Government Relations
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Major companies doing business in Texas rely on Winstead’s government relations team because we understand the critical intersection of business, government and public policy.  Our coverage is top-to-bottom, from helping companies make a smart entry into Central, South or North Texas, having the right bipartisan relationships at the Capitol or administrative agencies and designing the strategies that work, to effectively building the right team and designing your winning approach.

Winstead’s reputation comes both from the deep knowledge and relationships we have, as well as our process experience. We over-prepare, analyzing similar legislation in other states, and building our clients’ cases using research, data, our years of experience and trusted connections. Constantly monitoring trends and legislation that affect our clients before, during and after the legislative session, we course-correct and change direction when necessary.

Having appropriate subject-matter depth is critical to industry executives when their interests are represented. Winstead lawyers are immersed in virtually every vertical that matters to our clients, including every aspect of energy, real estate, environmental, banking and finance, healthcare, transportation and numerous others.

Featured Client Story:  Delaware North Companies Experience

Our client’s opportunity:  Winstead’s Government Relations Practice partners with clients seeking to enter Texas markets by aligning the client’s objectives with a city’s unique culture and goals.  Winstead has been privileged to represent Delaware North Companies (DNC), a global leader in hospitality and food service management based in Buffalo, New York, for the past 21 years.  During this time, Winstead has assisted DNC in achieving significant success, particularly its Travel Hospitality Services subsidiary. Our team, led by Pete Winstead, helped DNC establish a diverse array of local food and beverage concessions at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA). The concept of developing local brands in airports was pioneered by DNC in Austin and it has since become the standard in airport food and beverage concessions. ABIA is one of the top rated origin and destination airports in the country with over 10 million annual passengers in 2013.

Winstead approach and solution:  Winstead helped position DNC to exceed the City of Austin’s goals and requirements. To obtain the support of the staff and city council, our attorneys advised DNC on relevant issues facing the City of Austin and ensured that DNC addressed the city’s goals and objectives relating to the creation of a unique airport environment reflective of the community, job creation for local vendors, and the need for diversity.

Outcome:  ABIA is consistently rated among the top U.S. airports for dining.  With Winstead’s assistance, DNC has over time expanded its role at ABIA to where it is now responsible for generating 80% of the airport’s food and beverage concession revenue.  Our attorneys continue to work with DNC to enhance its concepts and operations at ABIA and by so doing keep it among the leaders in airport innovation by bringing to the airport new and exciting local brands which highlight the uniqueness of the City of Austin.

Snapshot of Government Relations Strengths

Clients who are seeking a strategic ally who is transparent, relentless and committed to changing how business gets done in Texas hire Winstead to help them in the following areas:

  • Appropriations
  • Banking, finance and investment
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Expanding access to healthcare
  • Real estate
  • Taxation
  • Transportation
  • Wind energy
  • Working with local governments

Next Steps

Company executives outside of Texas who want to do business here tell us they wouldn’t hire any other firm to make it happen.  They come back to us time and again.  And, on the lobbying side, once a law is passed, we don’t consider our work done. We monitor it to ensure that the spirit of the law is being followed. For a government relations team that always has your best interests at heart and that effectively moves your issues through the Texas government, call Winstead.

Experience

Federal

  • Higher Education and Research – Securing federal funding for university research and other programs through the congressional appropriations process. Clients include a law school seeking funding for innovative curriculum programs.
  • Port Authorities – Vast experience with congressional appropriations involving from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, DOT, Homeland Security and other agencies for port related projects such as dredging, intermodal infrastructure, environmental issues and security.
  • Transportation – Represent Austin’s Capital Metro Transit in securing federal funding assistance. Congressional earmarking of appropriations for San Marcos Transit authority.
  • Trade Association – Counsel national agricultural group through process of government funding of vital industry research.
  • Municipalities – Represent a Florida entity seeking federal fiscal support for everglades restoration activity.
  • Pharmaceutical IP – Defend leading global pharmaceutical companies’ patent protections through strategic scrutiny of competitors’ legislative initiatives.
  • Health Care – Advocate on behalf of hospitals and health care organizations before Congress and federal agencies. Issues managed include program funding, hospital construction and nursing shortage.
  • Environmental Coalition – Represent California coalition of government, agricultural and private interests concerned with environmental regulations.
  • Insurance Policyholders – Secure approval of legislation providing a federal backstop to preserve the availability of adequate and affordable insurance against the risk of terrorist attack.
  • Pipelines – Advocate legislation to prevent discriminatory taxation of interstate natural gas pipeline property.

State

  • Texas Building Branch of the Association of General Contractors – Pushed legislation allowing statutory waiver of local government sovereign immunity when dealing with builders.
  • Marriott International Inc. – Crafted and advocated legislation enabling Bexar County to create a taxing district to fund a proposed PGA Tour resort development.
  • Health Care – Defeat of legislation that would have restricted or prohibited physicians from making referrals to facilities in which they had an ownership interest.
  • Land Development – Creation of new procedures for decertifying land from the requirements of an existing certificate of convenience and necessity, so the developer can switch to an alternative utility provider.
  • Sports Venues – Experience includes representation of a major sports venue in Texas before the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in obtaining a reconsideration of its audit. Also we advocated for the interests of a national sports team during stadium construction improvements project involving federal government resources.
  • Toll Roads and Highway Infrastructure – Firm founder Pete Winstead was the first chair of the Capital Area Transportation Coalition (CATC). While there, he engaged the private sector in effective advocacy for toll roads and other highway infrastructure. He also served as first chair of Texas Turnpike Authority (TTA), leading efforts in an $800 million TIFIA loan and negotiated over $600 million in local contributions for the right-of-way and utility relocations to construct 120 miles and $3.2 billion in new toll roads in Central Texas.

Local

  • Special Purpose Authority – Help to establish, and currently represent, Houston’s Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority (LARA), an urban land bank purposed with creating affordable housing, in their real estate and finance projects.
  • Government Contracts – Represent a global integrated technology solutions company in its bid to provide electronic voting equipment to one of the fastest growing counties in Texas. Matter was heard before the Commissioners' Court.
  • Housing Authorities – Serve as general counsel to several local housing authorities throughout Southeast Texas.
  • Harris County Health Facilities Development Corporation – Act as general counsel to this group. We also serve on the Board of Managers of the Harris County Hospital District, Community Health Choice, a Medicaid HMO, and the Harris County Public Healthcare Council, a 21-member board that includes the CEOs of every major provider of health care services in Houston.
  • Aviation – Represent international manufacturer of transportation systems in its successful bid for the provision of services before the staff and board of directors of a major international airport.
  • Hospitality – Represent global hospitality and food service provider in numerous successful RFP processes. Among the groups we appeared before are the city councils of Austin and Houston, their departments of aviation, and a major international airport’s staff and board of directors.
  • Advertising – Represent leading international out-of-home advertising company before the staff and city council of a major Texas city in its effort to be awarded the static advertising concession for a local airport.