Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC

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Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC
Ofw logo.gif
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
No. of offices 1
No. of attorneys Over 30
Major practice areas Government law related to food, drug, medical device, and agriculture industries
Key people Philip C. Olsson (Co-founder and Senior Principal)
Richard L. Frank (Co-founder and Senior Principal)
Date founded 1979
Company type Professional corporation
Website
ofwlaw.com

Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC is an American boutique law firm and lobbying firm based in Washington, D.C.,[1] that specializes in representing business interests in the food, drug, medical device, and agriculture industries in their dealings with the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture. The firm was founded in 1979 as Olsson and Frank PC, but has long been best known as Olsson Frank Weeda or, more recently, OFW Law. As of 2012, the firm employs more than 30 lawyers and senior policy advisers.

Co-founder Philip Olsson was deputy assistant secretary at USDA for marketing and consumer services from 1971 to 1973.[2] Co-founder Richard L. Frank was a Washington lawyer. The third long-time principal, David F. Weeda, died in 2001.

The addition of three named partners in 2007,[3] one of whom left the firm in 2011, included Marshall Matz, who joined the firm in the early 1990s after having served as General Counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs,[4] whose chair was Senator George McGovern. During the 2000s McGovern was himself a Senior Policy Advisor with the firm, specializing in issues of food, nutrition, and agriculture, until his death in October 2012.[5] Other former political figures serving as senior policy advisors and lobbyists with the firm include former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block and former U.S. House of Representatives member from Texas, Charles W. Stenholm.[2][6]

As lobbyists, the firm has worked for a variety of corporations in its areas of expertise as well as for a few non-profit and human rights organizations.[7] By 2009 it was earning $2.4 million from its lobbying activities.[7] The former legal affairs director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest consumer advocacy group joined the firm in 2010.[8] By 2011, Olsson Frank Weeda was considered by some to be the nation's top law firm in dealing with issues of agriculture.[9] The New York Times has stated that "OFW Law ... is known for its bipartisan roster of lobbyists and its long list of food-industry clients, some with competing interests on legislative or regulatory matters."[1]

In 2013, as the Child Nutrition Act became up for Congressional reauthorization again and in the wake of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, there was a political battle over school lunch standards.[1] The firm got into a dispute with the School Nutrition Association (SNA), the school food lobby, which was seeking to loosen the standards.[10] The SNA dismissed Matz as its legal representative and instead hired Barnes & Thornburg for that role.[1][10] This caused some dissension with the ranks of the SNA and a protest from the Congressional Hunger Center, which said that OFW Law was "the A-team" in child nutrition and urged the retention of Matz.[10] In 2014, the SNA filed a legal ethics complaint with the District of Columbia Bar against OFW Law, alleging that the firm had improper contacts with the United States Department of Agriculture and had conflicts of interest.[10] The complaint was dismissed by the Bar in 2015.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Confessore, Nicholas (October 7, 2014). "How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground". The New York Times Magazine. 
  2. ^ a b "Olsson, Frank & Weeda". Food & Drink Weekly. January 17, 2005. 
  3. ^ "Leading Washington Food, Drug, Device and Agriculture Law and Lobbying Firm Changes Name to Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz PC" (Press release). PR Newswire. July 9, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Marshall Matz to Receive 2009 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition" (Press release). Global Child Nutrition Foundation. January 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ "A Farewell to George McGovern". AGRA. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Professional Directory". Olsson Frank Weeda. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Lobbying Spending Database—Olsson, Frank & Weeda, 2009". OpenSecrets.org. Retrieved October 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Silverglade to leave CSPI for Olsson Frank Weeda". Food Chemical News. October 14, 2010. 
  9. ^ "unknown". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. February 18, 2011. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Clapp, Steve (2016). Fixing the Food System: Changing How We Produce and Consume Food. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. pp. 65–66. 

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