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Smith Anderson's Government Relations Team Receives High Marks in Two New Rankings

October 13, 2010

RALEIGH, NC (October 13, 2010) – Smith Anderson’s Public and Government Affairs team has earned high marks in two new, independent rankings of lobbying effectiveness.

Smith Anderson law partners Dave Horne and Dana Simpson both ranked among the top 15 most effective lobbyists out of 871 in North Carolina, according to the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research. The center’s rankings are based on anonymous surveys of the state’s legislators, Capitol Press Corps reporters, and lobbyists.

Dave Horne ranked 7th in the center’s influential biannual survey. The veteran lawyer-lobbyist has ranked in the top 10 since 2001, and in the top 25 since 1995.

“It is a great honor to be well-regarded by lawmakers and by our peers,” Horne said. “I certainly hope it reflects the effectiveness with which we advocate for our clients.”

Dana Simpson ranked 14th in the center’s new report. Simpson, a health care attorney, former N.C. legislative aide, and former member of the N.C. Rules Review Commission, is the youngest lobbyist among the 55 ranked in the center’s 2010 survey.

“We combine a deep understanding of the legislative process with policy and communications expertise,” Simpson said. “That provides well-rounded, full-service advocacy solutions for our clients.”

Also recently, Smith Anderson’s government relations practice received a coveted first-tier designation in the inaugural nationwide “Best Law Firm Ranking,” produced jointly in September by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.

The rankings resulted from the evaluation of more than 3,000 law firms across the United States, using a wide range of objective data and individual assessments from more than 40,000 lawyers, 20,000 clients, and thousands of law-firm employees.

“These rankings are a tribute to the skill, experience, and hard work of our attorneys, who advocate for our clients at all levels of government,” said Carl N. Patterson Jr., the managing partner at Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP. “We are proud of their achievement, which recognizes their outstanding service to our clients.”

Smith Anderson has grown to become the largest law firm headquartered in the Research Triangle, and one of the biggest in North Carolina. Smith Anderson received first-tier rankings in 15 categories in the new nationwide “Best Law Firm Ranking,” the greatest number of any law firm in the Triangle.

The downtown Raleigh firm, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2012, provides a full range of legal services. It is dedicated to the principles of professionalism, excellence, and service to its clients and the community.

About Smith Anderson’s Public and Government Affairs Team

Smith Anderson’s Public and Government Affairs team understands its clients’ business and legal concerns and transforms them into messages that capture the attention of state and local policymakers. In developing unique communication strategies for the firm’s clients, the team combines an understanding of the political, regulatory, legal, and news media environments with an insider’s perspective on how decisions are made.

Team members have long served as top advisors in statewide political campaigns for both Democrats and Republicans, including candidates for executive, legislative, and judicial branch offices. The firm is well-positioned to advocate effectively for its clients regardless of which political party is dominant or which leaders are in power.

Smith Anderson’s experience includes many years of representing clients successfully before state and federal agencies regarding regulatory, contracting, and economic development issues, including state and local tax incentives. The depth and breadth of the firm’s experience enables it quickly to develop innovative legislative, regulatory, and public and private communication solutions that meet its clients’ needs.

Smith Anderson has extensive experience working with the news outlets and individual journalists who cover North Carolina law and politics. The newest member of its Public and Government Affairs team, nonlawyer Matthew Eisley, joined Smith Anderson in 2010 after an award-winning journalism career that spanned two decades, mostly at The News & Observer of Raleigh, where he was an editor and columnist. Eisley also covered state and local government, statewide legal affairs, and sunshine issues.

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