United States: Alexander Strategy Group, Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman and its Harbour Group Subsidiary Form Strategic Alliance
Last Updated: January 31 2003

Clients Will Benefit from Partnership of Law, Lobbying and Public Relations Groups

Washington, D.C.—The Washington, DC-based law firm of Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP (SBSF) and its subsidiary The Harbour Group, LLC today announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership with the Alexander Strategy Group. This arrangement will provide clients of all groups involved access to some of the best legal, political and legislative resources available in the Nation’s capital.

Barry Direnfeld, Managing Partner of SBSF and chairman of the firm’s widely respected government affairs practice, hailed the partnership as a "tri-partisan alliance, uniquely positioned to help our clients navigate Washington’s constantly shifting legislative terrain." Direnfeld specifically noted the strategic benefits of matching the Firm’s independent legal counsel with the combined political and legislative resources of the two prominent lobbying firms—one solidly Republican, the other staunchly Democratic. "This alliance allows us to add an exciting new dimension to the already powerful mix of legal and political expertise we offer our clients."

Ed Buckham, Chairman of the Alexander Strategy Group, was Chief of Staff to House Majority Whip, Tom DeLay. Buckham also served as the Executive Director of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) from 1984 – 1992. "This new relationship represents the best of both worlds, in my view," said Buckham. "It allows our domestic and international clients to draw upon quality legal and public relations counsel if needed, and provides them with remarkable bipartisan reach on the Hill. Moreover, we now have in place all the elements necessary to run full-blown advocacy campaigns."

Prior to becoming Managing Director The Harbour Group, Joel Johnson was President Clinton’s Senior Advisor for Policy and Communications and served as Staff Director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Committees under Minority Leader Tom Daschle from 1993 - 1998.

Tony Rudy, a partner in the Alexander Strategy Group is also an alumnus of the House Republican Leadership. Rudy worked for Representative DeLay as Policy Director and General Counsel and later as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Rudy notes that the business alliance between Alexander Strategy Group and The Harbour Group "will consolidate the talent in both groups, while allowing each company the ability to maintain its respective political identity."

Johnson explained, "Clients want efficiency and effectiveness. They want to know that their consultants are working as one—Republicans and Democrats, lawyers and communicators. This is an exciting opportunity to offer our clients a creative and bipartisan team that can work together to solve complex business problems."

Direnfeld added, "This alliance is consistent with our Firm’s vision to always provide our clients with the diverse range of high quality services that they need to operate successfully in constantly changing business, legislative and international environments." Direnfeld noted that each party will remain an independent entity and will continue to act in accordance with their applicable professional obligations.

Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP

Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP is a law firm with nearly 300 lawyers in offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City. The firm’s diversified roster of national and international clients includes Fortune 100 companies, smaller business enterprises, and families and individuals. The firm has more than twenty different practice areas, including antitrust, corporate, litigation, telecommunications and government affairs.

As the sixth ranking lobbying firm in terms of annual revenue among the top twenty law firms in Washington, SBSF has been active in a broad range of issue areas, including antitrust, aviation, banking, congressional oversight, environment, energy, finance, health care, Indian affairs, intellectual property, international trade, occupational safety and health, securities, tax, telecommunications, and transportation. The firm brings seasoned understanding of the legislative and congressional oversight processes and, more importantly, a range of already established working relationships with influential members and key staff.

Prominent members of SBSF’s Government Affairs Group include:

Gary Slaiman, a partner, has been involved in a wide variety of legislative matters, representing clients before several Congressional committees. Prior to joining the firm, he was chief counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Subcommittee on Labor and was counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust for over four years.

Brian Fitzgerald, a partner, has extensive legislative and regulatory experience on a range of issues, including specialized experience in the congressional oversight and investigative process. Prior to entering private practice, he served on the staff of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution.

Thurgood Marshall, Jr., a partner, previously served in each branch of the Federal Government as well as the private sector. Highlights of his government service include, serving on the White House senior staff as Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary, and serving as counsel with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, as well as the Governmental Affairs Committee.

Gary Gallant, an associate, joined SBSF after a twelve-year career with Congressman Jim Saxton (R-NJ), where he served as the Senior Counsel to the Congress' Joint Economic committee and as Chief of Staff. Gary also managed the Congressman's successful reelection campaigns in 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998.

Alexander Strategy Group

Alexander Strategy Group (ASG) is a lobbying and political strategy firm with offices in Washington and Hong Kong. ASG’s partners have worked extensively with the Executive and Legislative branches of government, been involved in numerous Presidential and Congressional campaigns, forged alliances with numerous conservative advocacy groups and worked at the highest levels of the international arena. Taken together, the principals’ diverse background allows them to offer a complete package of representational services to clients in the United States and worldwide.

In addition to Buckham and Rudy, the other senior partners in the ASG team include:

Ed Stewart heads the firm’s international practice. His principal areas of Legislative and Executive branch work have been appropriations, foreign affairs, judiciary and trade issues. From 1988 to 1997 he worked in senior management at the International Republican Institute (IRI). During his tenure at IRI, he served as the Director for African Affairs for four years and director of Asia/Middle East operations for two years.

Karl Gallant has over twenty years experience working in the congressional campaign and legislative arenas. Now specializing in business advocacy and labor law, he emerged as a leading national conservative activist during the 1980s while serving as Vice President for the National Right to Work Committee. He later served as the Executive Director of Tom DeLay’s ARMPAC where he devised political strategies to support the House leadership’s legislative agenda and key GOP congressional races.

Terry Allen served as Chief of Staff for Rep. Steve Largent (R-OK) from 1994 to 2000. At ASG he specializes in commerce, health care and judiciary matters. His Washington career has included additional stints on Capitol Hill and in the Office of Legislative Affairs under Secretary William Bennett at the U.S. Department of Education. From 1990 to 1994, he was the Executive Director of the Resource Institute of Oklahoma, a non-partisan public policy think tank in Oklahoma City.

The Harbour Group, LLC

The Harbour Group, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of SBSF that develops public relations campaigns, crisis communications tactics, and legislative strategies for business clients nationwide. Members of THG have held prominent positions in both houses of Congress and in the White House, and have extensive experience working with the media. They have strong working relationships with key decision-makers in all branches of the government, with the media, and with third-party groups such as consumer advocates and labor organizations. Through this combination of experience and expertise, the group provides a powerful advantage in shaping the development of legislative and policy strategies that impact clients’ business objectives. The Harbour Group is uniquely positioned to tackle the most complex policy initiatives and communications campaigns at the national, state, and local level.

The Harbour Group fields a talented team of communications professionals, including:

Richard Marcus, Managing Director, has had a career in communications spanning twenty years. As Executive Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, he implemented crisis management campaigns on behalf of clients including Fortune 500 corporations, national trade associations and public interest groups.

Audrey Chang, Vice President, has a background in strategic marketing. At Burson-Marsteller, she headed the agency’s work to launch redesigned currency and was previously Vice President of Communications for The Welfare to Work Partnership.

Kimberly James, a Director, specializes in media training and strategic communications planning. She was Communications Director for U.S. Senator Bob Graham of Florida and also Press Secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Joanna Slaney, a Director, was Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs in the Clinton White House. She also spent six years on Capitol Hill, serving as press secretary and legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun.

Tammy Gordon, a Senior Associate, has more than ten years of public relations experience, including six years as a political consultant in Florida. She was previously an Account Supervisor in the marketing practice of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

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