Government Relations

Client and Industry Challenges

Businesses today are faced with issues, concerns and opportunities that can be impacted significantly by changing government regulation and legislation. The ability to understand, comply with and influence law is critical to economic success, public perception and market growth. Business leaders, political candidates, political action and fund raising committees and government officials also need prompt informal legal guidance on rapidly changing laws and regulations.

Snell & Wilmer’s government relations group offers experience across more than two dozen practice areas, allowing us to stay abreast of evolving legal trends and anticipated client needs.

Areas of Service

Government Affairs

  • Legislation
  • Lobbying
  • Constitutional challenges and litigation (state and federal)
  • Public policy
  • Regulated industries
  • State and local government relations
  • Licensing
  • Government investigations

Political Law

  • Election law
  • Petitions, ballots, “clean elections,” electioneering
  • Financial compliance
  • Initiative and referenda
  • Disciplinary matters
  • Media and first amendment
  • Redistricting

Administrative Agencies

  • Federal, state and local agency interface
  • Environmental
  • Immigration
  • Taxation
  • Licensing
  • Zoning
  • Land use restrictions
  • Government contracts and procurement
  • Bid protests

Clients We Serve

Offering one of the largest government relations law groups in the western United States, Snell & Wilmer serves a broad range of businesses, individuals and representative groups with diverse interests. We provide our clients access to government leaders, legislative bodies and regulatory agencies in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Washington, D.C.

We represent established and emerging businesses and industries facing rapidly changing legislation and regulatory regimes. A sampling of these industries with whom we work include public utilities, transportation and infrastructure, natural resources and alternative energy, biomedical, education, financial institutions, gaming, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate and other regulated industries.

We also represent government officials, political candidates, committees and agencies.

Why Clients Select Us

Strong, Forward-Thinking Relationships: We work hard to understand our clients’ goals and to anticipate governmental threats and opportunities. We have time-tested trusted, bi-partisan relationships at all levels of the government that help us advance our clients’ interests efficiently.

Knowledge Breadth and Depth: Effective representation in government affairs requires knowledge, experience and decades of involvement in public policy matters. For many years, Snell & Wilmer attorneys have been engaged at every aspect of the public-private interface in matters that affect business and policy. And because we understand our clients’ challenges and needs, we can assist with strategies and communications.


Attorneys in the government relations group work closely with and draw upon the experience of lawyers in a variety of other practice and industry groups within the firm and are focused on achieving client objectives.

For example, our attorneys assisted in the drafting and adoption of federal legislation that created the Central Arizona Project, which today delivers millions of acre-feet of water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson. Snell & Wilmer maintains one of the largest, most experienced and comprehensive government relations groups in the western United States and continues to participate in legislation and the decision-making process throughout the region. Members of our government relations team have held prestigious positions on government commissions, boards, associations and coalitions across the western United States and have been recognized and ranked for multiple accomplishments.

Representative Experience 

  • Advised multiple trade associations on matters including contribution solicitations, PAC formation, ability of 501(c) organizations to engage in the political process, lobbying limits of elected officials and conflict of interest concerns
  • Assisted political candidates on rules and laws relating to petitions, ballots, electioneering and Clean Election issues
  • Advised multiple candidates and initiative committees on matters ranging from constitutional law, campaign finance law compliance, election law complaints and initiative drafting
  • Represented client regarding prospective purchase and redevelopment of a steel site; involved negotiations with the EPA and Utah Department of Environmental Quality
  • Represented Nevada and Colorado ski resort client as lead environmental counsel in conducting due diligence, risk evaluation and compliance confirmation. Helped secure transfer of permits, licenses and government approvals for wetlands, air emissions, electrical systems, fuel storage tanks, hazardous waste generation and other operations at resort sites
  • Represented Colorado ski resort as lead environmental counsel. Helped client obtain transfer of licenses from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives and corresponding state licenses for explosives used for avalanche control at the resort
  • Prevailed for developer on administrative appeal of United States Army Corps of Engineers district office jurisdictional determination over wetlands that lacked evidence of relatively permanent water and a significant nexus to waters of the United States
  • Represented soil regeneration facility before Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board to settle notice of violation for unauthorized treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste
  • Advised multiple companies regarding government subcontracting compliance issues
  • Advised multiple companies regarding export-licensing issues involving multiple federal and foreign government agencies
  • Advised multiple companies and their senior executives regarding compliance with governmental subpoenas and trial preparation
  • Negotiated numerous consent decrees with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency regarding federal and state Superfund and federal Clean Water Act liabilities establishing remedial obligations and liability
  • Represented major government projects and entities as lead environmental counsel for compliance and liability issues
  • Represented various national companies in SEC investigations
  • Represented company in allegations and investigations relating to voter fraud