Public Policy



Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Public Policy Practice Group promotes and protects client interests before the U.S. Congress as well as federal, state, local and international government entities.

The Public Policy group’s clients receive timely, in-depth information on potential government actions that may affect their business.  Where necessary, we arrange for, and then prepare, clients to meet with members of the U.S. Congress and their staffs as well as executive branch officials.  Other services include providing:

  • Advocacy before legislative and executive branches of government
  • Assistance with general legislative, committee and floor strategy
  • Analysis and drafting of legislation, including legislative amendments
  • Establishment and running of coalitions to amplify advocacy efforts
  • Preparation prior to congressional committee testimony
  • Representation in congressional, U.S. Inspector General and Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigations
  • Assistance in securing appropriations and other government benefits
  • Assistance with products and capabilities marketing to federal government agencies
  • Ongoing regulatory counsel

Client work crosses industries and interest areas that include:

  • Financial institutions
  • Technology and communications
  • Managed funds
  • Defense
  • Housing
  • Taxation
  • U.S. state and local matters

Unlike a pure lobbying firm, Gibson Dunn’s work is grounded in traditional analytic and advocacy skills, combined with broad experience in U.S. and international government operations.  We have the credibility, access and reputation to be heard, and take pride in our ability to craft legal arguments and advocate for our clients.  We do this in a carefully targeted manner designed to achieve the desired result without fanfare or unwanted publicity.

Gibson Dunn’s Public Policy practice offers a bipartisan team of lawyers who have served in a wide range of high-ranking government positions.  The group’s practitioners include former congressional committee staff and senior officials with U.S. federal agencies, the judiciary and the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The Public Policy group’s goal is to maximize the potential benefit – or minimize the potential adverse impact – of governmental action on your business interests.  We work to develop broad policy strategies using analytical tools, our experience in building and managing coalitions, expert, firsthand knowledge of relevant processes and personal relationships with key members and staff of governmental entities.  The practice group offers a “policy plus” approach that blends traditional lawyering and business skills with the capabilities of a top-flight lobbying firm.


  • Helped create and run the Coalition for Derivatives End-Users, with approximately 300 active company and trade association members.  The Coalition works on both legislative and regulatory fronts to help protect interests of end-user companies in the debate over appropriate regulation of derivatives.
  • Assisted individual companies with derivatives-related issues.
  • Assisted two industrial banks with Dodd-Frank-related and other issues, including possible unintended impacts of the Volcker Rule.
  • Assisted an insurance company regarding possible designation as a systemically significant institution.
  • Helped and helping multiple financial institutions work to shape various aspects of final regulatory reform legislation that moved and is still moving through Congress.
  • Helped multiple financial services firms participate in federal rescue programs at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
  • Assisting managed funds in assessing political and regulatory risk relevant to investment decisions and in seeking or preventing legislation that could impact investments.
  • Assisting a communications company overcome legislative and regulatory obstacles put in place by other companies.
  • Helped a social networking company navigate through a congressional oversight matter involving questions concerning client communications and interface.
  • Working to prevent bankruptcy-related legislation that would unfairly impact United States-based investors.
  • Assisting clients in meeting objectives with respect to patent reform legislation.
  • Assisting a university in securing funding for an innovative renewable energy generation program.

Our legislative lawyers have substantive experience in both the development of legislation and the implementation of laws and regulations.  Issue areas in which we are particularly active include:

  • Employee relations
  • National security
  • International trade
  • Securities
  • U.S. and international banking
  • Nonbank financial institutions
  • High technology and communications
  • Taxation of corporate activities
  • Procurement fraud
  • The environment (U.S. statutes and wetlands policy)

Drawing on our deep legislative familiarity and capabilities, we are able to serve clients in every aspect of legislative representation.  Particular services are:

  • Advice and representation in connection with U.S. congressional oversight investigations
  • Monitoring of legislative proposals and counseling on potential impact
  • Strategic advice and planning for aggressive legislative advocacy designed to protect client interests and influence legislation
  • Submission of petitions to the U.S. Congress in opposition to pending legislation
  • Coalition-building to strengthen client positions in the legislative process
  • Preparation of amendment legislation, including line-item appropriations, and securing its inclusion during the legislative process

