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Government Relations Practice Area

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Robinson & McElwee  PLLC government relations practice group represents national and international businesses and trade associations, as well as statewide businesses, trade associations, and individuals seeking to accomplish a myriad of legislative and regulatory goals.

Our Government Relations Department is Chaired by Edward J. George, a member of the firm and a registered professional attorney-lobbyist with over 23 years experience.  It is comprised of a host of other accomplished attorney-lobbyists, including a former member of the West Virginia Legislature, a legislative liaison with over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry and economic development, and an additional experienced support staff.

Our West Virginia government relations practice team provides the following services:

  • Issue Advocacy on behalf of and in support of client goals
  • Lobbying, monitoring, analyzing, and reporting on state and federal legislation
  • Developing strategic plans to promote political and legislative goals
  • Drafting legislation and administrative regulations
  • Formal commenting on proposed regulations
  • Testifying before legislative Committees
  • Preparing public hearing testimony

The department also represents clients in government contract, regulation compliance, and permitting matters.

Robinson & McElwee’s Government Relations Practice Group represents public utilities, including the solid waste landfill, transfer, hauling and recycling industries; oil & gas companies; beverage alcohol manufacturers (including spirits and wine manufacturers, distributors and importers); contractors; physicians; various trade associations; and real estate developers.  

The firm played an important role in the following West Virginia laws:

  • Solid Waste Management Act, related statutes and enabling regulations
  • Limited Video Lottery Act
  • Retail Liquor Act
  • Sale of Wines Act
  • Medical Professional Liability Act
  • Whitewater Responsibility Act
  • Underground Storage Tank Act
  • Hazardous Waste Emergency Response Fund Act and
  • Groundwater Protection Act

Our West Virginia government relations attorneys-lobbyists have played a significant role in advocating for and the eventual adoption of numerous environmental standards and regulations, and  have handled complex negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Environmental Protections Agency, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

Robinson & McElwee's government relations department has extensive experience advising clients on election laws and campaign finance disclosure. We have experience working with PACs and Super PACs on First Amendment/free speech lawsuits. We regularly advise corporations and trade associations on how to comply with election laws within the framework of their organizational structure. We have also successfully challenged state agencies in their attempts to restrict operation of charities in the state.

Robinson & McElwee lawyers are experienced issue advocates and have appeared before committees of the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates; executive branch boards and commissions; the Nuclear Regulatory Agency; the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration; the West Virginia Public Service Commission; the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and the West Virginia Investment Management Board.

Robinson & McElwee is a member of the National Association of State Lobbyists, the leading national association of government relations and lobbyist professionals.

The Government Relations Practice Group at Robinson & McElwee is experienced at lobbying and negotiating the maze of government legislation, rulemaking, permitting, and compliance issues facing businesses in West Virginia. For more information on our West Virginia government relations practice, contact Edward J. George at ejg@ramlaw.com or 304-347-8319.

Participating Lawyers

Mr. George is Chairman of the Government Relations practice area. Mr. George has practiced law and been a professional registered lobbyist for more than 20 years.
Mr. George is Chairman of the Government Relations practice area. Mr. George has practiced law and been a professional registered lobbyist for more than 20 years.
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. Higgins limits his ADR practice to disputes involving will contests, trust interpretation and disputes among shareholders, partners or other owners of businesses. Because of his extensive experience in the area of state and federal taxation, Mr. Higgins is often able to suggest ways to settle disputes with due consideration to applicable tax considerations.
Mr. Higgins routinely assists clients with forming business entities including related planning with regard to the death, disability or retirement of owners in the future. He has experience with mergers and asset sales both from the standpoint of the seller and from the standpoint of the buyer. Mr. Higgins advises clients with regard to the proper operation of their business to ensure that the personal liability exposure of owners is kept to a minimum. He has experience in the area of trademark litigation, appraisal rights, and enforcement of restrictive covenants against competition and confidentiality agreements. Another area of his practice relates to asset protection and methods by which investments and property can be legally protected from creditors. Mr. Higgins also has considerable knowledge in the area of securities law compliance and has represented clients defrauded in their investments.
Mr. Higgins provides extensive document review assistance in connection with commercial and private lending and has been involved with economic development financing provided by various state agencies. He has experience in “work out” situations including refinancing, re-structuring and liquidation sales. Because of his banking law background, Mr. Higgins also assists clients with letters and lines of credit, stock and asset pledges of collateral and loan guaranty agreements. Mr. Higgins also has extensive experience in the performance of due diligence on behalf of business purchasers with corresponding contract protections. Because of his experience in the area of taxation, he also assists clients in “spin offs”, “split ups” and other types of reorganizations.
As a former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Mr. Higgins has “floor privileges” and a unique perspective on the committee system and its operations. In addition, he served for eight years as a member of Charleston City Council. In these areas, Mr. Higgins can often provide insight and recommendations on persons to contact and procedures to use.
Mr. Higgins has represented physicians in civil and criminal health care fraud and abuse investigations. He also has experience in structuring transactions to ensure compliance with certificate of need requirements before the West Virginia Health Care Authority. Mr. Higgins also assists health care providers with practice formation and related licensing requirements.
Mr. Higgins routinely prepares estate planning documents with related tax planning for clients. He also has experience with the creation and operation of private trusts and probate and estate administration. In the area of will contest litigation, he has successfully defended estate planning documents in litigation commenced by disinherited family members. Mr. Higgins also customarily handles federal estate tax returns and litigation involving the proper interpretation of wills and trusts.