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Newark, N.J.-With an eye on new rules that make life tough for lawyers who lobby, a midsize New Jersey law firm has decided to outsource its governmental affairs practice-to itself. Porzio, Bromberg and Newman, an 80-lawyer firm based in Morristown, N.J., has formed its own lobbying subsidiary- Porzio Governmental LLC-to be led by a veteran of the practice, Dennis Marco of Duane Morris’ lobbying subsidiary, Duane Morris Governmental Affairs LLC. Marco, who has been a special assistant to U.S. Senator Bill Bradley and a health care industry lobbyist and spokesman, recently opened the new office near the state capitol building in Trenton. Porzio Bromberg managing partner D. Jeffrey Campbell said the new entity coincides with the expanded definition of lobbying in the January 2006 amendments to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) regulations. “The changes will mean that clients will require a sustained, dedicated and professional presence in Trenton,” Campbell said. Campbell expects the subsidiary to provide advice on a range of areas, including “pay-to-play” rules, campaign and election laws, environmental and land-use regulations, Food and Drug Administration rules, communications, crisis management, business development and other nonlegal needs. The subsidiary will also serve a number of the firm’s core practice areas: environmental, land use, education and real estate. Porzio Bromberg governmental affairs partner Christopher DePhillips, who is a registered lobbyist and also co-chairs the firm’s products liability and mass torts practice, said the move was driven by demand. “The firm’s governmental affairs practice area had grown to the point where we needed to bring more resources in,” he said. “We needed a full-time lobbyist.” If the experience of other large New Jersey firms with lobbying outfits is a guide, the new spinoff could have a healthy payoff. Issues Management, a subsidiary of Roseland, N.J.-based Lowenstein Sandler, last year enjoyed revenues of $2.4 million-the fourth highest of all New Jersey lobbyists. Cindy Gordon, the chief executive of Issues Management, now in its 19th year, said that law firm lobbying subsidiaries-if run right-can really boost a firm’s ability to serve clients. That view is shared by lobbyist Paul Anzano of Trenton’s Pringle Quinn Anzano. “It seems to be a well thought out business decision in light of the new rules on lobbying, how they govern administrative and regulatory practice and helping to fulfill clients’ expectations as to their regulatory and administrative experience,” said Anzano. The new state ELEC regulations broaden the definition of lobbying and so place greater strictures on law firms. Under the old regulations, lobbyists were required to register if they wanted to influence regulations or legislation. Now, lobbying also includes attempts to affect administrative and bureaucratic decisions in the executive branch. “A lot of lawyers wouldn’t want to deal with the somewhat burdensome disclosures and quarterly and annual reports,” said DePhillips. ELEC Commissioner Albert Burstein said he’s not surprised Porzio has formed a lobbying subsidiary in response to the new ELEC requirements. “There has been an eruption of interest in the whole business of how broadly lobbying activities are defined under the new statute,” said Burstein of Hackensack, N.J.’s Herten, Burstein, Sheridan, Cevasco, Bottinelli, Litt & Harz. “Coincidentally, we happen to be looking at that issue,” said McCarter & English Chairman Andrew Berry. The pending acquisition of Boston’s Gadsby Hannah-which has a strong government strategy and relations practice-has caused Newark-based McCarter to consider forming a lobbying subsidiary.

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