Theodore H. Bornstein

Retired Partner


Theodore H. Bornstein is a partner and public policy lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the Government & Public Policy Practice. He serves as the treasurer of the firm's Political Fund and counsel to the firm’s Federal Public Affairs Practice, providing the practice and Foley’s clients with experienced legal and legislative drafting advice. He is also a member of the Automotive Industry Team. As Foley's most senior lobbyist in its Washington, D.C. office, he also works with an experienced Political Law team to advise clients on permissible political involvement at the federal and state level, and to counsel clients on government ethics questions.

Ted uses his experience as a former Chief of Staff to several U.S. House members and a U.S. Senator to assist clients who are being investigated by Congressional Committees. His practice focuses on counseling clients on government relations. Having served both inside Congress and the executive branch, Ted is highly knowledgeable of the legislative and executive decision making processes of government. He has extensive experience and knowledge about numerous federal and state issues including defense, healthcare, tax policy, economic development, transportation, homeland security, election law and lobbying compliance.

Ted has successfully counseled clients on authorization and appropriations requests ranging from defense research and development programs to economic development funding to housing initiatives to law enforcement communications. He also has worked successfully for clients for changes in tax laws, changes in the highway program, health care pilot projects, and base closure challenges.

Ted’s knowledge of legislative and executive branch issues and operations was acquired in more than 30 years of federal and state government experience, including 13 years working in Congress in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

As chief of staff for Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, he formulated legislative outreach strategies and programs and oversaw the operation of several offices of more than 40 staff. Ted also served as Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Rep. Les Aspin, developing projects and legislation to serve constituents in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District. His first congressional position was that of Chief of Staff and Legislative Counsel for Rep. Cecil Heftel of Hawaii, where he specialized in tax policy and defense issues. He also served as senior advisor to former Representative and former Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie.

During the tenure of Secretary of Defense Les Aspin, Ted served as the Director of the Defense Reinvestment Task Force for the Office of the Secretary, where he served as the secretary’s liaison to the White House staff and the National Economic Council concerning base closure and reuse issues. He also represented the secretary at state and local meetings.

Prior to his work in Congress and the executive branch, Ted established and directed the state of Missouri’s Washington, D.C. office, representing and promoting the state’s interests for more than six years on behalf of Governors Joe Teasdale (D) and Kit Bond (R). Ted also worked on federal and state relations in the office of the governor of Illinois in his Washington, D.C. and Chicago offices.


  • Co-founder, Wisconsin Group
  • Treasurer, Foley & Lardner Political Fund


  • Chicago Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology (J.D.)
  • Washington University (B.A., cum laude)


  • District of Columbia