The Compass Team

Scott Gast

Chief Counsel

Scott Gast has practiced political law for nearly twenty years. He most recently spent four years in the Trump Administration’s White House Counsel’s Office, overseeing the ethics and compliance portfolio as Deputy Counsel to the President. Prior to that, he served as investigative counsel at the Office of Congressional Ethics, where he conducted ethics investigations into Members of Congress and congressional staff. He spent several years in private practice, focusing on political law and white-collar defense and investigations, at the Washington, DC firm of Covington and Burling LLC. In addition to his legal experience, he has held senior positions on Capitol Hill and in congressional campaigns. Scott is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia School of Law, and clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

William M. Klimon

Senior Counsel

William Klimon has advised over 700 nonprofit organizations on a complete range of issues from formation to dissolution. He has worked with many of the nation's most prominent private foundations, public charities, political campaigns, schools, and churches. For more than 20 years he was a member of the tax-exempt-organizations group at the Washington, D.C. law firm Caplin & Drysdale. He also chaired the American Bar Association’s Nonprofit Organizations Committee (2018-20). Mr. Klimon served in the U.S. Army from 1987-90, during which time he was assigned to the U.S. Army Field Station in Berlin. Later, he was a Claude R. Lambe Fellow and a Philip Merrill Fellow in the history department of the graduate school at Cornell University. He has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland School of Law, and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Derek Ross

Senior Counsel

Derek Ross assists political candidates and elected officials in navigating the areas of state and federal campaign finance laws and ethics rules. He also advises corporations and nonprofit groups wishing to engage in the electoral process. National political organizations rely on Derek’s knowledge and experience to guide them from inception to election day. Derek previously worked as an enforcement attorney at the Federal Election Commission and regularly represents clients before the FEC, the Office of Congressional Ethics, and state ethics commissions. Derek is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and he served as a law clerk on the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Patrick Sternal


Patrick Sternal has extensive experience in tax-exempt and nonprofit organization law. For nearly ten years he worked in the federal government as a Tax Law Specialist in the IRS Office of Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Rulings and Agreements, where he focused on exempt organization determinations and compliance, and as an Attorney Advisor at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Exempt Organizations, where he worked on drafting guidance and advising the IRS operating division. Before entering the IRS, he practiced law in Los Angeles, working primarily with exempt organization and nonprofit clients. He is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, Ave Maria School of Law, and Loyola Law School.

Alexander Lee


Alexander Lee advises clients on matters relating to campaign finance, ethics, lobbying compliance, and tax-exempt issues. Before joining Compass Legal Group, Alexander worked at an oil and gas trade association. He also served as an aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and on several state and federal campaigns.

Alexander graduated with distinction from both the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Alex is a member of the Federalist Society and the Republican National Lawyers Association.