Our regulatory practice permits us to provide clients with ongoing counsel in a wide range of areas that include:

  • Environmental and securities rules and regulations
  • Banking, thrift and diversified financial firm regulation
  • Hart-Scott-Rodino filings
  • Communications regulation
  • Health and pension benefits restructuring
  • U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards
  • The U.S. Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • The U.S. Americans With Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and wage and hour laws
  • Financial institution recapitalization and restructuring
  • Benefits qualification under the United States-Canada, United States-Israel and North American Free Trade Agreements.

In addition, U.S. federal laws contain enforcement provisions, backed by substantial penalties, that enable the government to bring administrative proceedings and civil and criminal enforcement actions.  As a result, businesses may find themselves in negotiations with the government in the context of penalty assessments and compliance orders as well as actual litigation.  We represent clients in connection with such governmental enforcement actions in all areas of federal activity.

Congressional investigations and oversight present unique challenges.

The Public Policy Practice Group has handled major investigations initiated in both chambers of Congress, by all major investigative committees, and by special investigative entities.  We have worked closely with many of the chairs and ranking members, as well as their staffs.  These relationships open lines of communication with the committees and enable us to anticipate the members’ next moves.  Our lawyers have deep experience as well defending executive branch investigations that result from congressional inquiries.

These capabilities allow us to effectively handle every aspect of an investigation, including:

  • Responding to committee subpoenas
  • Negotiating the terms of document production
  • Preparing for interviews, depositions and hearings
  • Managing the public relations responses
  • Anticipating and neutralizing collateral consequences

Our lawyers’ unique blend of experience and capabilities sets Gibson Dunn apart in the small cadre of law firms that work in this area. Congressional investigations often involve public attacks on a company’s reputation.  This can imperil the goodwill on which it has built its business and maintains its competitive advantages.  Congressional investigations also often unfold in a hearing room, in front of television cameras and on the front pages of major newspapers.

The Public Policy group works with you to assess these issues from a strategic perspective.  We strive to develop a positive message, and divert committee attention away from our client, toward other targets.  We apply pressure where possible to dissuade committees from pursuing the investigations.  Creative, effective means that we employ include triggering U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) investigations, investigations by other committees and pressure from other members of Congress.   Please see our Congressional Investigations Practice for further details.


New York State Enacts Sweeping Emissions Reduction Law

-June 25, 2019

H.R. 4010: The Congressional Subpoena Compliance and Enforcement Act of 2017

-July 6, 2018

Webcast: Developments in Virtual Currency Law and Regulation

-June 28, 2018

The Trump Administration Pulls the Plug on the Iran Nuclear Agreement

-May 9, 2018

Trump Administration Rescinds Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

-September 5, 2017

Update on Immigration Executive Order

-June 29, 2017

The Power to Investigate: Table of Authorities of House and Senate Committees for the 115th Congress

-June 1, 2017

The Commodities Activities of Banks: Comments on the Federal Reserve’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Reveal Key Concerns and Divides

-April 28, 2017

Court Orders Block Implementation of New Immigration Executive Order

-March 16, 2017

Analysis of March 6, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration

-March 7, 2017

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Opinion Upholding Nationwide TRO of January 27 Immigration-Related Executive Order

-February 10, 2017

President Trump Issues Executive Order on Financial Regulation, and Memorandum on Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule

-February 6, 2017

Recent Developments Regarding Executive Order on Immigration

-February 1, 2017

President Trump Issues Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

-January 31, 2017

President Trump Issues Executive Order on Immigration

-January 30, 2017

Tools of Transition: Procedural Devices That Could Help the President-Elect Implement His Agenda

-November 30, 2016

Sovereign Immunity Limits Imposed by the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

-September 30, 2016

One Small Step or One Giant Leap? FAA Releases Final Rules on Commercial Drone Use in the United States

-June 27, 2016

Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind: Executive Branch Enforcement of Congressional Investigations

