McGuireWoods Consulting Lands Leading DC Tech Lobbying Team

June 1, 2017

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Emerging Technologies Group at the ForefrontOf Advocacy for Unmanned Systems Industry

WASHINGTON– McGuireWoods Consulting has added four top Washington technologylobbyists to boost the already formidable capabilities it shares with theMcGuireWoods law firm on emerging technology issues at the intersection oflaw, regulation and business.

Senior advisorMichael Drobac, a leading advocate for laws and policies to promote growth in technologyand particularly the unmanned aerial vehicle industry, will leadMcGuireWoods Consulting’s new Emerging Technologies Team. Joining him assenior advisor and a partner in the law firm is former associate deputyattorney generalGregory Walden, a widely respected authority on aviation law and government ethics whoserved as chief counsel with the Federal Aviation Administration; seniorvice presidentAmanda Armistead; and assistant vice presidentCasey Duggan. The group joins McGuireWoods from the Washington office of Akin GumpStrauss Hauer & Feld.

McGuireWoods Consulting and McGuireWoods LLP have aggressively built ahighly acclaimed team of consultants and lawyers to handle fast-growingclient needs in areas such as technology that supports banking andfinancial services, unmanned delivery systems and cybersecurity. Accordingto Drobac, that makes McGuireWoods the ideal platform for the developmentof the Emerging Technologies Team.

“McGuireWoods Consulting has market-leading federal and state governmentrelations practices that excel in guiding clients through the complexlegislative and regulatory challenges associated with emergingtechnologies,” Drobac said. “The seamless collaboration with theMcGuireWoods law firm makes this the perfect home for us and a powerhouseplatform for helping clients achieve their business objectives.”

In addition to a Federal Government Relations Practice ranked among the top15 in The National Law Journal’s “Influence 50,”McGuireWoods Consulting has a widely heralded State Government RelationsPractice with offices in seven state capitals and a National MultistatePractice with 50-state reach.

“Michael, Greg, Amanda and Casey are at the vanguard of the regulatory andpolicy issues confronting next-generation technologies, particularlyconcerning unmanned aerial vehicles,” said MWC President and CEOL.F. Payne, Jr., a former five-term congressman from Virginia. “Their industryleadership, deep experience and relationships with policymakers augment ouralready considerable strengths in this area and provide tremendousadvantages to our clients.”

Drobac assists clients in the telecommunications and technology sectors andadvocates for their policy objectives before Congress and federal agencies.He is a sought-after source for journalists covering legislative andregulatory developments in the drone industry, and his advocacy prowessearned him a place on The Hill’s 2016 Top Lobbyists list.

Drobac previously led government affairs for Netflix and the OnlinePublishers Association and had a senior role with Barry Diller’sIAC/Interactive Corp. At Netflix, he established the company’s Washingtonoffice and advocated before Congress and federal agencies on issues such asnet neutrality, interconnection access, privacy, accessibility issues andtaxation. Before entering the private sector, he served for a decade in theoffices of U.S. Sens. Gordon Smith of Oregon, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texasand Norm Coleman of Minnesota.

Walden, who has a distinguished background in government service,represents aviation industry clients in matters before the U.S. Departmentof Transportation, the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, theTransportation Security Administration, and U.S. Customs and BorderProtection. He served as the FAA’s top lawyer, associate counsel toPresident George H.W. Bush, and ethics counsel for the transition team ofPresident George W. Bush. He also has served on the Interstate CommerceCommission and advises presidential appointees, members of Congress,companies and individuals on government ethics issues.

Armistead represents clients before Congress and federal agencies toadvance legislative and regulatory policies that reflect the impact ofrapidly developing emerging technologies and a changing economy. Before shejoined the team, she played a critical role in the successful campaign toreauthorize the Export-Import Bank while she worked for a Washington firmled by former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt. She also worked on aDemocratic presidential campaign.

Duggan previously served in the office of House Chief Deputy Whip PatrickMcHenry of North Carolina where she managed constituent relations. She alsocompleted a fellowship with former Rep. Renee Ellmers, focusing on mediaand communications.

“McGuireWoods Consulting has been a key player in promoting a state-levellegal and regulatory framework for commercial drones and autonomousvehicles, and now we are extending that leadership to the federal level,”saidJim Hodges, a former South Carolina governor who becomes president and CEO of MWC inJanuary.

“Michael, Greg, Amanda and Casey have unmatched experience as policyadvisors and advocates for clients known for extending the boundaries ofinnovation. They add an important dimension to our federal practice,” saidFrank Donatelli, leader of the practice and former Reagan administration director ofpolitical and intergovernmental affairs.

McGuireWoods also has been active in supporting an array of players in theunmanned aviation sector. The firm’s lawyers provide legal and businessguidance to companies that design and manufacture drones, including helpingthem obtain FAA exemptions allowing the use of drones in commercialoperations.

Founded in 1998, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC is a full-service publicaffairs firm offering government relations, strategic communications andgrassroots advocacy, and infrastructure and economic development services.MWC is a subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP, a leadinginternational law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 23 officesworldwide, including technology hubs such as San Francisco, Charlotte andRaleigh. BTI Consulting recently named McGuireWoods one of the nation’sbest law firms in cybersecurity. Besides Washington, McGuireWoodsConsulting has offices in Richmond and McLean in Virginia; Atlanta;Chicago; Raleigh, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Springfield,Illinois; Austin, Texas; and Bucharest, Romania. For more information,visit McGuireWoods Consulting’s website