Manatt Continues Growth of Washington Lobbying Practice with ‘Rising Star’ Julie Minerva
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Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP announced in recent days the addition of recognized ‘rising star’ Julie Minerva to the firm’s fast growing Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy Group as a managing director in the Washington, D.C. office. 

Minerva joins from Holland & Knight. There, was a senior policy advisor, the non-attorney professional equivalent of non-equity partner. She was the first person to go from an entry-level position at Holland & Knight to the partner ranks. Washingtonian Magazine recently named her as one of “40 under 40” lobbyists leading the profession.


Minerva has significant experience with assisting local governments, transit agencies and joint powers authorities in navigating federal policy, authorization, and funding challenges with a focus on large water and transportation infrastructure investments. Formerly a legislative assistant to the late Rep. Robert Matsui, Minerva’s knowledge of Capitol Hill enables her to better advise clients on water infrastructure needs, including counseling on flood damage risk reduction, navigation, environmental restoration, shoreline protection and the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. She is also an expert in the Federal Emergency Management Agency mapping process and the National Flood Insurance Program, and is a frequent speaker and author on water- and transportation-related subjects. She coauthored the New Starts Handbook, a guide for congressional staff navigating the Federal Transit Authority’s New Starts process. 

Even under a tight budget, last year Minerva successfully secured $400 million to break ground on San Francisco, California’s Transbay Transit Center, a landmark intermodal and future high-speed rail station. She helped win substantial funding for the Port of West Sacramento, and also helped secure the largest COPS grant in the nation, which allowed the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to hire 50 new officers.

James Bonham, Chair of Manatt’s Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy Group was quoted as saying in a press release at the firm’s website: “Julie is a tremendous talent and we are lucky to have her join the Manatt family. Julie’s work on behalf of her California and Midwestern clients made Manatt a comfortable fit because we have a vertically integrated government affairs practice that allows our clients to enjoy support from the local to the state to the federal level. While many firms are shrinking, we are in a very strong position and have enjoyed rapid growth this year. We view Julie as a key addition to a vigorous team.”

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The addition of both clients and professionals has contributed to the fast growth of the firm’s federal government affairs practice. In addition to Minerva, the group successfully recruited several other high-profile professionals and clients in the last six months. 

These include strategist and advocate James Bonham, who joined the firm in June and was named Chair of the Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy Group. Based in the Washington, D.C. office, Bonham is the former Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and worked with Minerva when he served as Chief of Staff to Rep. Matsui, a 26-year member of the House Ways and Means Committee and member of the House Democratic Leadership. Also joining Manatt’s growing capitol presence this year were former U.S. Congressman Dan Maffei and Shawn Hodjati, former floor assistant to current New Democrat Coalition Chairman and Ways and Means Committee Member Rep. Joe Crowley.

New lobbying clients Manatt has added include Del Monte Foods, Baxter Healthcare, the American Land Title Association, the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), Starkist, and World Kitchen (Pyrex) among others.

George David Kieffer, chair of Manatt’s Government and Regulatory Policy Division was quoted as saying: “Unlike some other firms, we have seen an opportunity for growth and have been successful in attracting rich new talent to our firm.  Julie is known as someone who can turn the seemingly impossible into reality. She has built an impressive track record of accomplishments and understands what it takes to bring an infrastructure project to fruition.  Julie is a zealous advocate for her clients and complements Manatt’s considerable federal government team on both coasts.”

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, is one of the nation’s leading law firms, representing a broad client base, including Fortune 500, middle-market, and emerging companies.



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