Steptoe Forms Strategic Alliance with Former Senator J. Bennett Johnston

Firm Adds Three Johnston & Associates Principals
January 23, 2008

(Washington, DC) - Steptoe & Johnson LLP, a leading international law firm, today announced the formation of a strategic alliance with former US Senator  J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA) and the addition of three key members of Johnston & Associates, a legislative affairs group the Senator formed a decade ago, who will join Steptoe’s Government Affairs & Public Policy practice in Washington, DC.

Senator Johnston will remain a principal of Johnston & Associates, LLC, which will relocate to Steptoe’s Connecticut Avenue office building. The remaining members of the Senator’s firm will join Steptoe, including his son N. Hunter Johnston, as a partner, and Proctor Jones, as the senior legislative affairs professional.

“Our firm’s alliance with Senator Johnston and the addition of Hunter and Proctor are an excellent match between one of the nation’s preeminent governmental affairs groups and a law firm with a rapidly expanding footprint in the federal legislative arena. The combination of Steptoe’s substantive legal and government affairs capabilities added to the breadth and scope of Johnston & Associates’ legislative platform creates an incredibly powerful group,” said Roger Warin, Steptoe’s Chairman. “We are delighted that such experienced legislative affairs professionals have committed to align themselves with our highly respected legislative practice.”

Senator Johnston was first elected to the US Senate by Louisiana voters in 1972, and held numerous leadership positions - including Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Chair of the Senate Energy and Water Subcommittee on Appropriations, and Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee  - during his quarter of a century in office.  He was re-elected three times serving a total of four terms in the Senate.

“My alliance with Steptoe is an ideal long-term arrangement that will afford me a great deal of independence to pursue non-lobbying projects while maintaining regular involvement in legislative consulting consistent with my public policy experience and expertise,” said Senator Johnston.  “I am gratified that Steptoe was open to establishing a relationship in which I can continue to pursue new opportunities while using my knowledge to benefit Steptoe’s clients.”

The Senator’s relationship with Steptoe reconnects him with his former Congressional colleague, US Representative Tom Bliley of Virginia, former Chair of the House Commerce Committee.  The two high-level elected officials worked closely together on energy, transportation, telecommunications and related issues during their overlapping tenures in Congress.  Chairman Bliley joined Steptoe as a senior government affairs advisor in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office a year ago, in connection with the merger of Steptoe and the Scott Group.  The Johnston & Associates relationship enhances Steptoe’s ability to provide its clients with strategic advice and help solve the most complex public policy challenges facing businesses and trade associations today.

“Senator Johnston and I worked closely on a number of issues during our time in the Congress,” said Chairman Bliley.  “He has good strategic insight into how policy is made. Adding him and the legislative professionals in his group to our capabilities at Steptoe will not only be a pleasure - it will benefit all of our clients.”

Between 1973 and 1996, Senator Johnston was actively involved in all major energy legislation before the Senate, including the first electricity restructuring legislation within the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and the Royalty Relief Act.  He floor managed hundreds of bills, including California Central Valley water reform and Tongass timber reform.  His position on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee also gave him an oversight role on the operation of federal lands and territories.  On the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he was involved in oversight of the Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers, while simultaneously serving as a senior member of the Subcommittees on Defense, Foreign Operations and Interior.

Since his departure from the Senate, the Senator has remained actively involved in energy and other matters on behalf of numerous multi-national corporations and other interests.  He formed Johnston & Associates in 1997 with his son Hunter, to provide strategic public and legislative services to a wide range of private and public entities.  Its current clients include the AICPA, the American Petroleum Institute, Battelle, Constellation Energy, Intergen, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Leucadia National Corporation, MTS, Southern California Edison, University of Chicago and the University of Rochester.
 

New Members of Steptoe
A 1985 graduate of Georgetown University Law School, N. Hunter Johnston has specialized in legislative and governmental affairs representation of businesses and governments in Washington, D.C. for over two decades.  His experience includes employment with law firms and consulting groups, including Williams and Jensen; Griffin, Johnson and Associates; and the Louisiana law firm of Jones Walker. 

Mr. Johnston has extensive experience in developing and financing independent power projects and telecommunications systems.  More recently Mr. Johnston has focused on the development of gasification facilities in the United States and the use of substitute natural gas as a fuel for electric power.  He has actively lobbied the Congress and various Administrations since 1986 in issue areas including energy, tax, telecommunications, appropriations, defense, transportation and infrastructure.  He was extensively involved in the Congressional response to Hurricane Katrina, representing the City of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish during this critical time and he is closely identified with the flood control programs that have been implemented to protect this key area of the country.

“At Johnston & Associates, we specialize in governmental affairs in the U.S Senate and to a lesser degree in the House, with significant experience in appropriations and on energy matters,” said Hunter Johnston.  “With the recent addition of Richard Verma from Majority Leader Reid’s office, Steptoe will have a formidable team from the Senate side of the aisle to advise and counsel its clients.  Combined with the House expertise of Chairman Bliley, that makes us a great team.”
 

Proctor Jones attended the University of Georgia and George Washington University, where he received his B.A. degree in 1966.  He served as a Congressional staffer, including as Staff Director of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, as well as Staff Director of the full Committee on Appropriations.  Mr. Jones was the principal Senate staff member handling appropriations for the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Energy, the water resource functions of the Department of Interior and other federal agencies.
 

About Steptoe & Johnson LLP
With more than 450 attorneys, Steptoe & Johnson LLP provides counsel and representation in a wide range of legal fields.  In more than 60 years of practice, the firm has gained a national and international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions.  The firm has offices in Washington, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Century City, London and Brussels.

Steptoe’s Washington Government Affairs and Public Policy Group provides counsel and representation to businesses and their trade associations that need to navigate the challenges related to the interplay of law, public policy, regulation, competition and economic trends across the fields regulated by the Federal government and state and local jurisdictions. Steptoe has a balanced, bipartisan and broadly based government affairs practice with more than a dozen professionals in Washington who have decades of experience working in and with the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.