Sonnenschein opens public relations arm

Continuing a one-stop shopping trend on K Street, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal announced yesterday that it was adding a “strategic communications” arm to its public affairs practice.

Mike McNamara, national chairman of Sonnenschein’s Public Law & Policy Strategies Group, said the communications shop would be of particular use to its clients involved in heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare and energy.

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“Public affairs is in greater demand than ever before,” McNamara said in a statement.

Healthcare attorney Mark Weller and public affairs strategist Audrey Young will lead the new communications shop as partner and senior managing director, Sonnenschein announced. Mark Meissner, Peggie Rice, Stewart Gordon and Robin Adams also have joined the firm.

Since opening its lobbying shop five years ago, the large Chicago-based law firm has already expanded its public affairs practice into areas beyond traditional lobbying. That includes a “political intelligence” practice, in which its lobbying team advises Wall Street clients on market-moving legislation, and a political compliance shop that advises clients on matters relating to political giving.

Sonnenschein also helps clients with political or regulatory issues that may arise during mergers or other corporate acquisitions.