Melissa Laurenza

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

$ $$$

New Hampshire Avenue Northwest 1333
Washington 20036 DC US

Melissa L. Laurenza advises clients on interaction with federal and state officials including lobbying rules, campaign finance regulations, pay-to-play restrictions and other gift and ethics rules including the Federal Election Campaign Act, Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), STOCK Act, Rule 206(4)-5 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-37. Melissa’s clients come from a wide range of different industries including financial services, hedge funds and private equity, corporations, trade associations and high net worth individuals.

Melissa advises clients on establishing and maintaining comprehensive systems to ensure compliance with laws governing political activities. She has extensive experience advising clients on the Foreign Agent Registration Act, pay to play laws including Rule 206(4)-5 for investment advisors, government contractor provisions, lobbying registration requirements for clients seeking to manage investments for state or local pension systems, and rules governing regulated industries such as public utilities, insurance, and gaming.

Melissa has prepared testimony given before the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and other executive branch agencies and has written op-ed pieces.

She also has extensive experience representing clients in investigations conducted by various federal executive branch departments, commissions and agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), FEC and the Government Accounting Office (GAO) as well as the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Office of Government Ethics. She also represents clients before various state and local commissions and agencies.

Melissa’s practice focuses exclusively on assisting companies, organizations and individuals who wish to be politically active, whether through campaign contributions, lobbying or other educational efforts. She helps ensure their activities comply with all applicable rules and regulations. Melissa has worked extensively with federal and state lobby registration laws.

Melissa’s recent representations include those for commercial and investment banks, trade associations, corporations, energy companies, insurance companies, hedge funds and private equity firms. She also represents individuals transitioning from the government to the private sector and high net worth individuals who are active in the political process.

Before serving at the FEC as counsel and policy advisor to Chairman Toner where she developed implementing regulations under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Melissa worked for several years for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), first in his office on Capitol Hill and later under his chairmanship at the National Republican Senatorial Committee.


  • Prior to joining Akin Gump, served as counsel and policy advisor to Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chairman Michael Toner.
  • Practice concentrates on federal and state campaign law, lobbyist registration provisions, gift laws, pay-to-play restrictions and securities laws regulating political activity.


  • J.D., George Mason University School of Law
  • B.A., Vanderbilt University

Bar Admissions:

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia


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New Hampshire Avenue Northwest 1333
Washington 20036 DC US
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