Farrell Fritz Launches Regulatory & Government Relations Practice Group; New Albany Office Highlights Firm’s Expansion to Capital District Market

March 19, 2018

Farrell Fritz is pleased to announce that it has launched a New York State Regulatory & Government Relations Practice Group, based out of a new office in Albany, to represent the firm’s clients before the Executive and Legislative branches of New York State government.

The new practice group, comprised of registered lobbyists and regulatory experts, will be led by partner Mark Ustin, a healthcare lawyer and lobbyist with over 25 years of experience in and around state government.

“The addition of our state Regulatory & Government Relations Practice Group is an exciting chapter for Farrell Fritz.  As our firm continues to grow throughout New York, this new practice group, and our Albany office, enable us to add vital areas of representation for our clients and to connect our clients directly with key decision makers in Albany,” said managing partner Bob Creighton. “And we are, of course, excited to welcome Mark, together with Vanessa Bongiorno and Daniel Rubin, to the Farrell Fritz team. Their reputations for exceptional client service and the highest standards of professional integrity are consistent with the vision that Farrell Fritz has for our new practice group.”

Formerly a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Ustin has extensive experience assisting healthcare providers, payers and related entities across the country in navigating the complicated statutory, regulatory and policy landscape surrounding healthcare delivery and payment.  Ustin previously served as Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Health, Mental Hygiene and Aging, as well as Deputy Director and General Counsel to the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century (the “Berger Commission”), which was charged with restructuring the hospital and nursing home industries statewide.  Earlier in his career, he served as Counsel to the Senate Health Committee and began his career in private practice as an associate at Farrell Fritz.

“I am thrilled to return to Farrell Fritz, where I first practiced law in the private sector,” added Ustin. “Farrell Fritz offers a perfect platform for the regulatory and lobbying services Vanessa, Dan and I offer, and we particularly look forward to helping grow the firm’s healthcare practice statewide.”

Mark is joined by Government Relations Director Vanessa Bongiorno and associate Daniel Rubin. Bongiorno, formerly of Ostroff Associates, Inc., is a non-attorney professional with 20 years of experience lobbying state policymakers in the areas of healthcare, mental health, insurance, human services, professional licensure, higher education and public safety.  Rubin, formerly of Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C., is an attorney focused on the healthcare regulatory environment with experience in lobbying and litigation.

The members of the Farrell Fritz Regulatory & Government Relations Practice Group have regularly represented clients before the Department of Health, Office of Mental Health, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, State Education Department, and a variety of other state agencies, as well as the New York State Legislature and the Governor’s Office.

Prior to Ustin rejoining Farrell Fritz, he and Creighton collaborated on the recent affiliation between Winthrop-University Hospital, based in Mineola, and NYU Langone Medical Center, based in New York City.  Creighton has represented Winthrop for many years on a variety of matters.

“When our client needed an excellent healthcare regulatory attorney, we immediately turned to Mark Ustin,” Creighton explained.  “Through our collaboration on the NYU-Winthrop affiliation, it became clear that the synergy of our existing healthcare practice with Mark’s regulatory and government relations work would bring tremendous value to our clients in the future.”

“It is only fitting that an affiliation of two of the most respected healthcare institutions in the state would lead me to rejoin Farrell Fritz,” Ustin said.  “The breadth and depth of Farrell Fritz’ work in healthcare and more than a dozen other practice areas is the perfect combination for the work we will be doing in Albany on regulatory and government affairs matters.”

In addition to expanding the firm’s existing regulatory capacity and adding lobbying expertise, the Albany office will provide a platform for expansion of the firm’s traditional corporate, litigation and other services into the Upstate New York market.

The firm’s office is located at 19 Dove Street in the heart of downtown Albany, just a short walk to the Capitol and Legislative Office Building.

  • Related Practice Areas: Healthcare, New York State Regulatory & Government Relations
  • Featured Attorneys: Vanessa E. Bongiorno, Mark R. Ustin