State Legislative and Regulatory Practice

What’s at Stake at the State Level?

With Congress mired in endless gridlock and litigation costs spiraling out of control, companies increasingly view state governments as having the largest impacts on their business and legal strategies.

States, not Congress, are enacting and enforcing the policies that affect if and how companies can legally operate their businesses in a particular state.

State-level issues are especially challenging for businesses. Instead of one set of laws and regulations to consider at the federal level, there are potentially 50 different sets of regulations and legislation at the state level—passed by regulatory bodies and legislatures with their own unique procedures and timelines.  The stakes could not be higher: as one New York Times commenter noted, “a tweet-length change to a law could spell the difference between success and failure of an entire new sector.”

From the fastest-growing startups to stalwarts of the Fortune 500, leading companies turn to Orrick’s team of lawyers and legislative experts who focus exclusively on state legislatures and regulators. We design and implement cutting edge strategies—whether it’s passing legislation that will provide our clients with a competitive advantage in their most important markets or convincing state and local regulators to bless their innovative business model.

  • Our record of success handling high-stakes multi-state legislative and regulatory challenges includes:

    • In the fall of 2015, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, FanDuel and DraftKings faced an existential threat from state legislatures and Attorneys General. Orrick's Public Policy Group built, implemented and ran a 50 state legislative and regulatory campaign in 2016 that included on the ground lobbying, public relations support and grassroots and grasstops activation.

      By the summer of 2016, eights state legislatures, including New York where Attorney General Schneiderman issued a cease and desist to the companies, passed legislation clarifying that daily fantasy sports are legal, creating regulatory oversight and introducing common sense consumer protections. Efforts to ban daily fantasy sports by the Maryland Senate President were also defeated.
    • When the satellite industry was besieged by anti-competitive discriminatory taxes in state legislatures, we designed a cutting-edge strategy that helped DIRECTV and DISH Network defeat 54 of 55 bills in 28 state legislatures since 2008. Orrick’s work in this multi-year battle has saved the companies millions of dollars in litigation costs and billions of dollars in lost revenue. 
    • In a tremendous win for HR software startup Zenefits, we achieved the reversal of a ban that shutdown the company’s ability to operate in the state of Utah. We defended Zenefits before state regulators who challenged the legality of its business model, a challenge supported by incumbent market competitors. This successful regulatory and legislative strategy was called “a road map for startups facing regulatory challenges in the future.” We continue to represent Zenefits in regulatory matters in other states.
    • Looking for innovative ways to protect a substantial investment, one of the world’s largest asset managers, Fortress Investment Group, turned to Orrick to develop a multi-state legislative and regulatory strategy for its life settlement portfolio. Since 2012, Orrick has advanced legislation in multiple states that will provide much needed certainty to the $30 billion tertiary life insurance market. Over the past two years, we have passed groundbreaking legislation in Minnesota and advanced bills in Delaware and California—despite being outspent by our opponents by a 10:1 ratio.
    • Advised global pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals on a strategy to enact legislation in three states, opening up a key market worth tens of millions of dollars.

Client Results