-May 16, 2016

Addressing Open Carry Challenges For Texas Employers

-March 15, 2016

“Implementation Day” Arrives: Substantial Easing of Iran Sanctions alongside Continued Limitations and Risks

-January 18, 2016

The 2015 Myanmar Elections: Impact on Myanmar Sanctions

-November 17, 2015

The Power to Investigate: Table of Authorities of House and Senate Committees for the 114th Congress

-October 21, 2015

“Adoption Day” Marks Next Step for Iran Nuclear Deal

-October 19, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal Poised to Clear Political Hurdle in the United States

-September 2, 2015

Landmark Nuclear Agreement with Iran Reached

-July 14, 2015

A Practical Guide to the Use of the Commissioned Public Report as an Effective Crisis-Management Tool

-June 12, 2015

BitLicense Regulations Create Groundbreaking Hurdles

-June 4, 2015

Virtual Currency Regulation and Enforcement: Granting of First NY Charter and FinCEN Fine Demonstrate Continued Evolution for Virtual Currency Sector

-May 27, 2015

United States Drone Policy Stretches Its Wings

-February 23, 2015

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Outlook and Review: 2015

-February 17, 2015

BitLicense 2.0: New York Moves Closer to Comprehensive Virtual Currency Regulation

-February 11, 2015

Bitcoin Basics: a Primer on Virtual Currencies

-January 30, 2015

Developments in Virtual Currency: Regulation and Enforcement Actions Gain Momentum

-January 5, 2015

The New Standard in Bitcoin Regulation?  New York’s Proposed BitLicense Would Create a Highly Regulated Virtual Currency Industry

-September 10, 2014

When Supply Contracts are Considered Swaps: The Effects of the CFTC’s Interpretation of Embedded Volumetric Optionality on Derivatives End-Users

-July 29, 2014

The Commodities Activities of Banks: Comments on the Federal Reserve’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

-April 28, 2014

Webcast – Congressional Investigations 2014

-February 5, 2014

Are You Ready to Report? European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) Derivatives Reporting Obligation Becomes Effective on February 12, 2014

-January 29, 2014

Mexican Energy Reform: New Investment Opportunities Ahead

-January 9, 2014

The Final Volcker Rule

-December 13, 2013

Through the Looking Glass: The Disclosure of Ultimate Ownership and the G8 Action Plan

-June 20, 2013

Public Companies and the “End-User Exception” for Swaps: Governance Action Items

-June 17, 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Its Foundation, Authorities, and First Year of Enforcement

-June 5, 2013

The Power to Investigate: Table of Authorities of House and Senate Committees for the 113th Congress

-May 22, 2013

Expanded Authority, Increasing Numbers and Record Fines: The Changing Landscape of the CFTC’s Enforcement Actions

-April 22, 2013

House Committees Release Oversight Agendas for 113th Congress

-April 2, 2013

Principal Obligations Under European Market Infrastructure Regulation, Effective Immediately

-March 15, 2013

CFTC’s Final Exemptive Order and Further Proposed Guidance on Cross-Border Swaps

-January 23, 2013

U.S. Senator Rockefeller Seeks Information on Cybersecurity from All Fortune 500 CEOs

-September 19, 2012

Impact and Analysis of the CFTC’s Final Rule Relating to the End-User Exception to the Clearing Requirement for Swaps

-August 3, 2012

Dodd-Frank Act Implementation: Impact of Title VII and Related CFTC and SEC Regulations on Derivatives End-Users

-May 16, 2012

CFTC Adopts Final Rules Implementing Real-time Public Reporting of Swap Data and Re-Proposes Rules Relating to Block Trades

-March 23, 2012

Federal Agencies Propose Comprehensive Volcker Rule Implementation

-October 12, 2011

The Power to Investigate: Table of Authorities of House and Senate Committees

-June 28, 2011

U.S. Regulatory Reform Heads to the Implementation Phase

-July 23, 2010

Derivatives Regulation under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

-July 16, 2010

The Final “Volcker Rule” under the Dodd-Frank U.S. Financial Regulatory Reform Bill

