SOURCE: Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

February 23, 2015 14:26 ET

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney More Than Doubles Its Government Relations Strength in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE, FL--(Marketwired - February 23, 2015) - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is pleased to announce the addition of seven government relations professionals to its Tallahassee, Fla. office. Capital veterans Mike Harrell, Mallory Harrell, Doug Bell, Sam Bell, Jim DeBeaugrine, Marnie George and Tim Stanfield will join Buchanan on March 2, in advance of the 2015 Florida legislative session. Combined with Buchanan's existing government relations professionals, the firm will have one of the most experienced "go-to" teams in Tallahassee to deal with legal, regulatory and governmental issues.

The announcement is part of an aggressive strategic growth plan for the firm, which became a dominant player in Florida last year with its merger with Fowler White Boggs. That deal ranked as the largest law firm merger in the state and third largest in the country in 2014.

"The Tallahassee connection was one of the most attractive synergies about our merger," said Jack Barbour, CEO and Managing Director of Buchanan. "With our expanding Tallahassee presence, and significant practices in Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., we are a law firm that really 'gets' government relations. The ability to leverage issues like health care and transportation, among others, across multiple fronts sets us apart from firms that have a single-state capital focus." Buchanan now has nearly 40 government relations professionals nationwide.

"The opportunity to work with savvy government relations pros like Mac Stipanovich, who I've known and respected for decades, combined with Buchanan's national reach made this an obvious choice," said Mike Harrell, one of the group's leaders. "We have the highest regard for our Pennington colleagues, and we will continue to work together whenever we can."

"This move is a testament to our upward momentum to grow throughout Florida by hiring winners who can either bring a unique skill set to our clients or, as in this case, will enhance an already thriving practice," added Rhea Law, Chair of Buchanan's Florida Offices, and long-time leader in Florida's economic growth and development.

Mr. Harrell began his career in Washington, D.C., where he worked in the George H.W. Bush Administration, Office of Vice President Dan Quayle, Executive Office of Secretary of HUD Jack Kemp and Office of Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole. After moving to Florida, Harrell oversaw all political activities of the Florida Medical Association at both the state and federal levels and then began his career as a contract lobbyist, heralding in the then newly elected Governor Jeb Bush Administration.

Mallory Harrell brings a procurement consulting practice that Buchanan sought to build in Florida, similar to what the firm has done in Pennsylvania. Ms. Harrell, who is an attorney licensed in Florida and D.C., was previously the Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Management Services, overseeing administrative defense of final agency actions, procurement, public records, retirement, construction, technology and insurance.

The father-son team of Doug and Sam Bell add substantial capabilities and connections. Doug Bell, also an attorney, is a second generation A-list lobbyist. He already had relationships with Buchanan in Tallahassee and Pennsylvania as a member of the board of directors of State Law Resources, a state-by-state lobbying referral organization. Sam Bell, a prominent Florida legislator for many years, and his wife, Betty Castor, former Florida Senator and Education Commissioner, are both well-known in Florida's political landscape.

Marnie George and Jim DeBeaugrine are both experienced government affairs consultants, focusing on appropriations, disability and aging issues, health and long-term care, Medicaid, and criminal and civil justice. Tim Stanfield, a former legislative advocate and Assistant General Counsel for the Florida League of Cities, has significant experience representing clients before Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation.

The seven new hires along with Buchanan's existing Tallahassee professionals -- Keith Arnold, Brett Bacot, Jim Magill, Kim McGlynn, Linda Shelley, Mac Stipanovich, Jake Varn and Rex Ware -- make Buchanan one of the largest lobbying and legal firms in the state.

Stipanovich, who heads Buchanan's Florida government relations team, added, "Our new colleagues are old friends and first-rate professionals. It's a combination that is hard to beat."

About the Firm

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (www.bipc.com) brings true partnership to our clients. We understand the service and partnership attributes our clients most value and have formalized a model for consistently achieving them. The firm has more than 530 attorneys and government relations professionals practicing throughout the United States, with offices in 19 cities in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

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