Vigo G. (Chip) Nielsen, Jr.

Office: San Francisco Bay Area
2350 Kerner Boulevard
Suite 250
San Rafael, CA 94901

Chip Nielsen is a 40-year experienced senior political law partner in campaign finance, initiative, lobbying, conflict of interest and non-profit laws; he plays a very important role as one of the firm’s top government law strategists and has been actively involved in California state politics and government for over these four decades.

Of the nearly 400 California statewide and local ballot measures represented by this firm, he was General Counsel to over 60 statewide and 25 local ones, and he has participated as a co-legal compliance counsel in most all of these recent ballot measure committees; he has also been the author of a half dozen statewide initiatives. The list of the firm’s ballot measure representations found elsewhere on this site shows the breath and importance of these initiatives and referenda.

Chip is part of the firm’s team that represents new clients who have realized they have violated federal or state political laws and will be investigated.

He has incorporated and represented over 40 non-profit charities, social welfare organizations and trade associations.

Chip has served on numerous boards of directors and advisory commissions, including the President’s Panel on Selection of Federal Judges for the Northern District of California.

He has managed two statewide candidate campaigns and has been pro-bono legal counsel to George Moscone and Art Agnos for San Francisco Mayor and to Pete Wilson, twice for U.S. Senate and twice for Governor of California.

For 40 years, Chip was the co-chair of the Practicing Law Institute’s annual 2-day program on federal and 50 states political law.

Before becoming an attorney, Chip was an administrative assistant to California Assemblymember and Assistant Deputy State Controller Hugh Flournoy, Chief Administrative Officer of the California Assembly and then Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Ed Reinecke.

Mr. Nielsen holds Martindale-Hubbell’s highest (AV) rating, and his Chambers USA ranking is top-tier in political law nationwide.

  • Author, “Campaign Finance Law” and “Political Tax Considerations” chapters in the annual PLI “Corporate Political Activities: Complying with Campaign Finance, Lobbying and Ethics Laws” handbook.
  • Co-Author, “State Campaign Finance Laws” and “State Lobby and Gift Laws” chapters in the annual PLI “Corporate Political Activities: Complying with Campaign Finance, Lobbying and Ethics Laws” handbook.
  • Author, Campaign Law Reporter Reference Manual
  • Author, “Reform at the Crossroads,” California Journal
  • Author, “Proposition 9,” California Bar Journal
  • Author, “Practical Guide to State and Federal Campaign Disclosure Laws,” California Journal