Government Relations

Effective government relations for companies and organizations demand an aggressive, focused approach.  Success involves forceful advocacy that shapes public policy, rather than merely reacts to it.  Lobbying based on “contacts” at the administrative or legislative level is just a start. The sophistication of public policy makers—and their receptiveness to developing practical, cost-effective policy alternatives—has never been greater, heightening the need for carefully planned lobbying strategies to achieve desired results.

Manning Fulton's government relations practice is led by John B. McMillan, an attorney with more than 35 years experience who has been ranked as one of the most influential lobbyists in North Carolina by the NC Center for Public Policy Research for the past 20 years.  Our team has the inside knowledge and public policy experience to help our clients promote and defend their interests by successfully working with every level of local, state and federal government. We work with our clients to define their objectives, conduct research and develop strategies to work with administrators, legislators and their staffs to achieve those objectives. 

We draft regulations and legislation and pursue their implementation.  In addition, we craft clear messages and communicate with targeted audiences about the effects of proposed policies. 

Manning Fulton's team is experienced in the full range of traditional government relations strategies.  We work with clients to:

  • Prepare administrative or legislative testimony;
  • Form coalitions that can achieve public policy goals; and
  • Monitor proposed rules and regulations. 

Thanks to our practical experience in government (for example, serving as counsel to a former Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, who now is a client of the firm as a private businessman), we understand how the process works—and how to make it work best for our clients.

Broad Industry Experience

Much of our government relations work is focused on representing the needs of specific industries before the North Carolina General Assembly and various North Carolina administrative bodies and governing boards.  Among the most significant are:

Health Care

  • The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (an association of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies)
  • Grifols, Inc. 
  • Delta Dental 
  • Bayer Corporation

For pharmaceutical clients, we provide assistance in their relations with the Department of Health and Human Services, where the state of North Carolina Medicaid office runs a $1.1 billion pharmaceutical program.


  • Allstate Insurance
  • American Insurance Association
  • MAG Mutual
  • Insurance Federation of North Carolina


Manning Fulton has represented SAS Institute on issues involving improvements to and assessments of the state’s public schools. The firm also has represented Citizens for Higher Education in efforts to improve the University of North Carolina system.

Local Government

Manning Fulton lawyers represent real estate developers and property owners before boards of county commissioners and city councils in zoning matters, site plan approvals and other development issues. We have also represented cities and counties across North Carolina on various legislative issues.

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