Login | November 17, 2017

Roetzel & Andress expands its consulting group

SHERRY KARABIN
Legal News Reporter

Published: August 14, 2017

It’s been less than 18 months since Roetzel & Andress first launched its wholly owned subsidiary, Roetzel Consulting Services (RCS), to expand its ability to assist its Public Law Group clients.

While attorneys at the full service law firm have provided lobbying, strategic advice and general counsel to clients for decades, RCS is designed to fulfill any non-legal needs.

“RCS makes it possible for our firm to provide one-stop fully integrated services to our clients in the governmental relations sphere, where they often have both traditional and non-traditional legal needs,” said Roetzel & Andress Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Blackham, a member of RCS. “Some clients primarily engage our team to assist them in the development and implementation of a strategic approach to problem solving, which does not fall within the traditional attorney-client relationship, while others are current firm clients who need advice and guidance in the non-legal sphere.

 

“We assist all types of private and publicly held companies as well as nonprofits in navigating the regulatory maze in matters such as financing, zoning or obtaining the approval for virtually any project or cause that is of importance to our clients,” Blackham said.

“While I realize a number of firms have started consulting groups, what sets us apart is our innovative approach to problem solving coupled with the collaborative relationships we have developed through years of working with state and local governmental entities, all of which enable us to achieve the desired result for our clients.”

RCS got up and running in April 2016 when attorney and political consultant Galen Schuerlein joined the firm to take on the role of director of the newly formed entity after leaving Melamed Communications in Beachwood, where she served as an executive vice president.

At Melamed, Schuerlein consulted with public and private entities regarding government relations, procurement, school levies and ballot initiatives and other public matters.

“My background in both the law and political consulting led me to realize that there was a need for a firm like Roetzel Consulting Solutions,” said Schuerlein.

“The RCS Team, made up of both legal and non-legal professionals, has a full complement of experiences in the governmental sphere that allows us to create strategies through a legal, political and realistic lens,” she said.

In addition to Schuerlein and Blackham, other firm members were also enlisted to provide services to RCS clients, including Lewis Adkins, Jr., partner and Public Law, Regulatory and Finance Practice Group Manager and Diana Feitl, an associate in the Cleveland office who focuses on public law, federal lobbying, governmental relations, education law and litigation.

But Schuerlein said due to increasing demand, RCS was expanded in mid-July to include two others--Julius Ciaccia, Jr., former chief executive officer of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matthew Borges.

Borges, who has worked with Roetzel & Andress for several years as the director of government relations, is based in the Columbus office. He also served as the former executive director for the Kasich-Taylor New Day Inaugural Committee and managed Auditor Dave Yost’s successful campaign.

Ciaccia began his career in water/wastewater management in 1977, serving as commissioner of Cleveland’s water system for more than 15 years.

During his many years with the Division of Water, he oversaw the management of over $1 billion worth of capital improvement projects. He took on the role of chief executive officer of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in 2007, retiring in February 2017.

“I have a lot of experience with bringing large construction projects to fruition,” said Ciaccia. “I believe that my contacts and expertise at the local, state and national level are the right fit for Roetzel Consulting Solutions.”

Schuerlein previously served as chief counsel for the City of Cleveland, as executive assistant to the Cleveland Mayor’s office and as an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor, where she represented Cuyahoga County Children & Family Services.

“Ciaccia’s unique understanding of government, business and the political environment provides clients with strong strategic advice and outreach,” said Schuerlein. “His experience in infrastructure and utilities is second to none and we are fortunate to have him as part of our team.”

Currently the majority of the consulting group’s clients are located in Ohio. Schuerlein said the goal is for RCS to become known across the country.

“With each new addition to the staff, we extend our reach and the level of customer service to our clients,” said Schuerlein.


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