WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 19, 2011) — International law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP announced today the appointment of four top lobbyist advisors to its growing Washington-based Government Strategies practice group. The team – Peggy Binzer, Mark Harkins, and Erica Stocker – joins the Washington, D.C. office from another AmLaw 100 firm.
“We are extremely pleased to be adding such an experienced and recognized group of top lobbyists to our practice group,” said Steve Ryan, partner and head of McDermott’s Government Strategies Practice Group. “With their knowledge and insight, McDermott will continue to build and deploy a unique combination of legal, crisis management and lobbying capabilities.” Mr. Ryan is a former General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
The Firm also tapped Peggy Binzer as a partner. Ms. Binzer is an experienced legislative strategist who previously served as Senior FDA Health Counsel to the Senate Budget Committee and Senate Health, Labor and Pensions, for former chairman, Judd Gregg (R-NH). Ms. Binzer also held multiple leadership roles at the FDA and is a recognized authority in liability protection. She played a key role in helping to shape the liability protections for biomedical countermeasures in the Pandemic Readiness and Pandemic Preparedness Act. She also spearheaded the passage of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 and has advised multiple Hospital Systems, Physician Groups and Associations on maximizing the value of that law. She currently serves as the executive director of the Alliance for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety.
Also joining with Binzer are Mark B. Harkins and Erica D. Stocker, who will serve as professional advisors based in Washington. Mr. Harkins, a lobbyist with strong Democratic U.S. House of Representatives experience in financial, tax and health policy, has spent more than seventeen years on Capitol Hill including as Chief of Staff to Representative Brad Miller (D-NC) and Senior Policy Advisor to Representative David Price (D-NC). He also served as Legislative Director for the Democrats on the House Science Committee.
Ms. Stocker also brings extensive legislative experience in key policy areas such as health care, education and appropriations, having previously served as a Legislative Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Representative Jim Saxton (R-NJ).
With these moves, the Firm is expanding its legal and lobbying capabilities on Capitol Hill, and with the U.S. Department of Justice, particularly with respect to current health care and appropriations policy issues. The team complements McDermott’s approach to lobbying, which combines practicing lawyers as well as non-lawyer lobbyist professionals to provide clients with more holistic advice. In July 2011, the firm also welcomed former White House Correspondent John Decker as a senior professional advisor based in Washington to provide clients with strategic advice related to firm matters.
“We’re delighted to welcome Peggy, Mark and Erica to the Firm,” said Bill Weld, former Massachusetts governor, and partner in McDermott’s Washington, D.C. office. “In this environment, we believe it is more important than ever for major law firms like McDermott to have a strong Washington presence, and be able to provide clients experienced counsel across all disciplines.”
To help McDermott and its client base better capitalize on the fast-paced changes happening in Washington, the Firm signed a strategic leasing agreement in January 2010 to move to a new office location at the corner of North Capitol Street and E Street, opposite the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Senate. The new “McDermott Building" will allow the Firm to provide clients with best-in-class Washington services, and close proximity to the most powerful policy makers and agencies in the nation.
McDermott Will & Emery's Government Strategies Practice Group provides clients with an integrated suite of services including lobbying, representation during Congressional investigations, crisis management, and government contracts advice. McDermott lawyers have represented, and continue to represent, Fortune 500 corporations, and a wide range of small-to-medium-sized companies, nonprofit organizations, municipal, state and foreign governments, foreign-based companies and organizations, foreign nationals, and U.S. and international coalitions and trade associations.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Extending our reach to Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.