While advising on complex regulatory issues across many of our practice groups, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP maintains one of the most widely respected legislative and government relations practices in Illinois. We represent a broad array of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses on critical legislative and regulatory issues pending in both the state capitol and before local governments.
Smith, Gambrell & Russell is one of the few national law firms with offices in both Chicago and Springfield, where a physical office presence in the capital city is the best way to fully represent clients before the Illinois General Assembly and state governmental agencies. During the General Assembly’s five-month session each year, many corporate executives visit the firm’s Springfield office that is located steps from the Capitol and utilize our conference facilities and attorneys’ offices for meetings with government officials and regulators. Throughout the remainder of the year, clients know we are committed to their legislative interests with our local office and statewide reach.
Led by experienced government and regulatory law attorneys, we concentrate exclusively in representing businesses as legal counsel and registered lobbyists before the Illinois General Assembly, as well as state agencies and local governments. We are regularly retained to work as registered lobbyists to pass, defeat or modify pending legislation affecting business. From both the public and private sectors, we have handled some of the most significant and demanding issues facing businesses.
Particular areas of focus include:
- Lobbying and corporate representation
- Procurement advocacy
- Regulatory law
- State and local tax
In our work with the Illinois General Assembly and other government bodies, we are consistently recognized for distinctions including:
- The annual selection of practice attorneys for the elite edition of The Best Lawyers in America®for Government Relations Law, along with practice chair Roger Bickel’s naming by his peer attorneys as the “2021 Chicago Lawyer of the Year” in The Best Lawyers in America® for Government Relations Law.
- The designation of several of our team members as “Leading Lawyers” in Illinois by Super Lawyers, a distinction given to fewer than 5% of the state’s practicing attorneys, based on a statewide survey of our peers.
- The selection of our practice chair to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer magazine’s “Forty Under 40 Illinois Attorneys to Watch” list, a designation given to fewer than 1% of the state’s practicing attorneys.
- Our selection by State Law Resources, a premier national regulatory law network, for our experience in administrative, regulatory and government relations law at the state and federal levels.
We have co-authored an abundance of laws and existing state statutes in a broad spectrum of regulated fields, including e-commerce, healthcare, state finance, consumer protection, civil remedies, state procurement and commerce oversight. Representative legislation, appropriations and other action that we have authored and/secured passage of includes:
- Adoption of infant vaccine requirements by the State of Illinois Immunization Advisory Council, Department of Public Health and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to achieve consistency with CDC and ACIP guidelines.
- Amendments to the Illinois Criminal Code to authorize the resale of event tickets on Internet sites. (House Bill 873; Public Act 94-0020)
- Significant changes to the Illinois Pharmacy Practice Act of 1987. (Senate Bill 603; Public Act 90-253)
- Legislation establishing a new state regulatory framework for the Internet auction industry. (House Bill 5803; Public Act 92-798)
- Legislation securing state bond authorization for $487 million to renovate Chicago’s professional football stadium (Soldier Field) and for related improvements to Chicago’s lakefront. (House Bill 1284; Public Act 91-935)
- Legislation providing $38 million in funding appropriation for not-for-profit related offender re-entry initiatives and treatment. (House Bill 3440; Public Act 92-008)
- Approval by the General Assembly for the expenditure of several million dollars in economic development subsidies for distressed Illinois manufacturing businesses.