Lobbying heavyweights see profits soar in the first quarter
K Street’s biggest lobbying firms posted massive profits in the first three months of 2022 as the industry focused on a busy legislative calendar leading up to November’s midterm elections.
Most of Washington’s top lobbying firms had their best first quarter ever and fell just short of last year’s stellar fourth quarter revenue that capped a banner year for K Street, according to numbers shared with The Hill.
The mercenaries say they are focused on bills to boost U.S. competitiveness with China and impose tougher antitrust rules on tech giants, as well as annual spending programs.
Companies are stepping up lobbying around the Biden administration’s rulemaking, helping companies navigate US sanctions on Russia and rushing to secure federal infrastructure funds for state and local government clients .
Lobbyists are also closely watching Democrats’ bid to resurrect a new version of the Build Back Better Act that could pass the Senate. But they are well aware that the party is running out of time to pass the sweeping climate and social spending bill that has drawn opposition from a range of powerful industries.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which claimed the top spot among lobbying firms last year, brought in $15.4 million in the first quarter, up nearly 11% from the same period last year and down 4% from the fourth quarter of 2021.
Marc Lampkin, managing partner of Brownstein’s office in Washington, D.C., said the company has sparked renewed interest in implementing the bipartisan infrastructure bill and recruited new clients such as Raytheon Technologies and Honeywell after hiring former Boeing chief lobbyist Tim Keating.
He added that while profits remain strong, K Street’s record revenue last year may not be sustained through the year, especially when Congress focuses on mid-terms this summer.
“I’m always a bit pessimistic about election years, especially in the second half when things usually stabilize, but there could be some surprising bumps just by the nature of the high-stakes activity that continues,” he said. said Lampkin.
Legal and lobbying giant Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, last year’s earnings runner-up, reported $13 million in revenue in the first quarter of this year, a 4% increase over the same period in 2021.
The company recently hired former Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), one of nine moderate Democrats who threatened to block the Build Back Better Act in order to gain passage of the infrastructure bill.
“Looking forward, we remain engaged on a broad range of issues critical to our customers, including FDA user fee authorizations, Bipartisan Innovation Act, sanctions, credits and Russian taxes. “Akin Gump partner Brian Pomper said in a statement.
Holland & Knight, another multinational law firm with a growing list of DC lobbyists, raised $10.1 million in the first quarter, increasing its year-over-year revenue by 37%.
BGR Group, last year’s No. 3 company by revenue, brought in $9.6 million, a 16% increase over the same period last year.
K Street focuses on Chinese competitiveness legislation that would invest $52 billion in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and provide new funding for scientific research and domestic supply chain resilience.
Lawmakers on a conference committee are now ironing out differences between the bipartisan Senate bill passed last year and the House Democrats’ legislation passed last month.
Corporate lobbyists are aiming to ensure that many of the pro-worker trade provisions included in the House version do not make it into the final bill that will go to President Biden’s office.
Lobbyists are also keeping tabs on election forecasts that favor Republicans to win back the House and Senate after the November midterms, adjusting their slates and strategies for the possibility of the GOP taking back at least one chamber.
“We are preparing for changes that may occur after November,” said BGR Group Director Loren Monroe. “You can’t wait for the dust to settle after Election Day to determine your strategy for potential incoming new committee chairs, new leadership and their policy proposals. It starts now.
Antitrust became another major issue after the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced a bipartisan bill in January to stop dominant platforms from favoring their own services and empower antitrust authorities to police tech giants.
The tech giants, which are among the top lobbying spenders in DC, and their allies in Washington have issued warnings to lawmakers that the legislation would undermine US national security as the nation fights for technological superiority with China and Russia. They try to run out of time by proposing numerous changes to the bill, which remains stuck in the Senate.
Invariant, whose main clients are Apple and Google, brought in $9.2 million in the first three months of the year, a colossal 39% increase from the first quarter of 2021.
Cornerstone Government Affairs, which also represents technology companies such as Google and Microsoft, reported first-quarter revenue of $9.2 million, an 18% increase over the same period last year. .
Other major lobbying firms saw an increase in revenue in the first three months of the year.
Squire Patton Boggs increased its first quarter revenue year over year from $5.6 million to $7.2 million. Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas increased its profit from $5.3 million to $6.4 million. Tiber Creek Group revenue increased from $5.4 million to $6.3 million.
Forbes Tate Partners earned nearly $6.1 million in the first quarter, up from $5.9 million last year. Capitol Counsel estimated to bring in $6 million, up from $5.1 million last year
Cassidy & Associates brought in nearly $5.5 million, down from $4.4 million in 2021, while K&L Gates saw revenue rise from $4.8 million to $5.2 million.
“With war in Europe, a lingering pandemic, economic instability and a volatile midterm season in the United States, 2022 promises to be at least as busy for Congress and the administration as the past two unprecedented years.” , Paul Stimers, co-leader of K&L Gates’ public policy and practice group, said in a statement.