James D. Barnette

Jim Barnette

Capitol Hill veteran Jim Barnette focuses his public policy practice on energy, telecommunications, healthcare, consumer protection, and the environment, with a focus on congressional oversight and investigations. During a span of 20 years, serving four different chairmen, Jim served as general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. In this role, he helped enact more than 100 public laws, including the landmark Medicare Modernization Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and legislation in areas as diverse as bioterrorism preparedness, energy, telecommunications reform, consumer protection, and internet commerce.

During his tenure at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Jim served as principal advocate with the Senate, House leadership, House parliamentarian, and other House committees, including Agriculture, Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget, Judiciary, and Ways and Means. He led numerous high-profile committee oversight and investigation efforts across its jurisdiction.

In private practice, Jim represents Fortune 500 companies and trade associations, many of them consumer-facing "disruptors," in the committee process and in the oversight of their industries, frequently in high-profile hearings and sustained legislative efforts.


Government Experience

  • General Counsel, United States House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee
  • General Counsel, Deputy Staff Director and Counsel, United States House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee
  • Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter

Representative Matters

  • Provided day-to-day counsel to trade associations and Fortune 500 companies with interests in energy, telecommunications, financial services, environmental matters, and healthcare, regarding legislative and oversight activity on Capitol Hill
  • Served as lead outside counsel to Fortune 500 companies in high-profile congressional investigations pursued by House and Senate committees, including witness preparation, document production, and political management
  • Represented internet companies on all aspects of the digital economy, including privacy, competition, data protection, and other aspects of internet regulation
  • Held a leadership role in representing carriers and consumers in preserving telecommunications competition
  • Represented healthcare clients with respect to Food and Drug Administration matters, Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act
  • Provided regulatory and legislative counsel to clients across a broad spectrum of energy issues, including utility regulation, nuclear power, oil and gas issues, hydroelectricity, and matters arising under the Clean Air Act




  • J.D. Georgetown University Law Center 1990
  • B.A. Yale College 1985

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia


  • The Hill, Top Lobbyists, 2019
  • National Law Journal, Trailblazer, Government Relations, 2019
  • Legal 500, Government: Government Relations, 2016 – 2019
  • National Journal, The Hill People, 2003 – 2011
  • Almanac of the Unelected, 1996 – 1997, 2003 – 2004, 2011