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January 25, 2013 – Locke Lord is the No. 1 law firm lobby practice in Texas and has held this top spot for the last decade, according to Capitol Inside's Texas Lobby Power Rankings. In addition, Partner Robert Miller, Chair of Locke Lord's Public Law section, is ranked No. 5 out of approximately 2,000 Texas lobbyists, and four additional Public Law lawyers and professionals from Locke Lord are listed in the Power Rankings.
Capitol Inside, a closely followed Texas political and governmental affairs website based in Austin, calls Locke Lord's Public Law team "the epitome of teamwork in the public advocacy profession here."
The publication credits Miller as "the traffic cop maestro of a Locke Lord team that's been ranked first on the Law Firm Lobby Practice list for most of the past decade," and states that Miller has "amassed a significant amount of the clout he wields by virtue of the strength of the team that he's personally crafted and its members' unique abilities and individual riches."
"Our Governmental & Public Affairs Practice continues to get outstanding results for our clients and has raised the bar on best practices and ethical standards in lobbying," said Firm Chair Jerry Clements. "This is an incredibly strong showing – by the team and so many of its individual members – and reflects how well-respected our Public Law section is and why it's the go-to lobbying team in Texas."
Miller has established a stellar reputation in the last 25 years via his lobbying efforts on behalf of local, state and federal governments, as well as public and private concerns. He successfully worked to keep the Houston Astros in Houston through creation of a Sports Authority, which led to the construction of a retractable roof stadium. He has also served in a variety of top level leadership positions, including four years as chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas. Miller writes a popular and well-read Texas Public Law Blog called "View From the Gallery," which is distributed and posted on Locke Lord's homepage.
Also cited in this year's Texas Lobby Power Rankings are:
• Governmental Affairs Consultant Yuniedth Midence Steen is ranked No. 15 on Capitol Inside's Hired Guns list. She is former Chief of Staff to State Sen. John Whitmire and has been with Locke Lord for more than 12 years. Capitol Inside calls her "one of the Austin lobby's youngest superstars" as well as one of the best and most popular lobbyists in Austin, and the second highest-ranking woman on the Hired Guns list, predicting she will rise to the Top 10 in the next two years.
• Attorney Gardner Pate is No. 5 on the Rising Stars list. Capitol Inside says Pate has emerged "as the GOP's leading expert on political money issues and ethics law in Texas. Pate's expertise in that area has been in increasing demand despite the fact that he's only 30 years old." Pate is chief campaign finance advisor and attorney for the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Campaign and also serves as campaign finance advisor for the Comptroller Susan Combs Campaign and numerous Texas legislators.
• Senior Policy Advisor Walter B. Smith Jr., who works out of the Firm's Austin and Washington, D.C., offices, is ranked No. 17 on the Rising Stars list. He is a former aide to Congressmen Henry Bonilla, Chet Edwards and Larry Combest, and was an appointee of President George W. Bush to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he served as a legislative liaison between the Administration and the House and Senate.
• Consultant Nef Partida is No. 6 on Capitol Inside's Consultants Who Lobby list. He has served as a communications consultant and strategist to Republican and Democratic campaigns.
Locke Lord LLP consistently ranks among American Lawyer's top 100 U.S. law firms. The Firm's full range of practice and industry areas serve international and national clients from offices in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. It has an excellent reputation in complex litigation, regulatory and transactional work, with its 650-plus lawyers building collaborative relationships and crafting creative solutions – all designed and executed to meet clients' long-term strategic goals.
Miller and the Public Law team can be reached at 512-305-4867 or firstname.lastname@example.org
His "View From the Gallery" Texas public law blog can be read here