DLA Piper announces new Regulatory and Government Affairs leadership

DC Managing Partner Edward "Smitty" Smith named chair

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that Washington, DC Managing Partner Edward “Smitty” Smith has been named chair of the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs practice.

DLA Piper regulatory and government affairs lawyers and advisors have long served as trusted counsel to business leaders throughout America and across the globe. To meet the needs of clients operating in a highly regulated business environment, DLA Piper has assembled leading, globally recognized regulatory lawyers and government affairs advisors across a wide range of fields, including: legislative and congressional affairs; life sciences; health; government contracts; international trade; transportation; environmental; data protection, privacy and cybersecurity; telecommunications; and financial services. Smith brings to this role a depth of legal and policy experience in Washington, DC, as well as a commitment to intensify the firm’s efforts in the regulatory and government affairs space.

“As our clients grow and expand into new markets, they also face new risks and challenges – not to mention a constantly, and often rapidly, changing regulatory environment, both here in the US and abroad. Every day, DLA Piper teams help clients navigate the most complex issues they face at the confluence of business, law and government. We understand just how important a role government often plays in our clients’ businesses – from day-to-day operations to high-stakes litigations and transactions – and we are committed to achieving the best outcomes for our clients any time government is involved,” said Smith.

“We also understand our approach must change to address the new regulatory landscape,” Smith continued. “That’s why we are creating a modern and dynamic regulatory and government affairs practice that embraces a forward-thinking outlook, takes full advantage of our international footprint and ability to serve the needs of multinational companies, and provides seamless global solutions. Regulatory strategy is at the heart of those efforts, and the launch of our new practice demonstrates our intent to prioritize our clients’ regulatory and policy needs across a broad range of sectors.”

Smith leads DLA Piper’s Washington, DC office, where he is a partner in the Telecommunications practice. He is a leading telecommunications lawyer and has been recognized by publications including Law360, Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US. Smith advises clients on the full range of issues in the wireless and satellite sectors before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US Department of Justice, Congress, state regulators and state attorneys general. He also served as a member of President Joe Biden’s FCC transition team earlier this year.

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Smith advised the Chairman of the FCC on wireless telecommunications, engineering and technology, and consumer affairs and led legal and policy teams on major issues involving the cutting edge of technological development. He oversaw FCC policymaking on issues such as 5G technology, satellites, spectrum sharing, autonomous vehicle communications, small-cell deployment and unmanned aviation systems. At the FCC, he also served as chief of staff and senior counsel of the Incentive Auction Task Force, a multibillion-dollar radio spectrum reallocation project. In addition, he was a special advisor at the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“While DLA Piper has long offered trusted regulatory and government affairs counsel to clients across our platform, Smitty brings a global vision and renewed focus at the right time in the evolution of our firm,” said Loren Brown, the firm’s US vice chair and chair of the Disputes practice. “He is the leader we need to usher our regulatory and government affairs practice into this next phase, and he and the team will ensure that our clients continue to receive the counsel they need to navigate today’s complex regulatory and enforcement environment.”