Big K Street players spend more as election uncertainty brews

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Big K Street players spend more as election uncertainty brews

Marc Lampkin, who chairs Brownstein’s government relations practice, said the firm looked at its personnel roster “to see if there were any places where we could strengthen our team, and we did that when we hired Will Dunham, who’s an absolute rock star.”

Though many of the city’s biggest shops did post gains this year, in many cases even beating the high rate of inflation, Washington’s second-biggest lobbying practice, at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, reported a slight decline, with $39.1 million compared with last year’s $39.9 million for the first three quarters. The firm brought in more revenue in the third quarter than in the second quarter, though.

“Election years are often down years for legislative activity, but that has certainly not been the case this year,” the firm’s Hunter Bates, a former aide to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, said in a statement. “We had another really strong quarter, driven in part by the consideration, passage, and now the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS Act. Activity in the 4th quarter will depend quite a bit on the outcome of the election, but we expect an active lame duck agenda with an omnibus spending bill, NDAA health policy riders, tax extenders, and possibly some international trade measures.”

Other firms that reported an increase this year include Holland & Knight, Monument Advocacy and Ferox Strategies, a growing boutique firm whose clients include Walmart and TelevisaUnivision. 

Mark Williams of Ferox said shops with reach into both sides of the aisle will likely benefit the most from the coming changes in the next Congress. “Especially those with robust House Republican connections, since that looks to be the most likely body to change hands,” said Williams, a former House GOP aide. “At the end of the day, clients are going to need firms that can still maneuver within the administration, a close Senate whose control could go either way and a Republican-controlled House.”

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