Government Affairs

Bell & Washington LLP’s government affairs practice, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta right next to the capitol, has established solid relations with politicians, legislators, and government agencies. We have years of experience in assisting and advising political entities and individuals in their legal matters. Managing partner, Ashley D. Bell, has first hand knowledge of these issues based on his public service as the youngest city commissioner in Hall County history. While practicing law, many of the attorneys at Bell & Washington LLP are involved in politics at the state, local, and even national level. In short, Bell & Washington has the experience, relationships, and political access to serve all your legal needs.

Public Finance

Bell & Washington, LLP attorneys are listed in the Red Book as qualified and experienced public finance counsel. With offices in Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama we serve state and local governments throughout the Southeastern United States. As general counsel for the Georgia Association of Black County Officials and executive board members of the Business Roundtable for the Alabama Association of Black County Commissioners, we are one of the few minority firms with such recognition. Our firm has deep roots in the communities of the elected officials we serve and we support their service.

In addition, managing partner Quinton G. Washington began his legal career as an associate at one of the nation’s largest public finance firms. Whether it is bond deals or development for cities or private developments, Bell & Washington LLP is experienced in both private and public finance work. Feel free to call us today for a free consultation.

Clear and Convincing Project Development and Advocacy

In many instances corporations small and large need assistance in explaining and conveying their ideas and concepts to local governments. Whether it’s a new service that saves taxpayers money or a public project that your business needs assistance working with local officials to move along; Bell & Washington LLP. has a track record of making our clients products and services clear and convincing to the communities that need your services.

Resource Recovery / Debt Collections

In these trying times, we know better than anyone that local governments do not have spending problems but revenue problems in managing our resources in a down economy. We can assist in revenue recovery by using all legal means to collect debt sitting on your books from fees, and fines to property taxes. Working with our debt collections partners, American Recovery Solutions Services, we have collected millions of dollars in debt to put in local government coffers. ARSS is one of the oldest and largest minority collections in the state of Georgia with a longstanding reputation of success. Our partnership will ensure that your debts are collected on in a timely fashion.

Legal Compliance and Crisis Management

Bell & Washington LLP, has represented numerous elected officials during personal and political crises. With great care and discretion, we work closely with our clients proactively to stay ahead and on top of the common and uncommon challenges that public officials face in the course of serving the public. We can help advise you on how to convey the tough messages to your citizens.

Our firm has experience defending elected officials against impeachment, reprimands, referendums, censure, and challenges to their lawful ability to further their oath of office. Whether you are facing a referendum that is attempting to vote you out or a situation where your political power is being challenged, Bell & Washington LLP is a law firm experienced in handling such issues. Feel free to call us today for a free consultation.

Legal Second Opinion

We also specialize in providing outside legal second opinions for county officials as well as a variety of services to protect and promote the interest of you as an elected official. Bell & Washington LLP has a rare and extraordinary combination of legal, public policy, and governmental expertise that will ensure you get the counsel you need to address the challenges we all face. No law firm can understand your needs better than one with a partner who sits in your seat and deals with the critical issues and challenges of ensuring good government.

Every county has a county attorney, but as commissioners we all have instances where we need someone from the outside to take a look inside and give us an unbiased opinion before we make a decision or interpret the legality of an action or course or direction. And often your county attorney has to be weary of the politics of the commission which encourages neutrality on many contentious issues and thus creates the need to bring in outside counsel.

The Gainesville Times newspaper reported, “Lawyers unveil misuse of County Funds.” Bell & Washington was asked to investigate misuse of per diem accounts by government officials that led to a coordinated effort with the GBI and the subsequent resignation of top tax officials. This could not have happened using the county attorney alone.

Ethics Representation and Investigation

At Bell & Washington we represent elected officials who come before ethics commissions at local or state levels, and we counsel members on how to avoid ethics matters. Having an attorney who is also a county commissioner represent you in these matters will go far in understanding your problems and aggressively representing you in these matters.

We also do investigations for legislative bodies and ethics investigations for legislative, executive, or judicial bodies. Bell & Washington LLP is a premier law firm for handling issues of ethics representation and investigations.

Campaign Finance Compliance

Bell & Washington LLP can help elected officials with disclosure and compliance matters. We also help clients with their financial reports in relation to these matters. Call us today for a free consultation.

Open Records Requests

Bell & Washington LLP handles open records requests on a nearly daily basis. If you or your office needs assistance sending or managing these requests, our office would gladly assist you with these matters.