-July 12, 2010

Carried Interest Tax Legislation Passed by House, But Senate Prospects Uncertain

-May 28, 2010

Preparing for the Conference: A Comprehensive Review of the Senate Financial Reform Bill

-May 27, 2010

Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 – A Comprehensive Review of the U.S. Senate Banking Reform Bill

-April 23, 2010

Financial Regulatory Reform: Chairman Dodd Releases New Legislation to Reform Financial Services Industry Regulation and Enhance Consumer Protection

-March 17, 2010

Obama Administration 2011 Budget Tax Proposals

-February 3, 2010

Financial Regulatory Reform: President Obama Proposes Additional Financial Reforms Aimed at Large Financial Institutions

-January 21, 2010

House Moving Quickly on Tax Extenders Bill That Would Tax Carried Interests as Ordinary Income and Crack Down on Foreign Tax Evasion

-December 8, 2009

Financial Regulatory Reform: Consumer Financial Protection Agency Moves Forward

-October 22, 2009

Financial Regulatory Reform: Derivatives Legislation Moves Forward in House

-October 15, 2009

FDIC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Addressing Expiration of the TLGP’s Debt Guarantee Program; Comments Due by October 1, 2009

-September 21, 2009

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to Begin Investigations Next Month

-September 17, 2009

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: Commissioners Appointed; Commission Likely to Begin Investigations in September

-July 15, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Administration Releases “White Paper” on Reforming the Financial Regulatory System

-June 17, 2009

A 9/11-Style Independent Commission for Financial Regulatory Reform Looms on the Horizon

-May 13, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: TARP Special Inspector General Focusing Oversight on Executive Compensation, Use of TARP Funds, and TALF and PPIP Programs

-May 4, 2009

Legislation Reintroduced to Tax Carried Interests as Ordinary Income

-April 7, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: The Administration Unveils Regulatory Reform Framework as Well as Systemic Risk Plan and Draft Resolution Bill

-April 2, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Public-Private Investment Funds for Distressed Bank Assets — Open Questions and Opportunity to Comment

-March 30, 2009

Details of Public-Private Investment Fund Released; Executive Compensation Restrictions Will Not Apply to Private Participants

-March 23, 2009

Congressional Investigation, Bill Focus on Offshore Tax Havens

-March 6, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: TALF Launched; Executive Compensation Restrictions Will Not Apply

-March 4, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Stimulus Act Provides More than $100 Billion to Fund Infrastructure

-February 25, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: The Capital Assistance Program Unveiled

-February 25, 2009

Stimulus Bill Tax Provisions

-February 17, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Stimulus Act Enhances Executive Compensation Standards; TALF Expanded

-February 17, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: TARP II – Treasury’s New Financial Stability Plan

-February 10, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Executive Compensation Limits Tightened; Lobbyists’ TARP Access Restricted

-February 4, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Summary Table of Federal Rescue Programs

-January 15, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Congressman Frank’s TARP Reform Bill

-January 13, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: Details of Federal Reserve MBS Purchase Program

-January 5, 2009

Financial Markets in Crisis: TARP Covers Automakers; More TALF Details Announced

-December 24, 2008

Financial Services Regulatory Reform: Credit Default Swaps and the OTC Derivatives Market: Proposed Legislation & President’s Working Group Initiatives, including SEC Issuance of Temporary Exemptions for Central Counterparties

-December 23, 2008

CFIUS Guidance Alert

-December 18, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: Oversight of Federal Rescue Efforts Ramps Up

-December 16, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: Housing and Credit Markets Get TARP Boost

-November 25, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: Final TLGP Rule

-November 21, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: The Waxman Hearings; TARP Update

-November 19, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: TARP Roadmap Revised

-November 13, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: Expanding Authorities to Promote Liquidity and Protect Homeowners

-November 7, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: Regulation of Credit Default Swaps

-October 23, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: Congress Takes a Closer Look; FDIC Issues Interim Rule

-October 23, 2008

Financial Markets in Crisis: Critical Issues in the Current Environment

-October 20, 2008