by Danielle Douglas and Marjorie Censer

Law and lobbying outfit Patton Boggs has teamed with the Collingwood Group, an investment and advisory firm, to help clients navigate mortgage banking’s changing regulatory terrain. The move comes as legal, lobbying and advisory firms are witnessing a spike in work related to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

Brian Montgomery, a former commissioner of the Federal Housing Authority, co-founded Collingwood with Joe Murin, former president and chief executive for Ginnie Mae. Collingwood and Patton Boggs had actually worked together on a handful of projects related to reform prior to creating this alliance.

“We’ve been talking to them for several months about joining forces to offer lenders and others impacted by these rules a turnkey operation,” said Montgomery, who serves as Collingwood’s vice chairman.

The District-based firms will remain independent of each other. Patton Boggs’s mortgage banking group, headquartered in Dallas, will spearhead the firms’ collaboration on written materials, events and media outreach for clients. Montgomery declined to disclose financial terms of the alliance.

Prager to lead Morvillo, Abramowitz’s D.C. office

Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer announced that Lisa A. Prager has been hired as a principal and will lead the firm’s new Washington office.

Prager, previously a partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, also served as acting assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary for export enforcement at the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

The firm said Prager’s expertise in export controls and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters will complement its white-collar and regulatory practices. Its new office is at 1899 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Government Printing Office to make opinions available online

The federal government is preparing to make court opinions free online through the Government Printing Office’s federal digital system.

Free access to opinions in all federal courts is currently available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. Making those records also available through FDsys gives the public access to a search engine that can scan for common threads across opinions and courts.

Twelve courts are participating in the pilot, including the U.S. District Court for Maryland.