In today's heavily-regulated environment, relatively minor statutory changes by the Virginia General Assembly or by Congress can present significant harm -- or offer significant opportunity -- for the profitability of any business.
Over the years, Christian & Barton lawyers have successfully helped to introduce, pass, amend and defeat legislation in the Virginia General Assembly for many clients. We also track and pursue federal legislation and budget appropriations for clients, working with congressmen and their staffs to assist our clients with their legislative needs.
Over time, we have built relationships based on mutual trust and respect with members of the Virginia General Assembly and key legislative staff. As new legislators are elected, we seek to establish equally effective relationships with them. We similarly have good working relationships with key members of Virginia's congressional delegation who are in a position to assist our clients with legislation or federal agency support in Virginia.
While we understand the legislative process, we also know that understanding our clients' concerns, goals and budget is the first step. We work with clients to develop a legislative strategy that makes sense for them, and keep them fully informed as we execute that strategy. To maximize the opportunity for success, we prefer to work well before the start of any session to educate legislators about our client's business needs and concerns, so that they understand what often can be complex issues well before the frantic activity of the session begins.
Our lawyers represent clients at the Virginia General Assembly from a variety of industries, including communications and transportation. Some engagements are substantial, as reflected in our heavy involvement in legislation that restructured cable television in Virginia, and significantly changed tax laws. Similarly, we have worked with publishing and broadcasting clients to address structural changes to laws that involve public access to information and key business issues such as taxation of the media. For many clients, we work on minor revisions to bills that will facilitate their ability to do business, or seek to defeat changes that would impose new burdens on them. For some clients, we simply monitor legislation of potential interest and report to them on its progress so that they are able to react quickly when or if it becomes effective. At the federal level, we have recently helped a municipal client obtain federal budget allocations for a major navigational project tied to a downtown revitalization effort.