Richard  J. Van Wagner princeton

Richard J. Van Wagner

Special Counsel


Richard Van Wagner focuses his practice in the areas of legislative affairs, administrative litigation, and regulatory counseling. As a registered government affairs agent, Richard has a unique understanding of the law with an appreciation of the legislative and regulatory processes. He lobbies on behalf of insurers, financial institutions, transportation-related entities, racetracks and casinos, higher education institutions, and post-secondary educational institutions. Richard also has extensive experience in corporate and regulatory affairs and has practiced extensively before the Departments of Environmental Protection, Banking and Insurance, Health and Senior Services, Transportation, Labor and Community Affairs, Casino Control Commission, New Jersey Racing Commission, Divisions of Taxation, Purchase and Property, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Consumer Affairs, and the Bureau of Securities.

Richard is also a member of the firm’s Regulated Substances Group, a multidisciplinary team of lawyers and government affairs professionals who advise clients establishing and operating businesses involved in the financing, manufacturing, processing, distribution, marketing, and retail sale of marijuana for medical use where authorized by state law. He helps client navigate licensing and other complex legal and regulatory issues surrounding the fast-growing business of medical cannabis.

Representative Matters

  • Advises and represents clients before the New Jersey State Legislature, Office of the Governor, state and local agencies, commissions, and regulatory authorities.
  • Advises closely-held corporations with respect to residential and commercial real estate issues.
  • Represents insurance companies and financial institutions in licensing and compliance matters before the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.
  • Advises clients on corporate and regulatory issues affecting New Jersey’s equine industry, which includes representing individuals and entities before the New Jersey Racing Commission, and counseling and providing corporate services for owners, breeders and trainers in the industry.
  • Represents licensed producers, corporate and individual, before the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.
  • Counsels and advises clients in all aspects of the liquor licensing process before the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, including initial application, purchase, sale, and transfer of licenses.
  • Counsels clients on compliance with New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission’s pay-to-play laws and recognizing how political contributions may impact their eligibility for state, county, and/or municipal government contracts.
  • Assists clients in identifying and responding to public contracting opportunities through the utilization of strategic state and local relationships.
  • Advises casinos, financial institutions, and investors and related entities before the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Professional Affiliations

  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Casino Law Section
  • International Association of Gaming Attorneys

Community Involvement

  • Ocean Township, New Jersey, Zoning Board of Adjustment
  • Ocean Township Little League, Executive Vice President
  • Shore To Help, Inc., Board Member

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2023 and 2024 for Government Relations Practice
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America as 2022 Government Relations Practice “Lawyer of the Year” in Princeton
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Government Relations Practice
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America as 2020 Government Relations Practice “Lawyer of the Year” in Princeton
  • Recognized as part of the “Top Ten Lawyers/Lobbyists” in New Jersey by New Jersey Law Journal
  • Selected for inclusion as Best Lawyers in America 2016 Government Relations Practice “Lawyer of the Year” in Princeton
  • Previously recognized as part of the “10 Best Lobbying Firms in New Jersey” by NJBiz magazine
  • Attained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell

News and Insights


  • “Navigating New Jersey’s Campaign Contribution Laws for Business Entities,” co-authored, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, June 2014.
  • “Bingo and Raffles: Nonprofits and Games of Chance,” co-authored, New Jersey Lawyer, February 1998.