Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck has started a new Washington-based practice focused on legal, lobbying and strategy services for energy and natural resources clients, the firm announced last week.

The new practice will explore "complex infrastructure and policy matters that require a multi-disciplined approach," the firm said. Brownstein shareholder David Bernhardt, a former U.S. Interior Department solicitor, will lead the group, which has more than two dozen members located in the firm’s Washington office and outposts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

Bernhardt will receive assistance in D.C. from Brownstein shareholder Lawrence Jensen and of counsel Ryan Smith, as well as policy directors Luke Johnson, Elizabeth Gore and Jon Hrobsky, all of whom have experience working in the federal government on environmental issues. Jensen and Johnson are new hires whom the firm picked up within the past two months.

Jensen most recently was an Interior Department solicitor. Johnson, a former U.S. Bureau of Land Management deputy director, came to the firm from the National Ocean Industries Association, where he was the policy and government affairs vice president for the offshore drilling industry’s U.S. trade group.

Bernhardt said the members of the practice work well together. "It’s a great combination of skill sets," he said, adding that clients’ reaction to the new practice is "very positive."

In 2012, Brownstein lobbied for about a dozen clients in the energy and natural resources sector, according to congressional records. Oil and gas producer Samson Resources Corp., Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy Inc. and the Westlands Water District in Fresno, Calif., the largest irrigation district in the United States, were among them.

This article first appeared on The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.