Keeping up-to-date on public policy in today's fast-paced, complex political environment can create a significant strategic advantage to the well-positioned business or association. Businesses that do not engage policymakers often do so at their peril. Pierce Atwood's highly seasoned Government Relations lawyers are poised to help successfully monitor, navigate, and influence public policies that could impact business success. Advocacy, relationships, access to top quality legal expertise, and a command of the political process are the hallmarks of Pierce Atwood's Government Relations team.

Areas of Expertise

Pierrel Research USA (Board of Pharmacy)

American Chemistry Council

Maine State Bar Association (Commission on Indigent Legal Services)

Hard-fought legislative victories often do not ensure success as statutory law regularly has to be implemented through rulemaking by the myriad agencies in Augusta.  The Governmental Relations team follows through on policy changes by working with agency staff during rulemaking and implementation of statutory reforms.  Additionally, this team has the expertise, supplemented with Pierce Atwood's stable of expert attorneys, to work with and appear before agencies in the context of regulatory permitting and licensing, enforcement and adjudication.  Relationships with key agency staff allow us to both know an agency's agenda and shape the implementation and enforcement of Maine law by our agencies. 

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

American Chemistry Council

American Council of Life Insurers

Maine Pulp and Paper Association

Maine Real Estate Development Association

Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants

The Government Relations team continuously reviews all proposed legislation and rulemaking, provides summaries and status reports of legislation of interest, prioritizes the key impact legislation and implements strategies to influence the outcome of key impact legislation or regulations.  Any association in the hands of Pierce Atwood's Government Relations team can rest assured that they are providing quality public policy benefits to their membership.

Members of our Government Relations team have experience in the various aspects of Maine campaign law, from representing candidates, parties or campaigns to advising on referendum efforts. This, of course, also includes an understanding of Maine's ethics laws as they apply to those interested in formally "lobbying" in Augusta and those interested in making political contributions.

Goold Health Systems

Any business contracting with a government agency is keenly interested in timely information about emerging opportunities, or up-and-coming issues or concerns affecting their contract performance. Our "on the ground" and "in the State House" Government Relations team is a partner in our clients' success in government contract work, constantly assessing new opportunities as well as opinions and reactions to the work being done.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Casella Waste Systems, Inc

Maine Pulp and Paper Industry

Nestle Waters North America Inc.

Sappi Fine Paper North America

UNUM

Unitil Service Corporation

Staying informed and being able to educate are key skills to successful lobbying. The Government Relations team is attuned to policy trends and evolving issues and maintains close relationships with the Governor's office, Commissioners, legislative leaders and rank and file members, and regulators who affect public policy. We know the players who are apt to engage in a given issue, and our credibility and expertise, backed by a team of premier attorney specialty experts in the firm, present our client's issues and concerns effectively and credibly.

Representative Experience

During Maine’s 2015 legislative session, our government relations attorneys helped to pass various new laws to help advance the interests of our clients. We helped pass laws such as a sales tax exemption on fuel purchased for large scale greenhouses, student privacy protection, and grandfathering the approval of certain stormwater systems when expansions are proposed.

Advancing Our Clients’ Interests in Maine’s 2015 Legislative Session

Designed, drafted and lobbied on behalf of manufacturers and other industrial clients a business property tax reimbursement program providing full reimbursement for most business equipment ("BETR"), and subsequently a property tax exemption for business equipment ("BETE"). Worked to achieve annual funding of these programs.

Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR) and the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) Programs

Working closely with businesses and state and federal trade associations, we successfully opposed a drastic revision of Maine’s franchise statute on behalf of a national restaurant franchise. Defeat of this bill was vital, as it proposed unreasonable involvement by the state in the contractual relationships negotiated between franchisors and franchisees and would have severely limited the ability of franchisors to protect their brands.

Franchise Relationships Protected

Attorneys providing indigent legal services (appointed counsel) had not received a raise in pay from the State of Maine for nearly 15 years. Representing the legal community, we worked through the budget process to secure, for the first time since 1999, an increase in appointed counsel’s rate of pay.

Increased Funding for Appointed Counsel in Maine

During Maine’s 2015 legislative session, our government relations attorneys helped to defeat various proposals to help protect the interests of our clients. We successfully defeated numerous proposals that would have been detrimental to our clients, including the defeat of a water extraction tax bill, a bill prohibiting contractor indemnification, and several solid waste bills.

Protecting Our Clients’ Interests in Maine’s 2015 Legislative Session

On behalf of a group of automobile manufacturers, we worked with a coalition of automotive interests to defeat what is commonly titled “right to repair” legislation, which would have put intellectual property rights at risk by requiring manufacturers to share diagnostic and other proprietary information at prices dictated by statute.

Right to Repair Bill Defeated

We successfully advocated for the enactment of legislation to improve the Business Equipment Tax Exemption and avoid cuts to the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement and Pine Tree Zone programs.

