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In the current enforcement environment, corporations, major political donors, lobbyists, and PACs face unprecedented scrutiny of their compliance with campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, and government ethics laws.

Covington’s Election and Political Law Practice is one of the oldest and most prominent such practices in the United States. Corporations turn to Covington for its credibility and sophistication in providing compliance advice and for their most sensitive investigation and enforcement matters.

We were counsel of record in two of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court cases interpreting the Federal Election Campaign Act -- Buckley v. Valeo and McConnell v. FEC. In McConnell, we prepared the consolidated Supreme Court brief on behalf of both Republican and Democratic political party committees.

The firm regularly defends corporate and political clients in Federal Election Commission (FEC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) civil and criminal campaign finance investigations.

In addition to our high-profile enforcement practice, we advise numerous Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 corporations, trade associations, financial institutions, political party committees, PACs, candidates, lobbying firms, and high net-worth individuals concerning compliance with the increasingly complex array of laws governing the political process. These include federal and state campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, and government ethics laws.

We are also nationally known for our highly specialized expertise with respect to federal, state and local “pay to play” laws that restrict political contributions by government contractors. Many banks, hedge funds, private equity funds, and major corporations look to us for ongoing pay to play counseling and compliance programs.

To help our clients keep out of harm’s way, we provide a range of compliance services, including:

  • Forming political action committees (including Super PACs), and advice concerning PAC governance and compliance.
  • Drafting and implementation of organization-wide political law compliance programs and policies.
  • Training for corporate executives and lobbyists on political law compliance.
  • Conducting government affairs compliance audits to identify and resolve existing weaknesses in internal controls and compliance practices related to political fundraising and lobbying.
  • Reviewing proposed state and local political contributions by corporations and their PACs for compliance with the 50 states’ range of conflicting campaign finance rules.
  • Advising clients on “pay to play” laws for government contractors and the rules governing political contributions by municipal securities dealers and investment advisers.

We have extensive experience conducting sensitive and highly confidential internal investigations, as well as with managing the aftermath of such investigations. Our counseling of clients is greatly informed by our deep enforcement and litigation expertise in political law matters.

  • Ranked by Chambers USA as a leading Political Law practice (2015-2019)
  • Mr. Kelner has been recognized for several years by Chambers USA, Legal 500, SuperLawyers and others as a leader in the Election Bar at the highest level.
  • Mr. Lenhard has been recognized as one of the top lawyers in the field by Chambers USA and Washingtonian.