their strategy.

Our team is led by seasoned veterans of public policy and government relations who apply their experience and extensive network of contacts to promote clients’ interests through solid, strategic and successful proactive efforts. We possess unparalleled knowledge, experience and relationships in the political arena and government sector and our reach and own sphere of influence extends beyond political circles.

Kutak Rock’s federal government relations practice is based out of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and led by David K. Karnes, a former United States Senator from Nebraska, White House Domestic Policy Staff member and presidentially-appointed United States Trade Advisor in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Senator Karnes is a registered lobbyist in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as at the state level. He divides his time between the firm’s Washington, D.C. and Omaha offices. Supporting Senator Karnes in Washington and on many federal matters whether with the Executive Branch Departments or agencies and Congress, is a team of more than a dozen experienced partners, associates and legislative staff.

We regularly work with the Department of Defense, each military branch, National Nuclear Security Administration and other defense agencies.  Our team focuses primarily on infrastructure, resilience, real and personal property and research facilities, nuclear, air lethality, logistics and the mission of certain facilities.   Each year we assist clients to work with their Congressional members to facilitate House and Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Appropriations and Energy and Water Appropriations (defense) legislation and issues. 

Our team includes Sandra Hagen Solin, Senior Director of Government Relations in Denver; David Childers, a Partner in Scottsdale; Marcus Osborn, Senior Director of Government Relations in Scottsdale; Lance Tyson, a Partner in Chicago; and Senator Karnes and a regional government relations team in Omaha.

Our representation includes:

  • Issue identification and planning
  • Development of legislative agenda
  • Reactive/defensive lobbying
  • Coalition building
  • Identifying and developing legislative advocates
  • Legislative drafting
  • Strategy development
  • Legislation monitoring
  • Legislative bill tracking and reporting
  • Legislative preparation
  • Ongoing communication
We know how to most effectively use public body decision making processes to our client’s advantage, how and when to enter the process, when to jump out, whom to engage and whom to watch.

In the business of government, relationships are valuable and communication must be a thriving, two-way street. As government and its players are fluid and ever changing, we promote one-on-one relationships with clients so that we can understand goals, develop creative approaches that meet specific needs, and keep communication open so we can inform clients and act quickly.

Our experience spans a wide range of industries and business sectors including:

  • Agriculture
  • Armed services and defense
  • Banking
  • Commercial business
  • Development
  • Economic development
  • Energy and water
  • Environmental
  • Government contracts
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Infrastructure
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual property and patents
  • Labor
  • Land use
  • Public finance
  • Sports, media and entertainment
  • Taxation
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications and cybersecurity
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Veterans affairs

As part of a full-service national law firm, we draw on the experience and subject-matter and industry expertise of Kutak Rock colleagues who practice in specialized service areas.