Spearheading Business Tax Incentives

In the 2012-2013 Maine Legislative Session, we represented the aviation industry in successfully lobbying to extend the airplane sales & use tax exemption 20 years. This single sentence in an extensive state budget provides relief for aircraft purchasers, pilots flying into Maine and maintenance of aircraft while in Maine. In 2011 Maine lawmakers approved a temporary sales and use tax exemption for aircraft and aircraft parts, but that exemption was scheduled to expire in 2015. With this exemption, Maine will be on a level playing field with other New England states in the aviation community.

Successfully Lobbied to Extend Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Aviation Industry

Representing the development community, we successfully preserved Maine’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit. When pressed to balance the state’s budget, Maine legislators considered limiting a tax credit that has resulted in the revitalization of a number of key historic properties throughout the state. Working with beneficiaries of this tax credit, we were able to educate legislators on the importance of this program, including the economic activity it stimulates and to preserve this credit.

Supporting Economic Growth through Historic Preservation

Unitil Service Corporation

Oftentimes, convincing policy makers is best done through communications outside the Capitol environment. As an organization engages in a public policy issue, Government Relations team will provide strategic advice to create an aligned and supportive public relations plan that enhances the organization's reputation and supports the messages needed to influence public policy outcomes.

Representative Experience

During Maine’s 2015 legislative session, our government relations attorneys helped to pass various new laws to help advance the interests of our clients. We helped pass laws such as a sales tax exemption on fuel purchased for large scale greenhouses, student privacy protection, and grandfathering the approval of certain stormwater systems when expansions are proposed.

Advancing Our Clients’ Interests in Maine’s 2015 Legislative Session

Designed, drafted and lobbied on behalf of manufacturers and other industrial clients a business property tax reimbursement program providing full reimbursement for most business equipment ("BETR"), and subsequently a property tax exemption for business equipment ("BETE"). Worked to achieve annual funding of these programs.

Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR) and the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) Programs

Working closely with businesses and state and federal trade associations, we successfully opposed a drastic revision of Maine’s franchise statute on behalf of a national restaurant franchise. Defeat of this bill was vital, as it proposed unreasonable involvement by the state in the contractual relationships negotiated between franchisors and franchisees and would have severely limited the ability of franchisors to protect their brands.

Franchise Relationships Protected

Attorneys providing indigent legal services (appointed counsel) had not received a raise in pay from the State of Maine for nearly 15 years. Representing the legal community, we worked through the budget process to secure, for the first time since 1999, an increase in appointed counsel’s rate of pay.

Increased Funding for Appointed Counsel in Maine

Maine Beer Co. has grown from a small “nano” brewery producing 100 barrels of beer a year to a thriving microbrewery producing over 4000 barrels a year. To support the surge in production they expanded their staff from two to 12 full-time people and moved into a brand new 11,000 square foot production facility. As the company has grown so have its legal needs and Pierce Atwood has been there to help.

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Maine Beer Co. Growth

During Maine’s 2015 legislative session, our government relations attorneys helped to defeat various proposals to help protect the interests of our clients. We successfully defeated numerous proposals that would have been detrimental to our clients, including the defeat of a water extraction tax bill, a bill prohibiting contractor indemnification, and several solid waste bills.

Protecting Our Clients’ Interests in Maine’s 2015 Legislative Session

Represent MEREDA, Maine’s premier real estate development association, on all governmental relations issues, including issues affecting land use, environmental compliance and regulation, taxation, and economic development. In one example, Pierce Atwood assisted MEREDA with drafting and lobbying for the new 10,000 square foot exemption to the Site Location of Development Act.

Real Estate Development Organization on Government Relations Issues

On behalf of a group of automobile manufacturers, we worked with a coalition of automotive interests to defeat what is commonly titled “right to repair” legislation, which would have put intellectual property rights at risk by requiring manufacturers to share diagnostic and other proprietary information at prices dictated by statute.

Right to Repair Bill Defeated

We successfully advocated for the enactment of legislation to improve the Business Equipment Tax Exemption and avoid cuts to the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement and Pine Tree Zone programs.

Spearheading Business Tax Incentives

In the 2012-2013 Maine Legislative Session, we represented the aviation industry in successfully lobbying to extend the airplane sales & use tax exemption 20 years. This single sentence in an extensive state budget provides relief for aircraft purchasers, pilots flying into Maine and maintenance of aircraft while in Maine. In 2011 Maine lawmakers approved a temporary sales and use tax exemption for aircraft and aircraft parts, but that exemption was scheduled to expire in 2015. With this exemption, Maine will be on a level playing field with other New England states in the aviation community.

Successfully Lobbied to Extend Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Aviation Industry

Representing the development community, we successfully preserved Maine’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit. When pressed to balance the state’s budget, Maine legislators considered limiting a tax credit that has resulted in the revitalization of a number of key historic properties throughout the state. Working with beneficiaries of this tax credit, we were able to educate legislators on the importance of this program, including the economic activity it stimulates and to preserve this credit.

Supporting Economic Growth through Historic Preservation