Decisions are being made every day in state capitals, and on Capitol Hill, that materially impact our clients’ interests. Based in our West State Street office in Trenton, just steps from the New Jersey State House, the Gibbons Government Affairs Department provides state and federal legislative, regulatory, corporate communications/public affairs, and business incentive/procurement counseling to clients in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
New Jersey Law Journal recently reported Gibbons has been ranked the state's #1 lawyer-lobbying firm for the eighth year in a row. According to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Gibbons has also ranked fourth in the state among all lobbying firms. Attorneys in the Gibbons Government Affairs Department have held key positions in various governmental agencies and as staff members for a variety of federal and state elected officials.
Business Incentives and Economic Development
State Legislative / Budget Matters
Our team provides strategic business incentive and procurement counseling to various clients with interests before the State of New Jersey and its related instrumentalities. We work closely with businesses of all sizes interested in securing tax credits, business incentive packages, grants, and/or favorable financing terms from the state for purposes of corporate relocation or job creation and retention. We routinely appear before the Governor’s senior staff, as well as the leaders of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), to present our clients’ projects and advocate for state support and application approval.
For example, we recently assisted an out-of-state client in identifying and pursuing an award via a recently-created incentive program administered by the NJEDA. That successful pursuit will result in more than 500 jobs remaining in the state of New Jersey and an incentive award to our client of over $25 million in tax credits.
Regulatory Counseling and Departmental Action
The Gibbons Government Affairs Department reviews, analyzes, and monitors hundreds of bills per legislative session for our corporate and nonprofit clients. We identify and evaluate those of particular operational or financial significance and create lobbying strategies to achieve our clients' objectives. These strategies often involve drafting comprehensive advocacy memoranda, letters, and other persuasive materials on the issues arising from the legislation for submission to members of the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly and their staffs.
We possess strong relationships with senior staff and cabinet officials in the governor's office as well as in the Senate and Assembly Majority and Minority offices.
As a key component of our practice, our Trenton-based attorneys provide comprehensive regulatory counseling and advocacy for private sector entities. Our current regulatory clients include, for example, national trade associations representing life and health insurers; businesses seeking departmental approval for new service deliveries; large corporate entities seeking introductions to key decision-makers and analyses of funding opportunities; the largest multi-hospital system in southern New Jersey; and the redeveloper of the largest waterfront redevelopment project in the region.
Our Government Affairs Department is one of just a handful of New Jersey lobbying practices with a regular presence on Capitol Hill. Interacting regularly with members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation and their senior staffs, our lawyer-lobbyists have extensive knowledge of the committee and subcommittee structure in Congress, as well as the procedures governing the annual budget and appropriations processes. We possess longstanding relationships in Washington and help clients in a hands-on fashion to not only navigate the federal legislative landscape but have their voices heard.
Non-profit / Advocacy Organizations
The Gibbons Government Affairs Department understands the unique role trade associations play in the business world. Our attorneys have extensive experience serving as outside lobbying counsel to major statewide organizations, helping our clients achieve the complex balance between membership diversity and effective advocacy. We have created strategic plans for educating members of the New Jersey Legislature on our association clients’ missions and the important roles these associations’ members play in the community. Gibbons lawyer-lobbyists advocate on specific issues for trade associations serving as credible and forceful liaisons. This allows our clients' leaders to focus on running their organization and strategically engaging in the legislative and regulatory processes.
Non-profit organizations benefit greatly from trusted advisors and committed counselors. Our Government Affairs representatives actively help some of New Jersey’s premier non-profit entities succeed in the public affairs arena. We help to raise an entity’s profile within the Legislature and Executive Branches and help to secure critically-needed public sector funding. Our team has also helped to craft successful grant applications on behalf of our non-profit clients, expanding their resource pools.
Political / Campaign Finance Compliance
Gibbons works closely with hospitals, health systems, and integrated community-based healthcare organizations to navigate the rapidly changing regulatory and policy frameworks in which they operate. The Gibbons Government Affairs Department routinely provides briefings on federal and state issues, including key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid policymaking at the state level. Our lobbyists have successfully secured millions in new public-sector funding for our hospital clients and have been integral strategists in advancing some of the largest healthcare policy decisions at the state level over the last decade.
As the top-ranked lawyer-lobbying firm in New Jersey, we have worked with several clients to guide them through the complexities of political legal compliance. The Gibbons team counsels clients making campaign contributions to ensure that they do not violate the state’s robust ethics and pay-to-play laws. In addition, our lawyers have drafted detailed conflict-of-interest policies based on New Jersey’s ethics laws, for companies with employees who are running for public office.
Environment and Energy
Gibbons structures and implements strategies prior to the issuance of requests for proposal or qualifications, as well as in response to these requests. We alert the corporate entities we represent early about these opportunities, present them with detailed background and analysis as to the government incentives or programs at issue, and counsel them throughout the pursuit of the opportunities.
New Jersey is one of the most environmentally regulated states in the country, and the Government Affairs Department continuously monitors pending legislation, new laws, and regulations in this field. Our team has longstanding relationships with the leaders of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), legislative staff, and the Governor’s Office, which allows us to advocate forcefully and smartly for our clients. Recent client projects in this sector include monitoring new environmental laws and regulations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and engaging the NJBPU on industrial ratepayer charges.
Rather than hire additional consultants, several firm clients rely on the Gibbons Government Affairs Department to provide regular strategic counseling and support for their in-house public relations staff. Our team drafts content for media releases and speeches for CEOs. We develop and implement proactive media events to generate positive coverage and, where appropriate, support parallel legislative efforts. Using our experience in both the public and private sectors, we regularly provide crisis communications counseling and draft media protocols governing clients’ handling of press inquiries. We provide Q&As for board members and internal communications documents for executives. Most significantly, we position our client’s “message” such that the resulting media coverage casts the client in a positive light.