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Hayden R. Dempsey is the Chair of the Florida Government Law & Policy Practice. He lobbies on behalf of numerous private and public clients before both the federal and Florida state governments. He regularly represents clients in legislative matters, Medicaid and health policy matters, appropriations, procurement disputes, transportation and infrastructure issues, health care regulatory matters, and election matters. He also focuses on the lobbying of insurance and other regulatory issues before the Office of Insurance Regulation and the Florida Legislature.

Hayden has broad governmental experience, having served in four governors’ administrations. Hayden served as Special Counsel to Gov. Rick Scott, where he oversaw the Legislative Affairs Office and advised the Governor and his staff on legislative, policy, and budget issues. He also worked closely with the Governor’s agencies to assist in development and passage of their legislative priorities. Hayden previously served as Legislative Affairs Director, Deputy General Counsel, and Legislative Counsel for Gov. Jeb Bush. He started his professional career working for Gov. Bob Martinez and Gov. Lawton Chiles.

Hayden represented the presidential campaigns of Bush-Cheney ’04, Florida and McCain-Palin '08, and the gubernatorial campaigns of Gov. Rick Scott, Gov. Charlie Crist, and Gov. Jeb Bush. Hayden also represented Congressman Vern Buchanan in the 2006 election contest relating to the office of Representative from the Thirteenth Congressional District of Florida.


  • Governmental affairs
  • Appropriations
  • Medicaid and health care policy and regulation
  • Insurance regulation and legislation
  • Transportation and infrastructure
  • Administration and regulatory litigation
  • Procurement
  • Election law




  • Government affairs
  • Medicaid and health care policy and regulation
  • Insurance regulation and legislation
  • Transportation and infrastructure
  • Administration and regulatory litigation
  • Procurement
  • Election Law
    • Represented Congressman Vern Buchanan in the 2008 recount and Congressional contest of his election
    • Provided legal representation for the Florida McCain-Palin '08 Presidential Campaign
  • Co-Chair, Lawyers for McCain, 2006
  • Statewide Chair, Lawyers for Crist-Kottkamp
  • Statewide Chair, Lawyers for Bush-Cheney '04

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America
    • Government Relations Practice, 2007-2011, 2018-2024
    • Administrative / Regulatory Law, 2021-2024
  • Listed, INFLUENCE Magazine, "Most Powerful People in Florida Health Care Politics," 2023
  • Selected, City & State Florida, “Health Care Power 100,” 2022
  • Team Member, Best Lawyers in America®, "Top Listed – Government Relations," 2018
  • Team Member, BTI Power Rankings, “The 16 Strongest Firms for ‘Go-To Outside Counsel’ Insurance Work,” 2016
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Government Relations Law Firm of the Year," 2014
    • Ranked, Tier 1 – Government Relations, Tallahassee Metropolitan Area
  • Member, Florida First District Court of Appeal Nominating Commission appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis, 2022-Present
  • Chair, Second Circuit, Florida Judicial Nominating Commission appointed by Governor Rick Scott, 2018-2022
  • Board of Directors, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the State of Florida’s official economic development organization, 2011-2016
  • Board of Directors, Space Florida, 2011-2016
  • Board of Directors, Capitol Region Family Health & Fitness, 2010-2018
  • Member, Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, 2002-2012
  • Chair, Florida Chapter, Republican National Lawyers Association, 2006-2008
  • Member, Federal Judicial Nominating Commission appointed by Senator Mel Martinez, August 2005-2007
  • Member, Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (Gubernatorial Appointment), May 2004-January 2007
  • Board of Trustees, Florida TaxWatch, 2003-2004
  • Member, Governor's Workers' Compensation Reform Commission (Gubernatorial Appointment), 2002-2003
  • Member, ABA House of Delegates, 2000-2002
  • Member, American Bar Association 
  • Member, The Florida Bar


  • J.D., Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, 1994
    • Nova Law Review
    • Moot Court Society
    • Inns of Court
  • B.A., Political Science, Wake Forest University, 1990
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida