Steptoe Adds Legal and Government Relations Talent

December 13, 2006

For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, 201-493-1027

(December 13, 2006, Washington, DC)—Steptoe & Johnson LLP, a top-tier international law firm, announces the addition of The Scott Group to its Washington, DC, office.  The entire group, including eight accomplished attorneys and professionals with extensive experience working with clients on legislative and regulatory matters, will be joining Steptoe on January 1, 2007. Prior to joining Steptoe, the group was associated with Collier Shannon Scott PLLC, before that firm’s merger with Kelley Drye last year.

Many members of the Scott Group have extensive Congressional experience as either elected representatives or committee staff members. 

Scott Group members joining Steptoe as partners are Scott A. Sinder, R. Timothy Columbus, and Douglas S. Kantor. John P. Fielding joins as counsel. Former Congressman Thomas J. Bliley (R-VA), Suzie Brewster, and Leslie Belcher join as Senior Advisors for government relations.

“The addition of the Scott Group will enhance the public policy representations that we can offer our clients and put us in the elite group of top government relations practitioners in Washington,” said Roger Warin, Chair of the Executive Committee of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

The Scott Group has a balanced, bipartisan, and broadly based government affairs practice.  Key Congressional committees with which Group members regularly work include the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Banking Committee, and Finance Committee of the Senate and the Financial Services Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives, as well as the Appropriations, Armed Services, and Government Reform Committees of both.

Members of the Group also provide legal services, including litigation, antitrust, regulatory compliance, government contracts, and corporate representation for clients including trade associations and private companies.  They have extensive experience working with clients in a variety of industries including financial services, telecommunications, basic manufacturing, energy, and healthcare.

“We’re delighted to have an opportunity to combine our skills with a firm of the caliber of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, which offers us a substantial national and international platform to provide services in the domestic and international trade policy areas. Our merger will benefit clients of both the Scott Group and Steptoe,” said R. Timothy Columbus. “Our diverse backgrounds allow us to successfully handle a variety of needs for clients located in the United States or abroad. We have the ability to assist clients with every aspect of a Washington problem, from strategic planning to legal and public policy representation, in the Congress and within the Administration.”

The Scott Group has extensive experience working with clients in a variety of industries including financial services, telecommunications, energy, and healthcare. Members of the Scott Group are expected to work on an array of legal and public policy issues for Steptoe’s clients, and Steptoe’s professionals will provide the Scott Group’s clients with a broad range of legal services.

About the Members of the Scott Group

Mr. Bliley advocates before the US Congress for a range of private clients.  Prior to entering the private sector, Mr. Bliley was a member of Congress, representing Virginia's Seventh District in the US House of Representatives from 1981 to 2001, including service as Chair of the House Committee on Commerce, the oldest committee in the House and the one with the broadest jurisdiction.  His extensive legislative accomplishments include passage of the Telecommunications Act of l996—opening the market to a trillion dollar industry—leading the successful efforts to enact the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Prior to his tenure in Congress, Mr. Bliley served as Mayor and City Councilman in Richmond, Virginia.  He received his B.A. from Georgetown University.

Mr. Sinder was a member of the Executive Committee of Collier Shannon Scott.  He has particular experience in legal and public policy issues affecting the insurance and broader financial services industries.  Mr. Sinder’s practice also concentrates on campaign finance and political law, privacy law, and constitutional/appellate litigation.  He received a Master’s in Public Policy and his J.D. from the University of Michigan.

Ms. Belcher concentrates on legislative advocacy in the areas of appropriations, tax, trade, energy and healthcare.  She has more than 15 years of experience advising members of Congress and directing government relations campaigns.  Most recently, she has increased direct federal appropriations by 65% to a large public university; obtained earmarks for economic development projects, research projects, homeland security and defense applications, and highway projects.  Ms. Belcher served as the first Chief of Staff to Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), the newly elected Chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee.  She also served as Chief of Staff to Representative Wes Watkins (D-OK) and as Legislative Director to Representative Bill Brewster (D-OK).  Ms. Belcher received her B.A. from Oklahoma State University.

Ms. Brewster has been a public policy advocate for more than two decades and has worked with a broad group of Members of Congress from both political parties.  Ms. Brewster has particularly strong working relationships with the Blue Dog Coalition, which her husband, former Representative Bill Brewster (D-OK), co-founded.  Ms. Brewster received her bachelor’s degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and her master’s degree from East Central Oklahoma State University.

Mr. Columbus was chair of the Government Relations and Public Policy Practice Group at Collier Shannon Scott.  Mr. Columbus provides counsel and advice on legislative and administrative matters before the federal government, with a particular emphasis on matters before the energy, commerce, environment, and revenue committees of the US Congress.  He has a substantial practice representing participants in the petroleum retailing and convenience store industries. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Mr. Fielding focuses on representing financial services and insurance companies and industry trade associations on matters before Congress and industry regulators at both the state and federal levels.  He served as Senior Counsel, Financial Services for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) from 1997 to 2003.  Mr. Fielding received his J.D. from the University of Virginia.

Mr. Kantor has advocated for his clients on issues within the jurisdictions of the Financial Services/Banking, Judiciary, Commerce, Appropriations, and Ways and Means/Finance committees of the House and Senate. He combines his extensive experience as a litigator and as a political appointee to develop legal and policy-based solutions for his clients.  His legal experience includes government contracts counseling, establishing corporate compliance programs, managing internal investigations, litigating securities enforcement actions, and defending against class action suits.  Mr. Kantor served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Counsel at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1999-2000.  Mr. Kantor received his J.D. from Yale Law School.