Manatt Adds Prominent Sacramento Political Advisor Steve Coony

Respected Public Policy and Political Strategist Brings Wealth of Experience to California Government Practice.

Manatt announced today that Steve Coony is joining the firm’s Government and Regulatory practice as a managing director in the Sacramento office. Coony currently serves as chief deputy treasurer for the State of California and will move to Manatt on Jan. 1, 2015.

“We are honored that Deputy State Treasurer Steve Coony is joining Manatt. Steve’s distinguished public service career includes more than 20 years as a top California government leader, serving successively as chief of staff to the Senate president, the attorney general and the state treasurer. Steve has been part of every major California policy decision for a quarter century,” said George Kieffer, chair of Manatt’s national Government and Regulatory practice.

“A recognized leader in California public policy, Steve is universally respected for bringing divergent voices together to achieve progress on contentious issues. We value Steve’s extraordinary career in public service, his proven leadership skills, and his long record of developing and implementing state policy and fostering great policymakers,” added Thomas McMorrow, chair of the firm's California Government and Regulatory practice and manager of its Sacramento office.

“I am thrilled to join the Manatt team. Manatt has a long and well-respected record of successfully advancing the interests of clients on issues at the intersection of business and government,” said Coony.

Coony’s public service career began in 1969 with a position as a county welfare worker and union shop steward. In 1972 he joined the union’s staff, and five years later he earned the top role as the union’s general manager, in the process building one of the nation’s largest public employee unions.

In 1983, Coony returned to public service, joining the staff of California’s then State Senate Leader David Roberti and later becoming chief of staff for newly elected Senate Leader Bill Lockyer. When Lockyer was elected California’s attorney general, Coony joined Lockyer, serving as chief deputy attorney general for two terms.

In 2007, Coony was appointed chief deputy treasurer by newly elected California Treasurer Lockyer. He designed and carried out the treasurer’s strategy for protecting the state’s financial assets and credit rating during the worst economic recession and state government revenue crisis since the Great Depression.

In his long tenure as a top state government administrator, Coony successfully managed Lockyer’s broad and ambitious agenda before the legislature and in the executive branch, where, Coony notes, “accomplishments are earned by inspiring, directing and setting priorities that harness the creativity and daily work of thousands of state employees, while carefully and innovatively managing scarce budget dollars.”

As a political director, Coony helped achieve Lockyer’s statewide objectives in an unbroken series of successful election campaigns spanning three decades. He is well versed in electoral campaign tools and has worked effectively with many of California’s political forces, including business, labor, technology, infrastructure investors and the education community.

Coony joins Manatt’s sophisticated team of government professionals, who develop, advocate and implement integrated business, legal and government strategies and activities in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento and Albany. Founded by storied lawyer, political leader and businessman Charles Manatt, the firm’s Government and Regulatory practice includes attorneys and other government professionals who have served in leadership positions as U.S. ambassadors, members of Congress, presidential appointees, senior career federal and state government officials, senior congressional staff, state legislators, leaders and staff, as well as in city and county governments positions.

Manatt’s professionals work to protect the vital interests of clients in administrative and legislative hearings, rulemaking and regulatory proceedings, government contracts, government assistance agreements and lobbying efforts. Manatt professionals draw on the firm’s extensive resources to develop broad-based solutions to clients’ complex business challenges.

At Manatt, Coony will offer clients his significant experience in developing and implementing California policy. He brings his unique insight, relationships and working knowledge to the firm’s already experienced California practice.

“Steve knows how Sacramento works and where it is headed, with a keen insider’s view of ongoing generational change and the value of sound institutional memory. His intimate appreciation of the individuals, organizations and politics guiding policy and regulation will immediately benefit our clients, and is a perfect fit for Manatt’s California Government and Regulatory practice. We are excited to be welcoming him to the team,” said McMorrow.

About Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, is one of the nation’s leading law and consulting firms, with offices strategically located in California (Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Sacramento), New York (New York City and Albany) and Washington, D.C. The firm represents a sophisticated client base — including Fortune 500, middle-market and emerging companies — across a range of practice areas and industry sectors. For more information, visit



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