The Washington Post

Akin Gump poached nearly $1M in business from Squire Patton Boggs

Akin Gump poached nearly $1 million in business from rival lobby firm Squire Patton Boggs during the second quarter of 2014, and the new clients helped cement Akin’s rise to become the nation’s largest lobby firm by revenue — a spot that for the past decade had been occupied by Patton Boggs.

Nineteen clients jumped from Squire Patton Boggs to Akin Gump during the second quarter, and all but three were clients in the health-care field, according to an analysis by data analytics firm Capitol Metrics.

The 19 clients paid a collective $940,000 in lobbying fees to Squire Patton Boggs during the second quarter, and have since become clients of Akin Gump. All of the clients left with lobbyists who decamped from Patton for Akin during the past few months, and the majority of the clients are those of John Jonas’s health-care group. Jonas, who founded the health-care practice at Patton Boggs, jumped to Akin Gump in late May, and took a dozen health-care specialists with him.

At least 50 professionals — including attorneys, lobbyists and policy advisers — have left Squire Patton Boggs since the May 23 announcement that Patton Boggs would be combining with Squire Sanders, and the vast majority of the departures have come from the Patton Boggs side. Lobbyists and lawyers leave their firms all the time to join new firms, and bring their clients with them, but it is unusual for such a large number to leave during a short period of time. And breaking down the lobbying fees they bring with them — one of the few publicly reported revenue figures that law firms must disclose — offers a glimpse into the portable business of lobbying and how it affects both firms’ bottom line.

“We’re very pleased that these clients have placed their trust in us to continue handling their most important policy issues,” said Don Pongrace, head of Akin’s public law and policy group. “When John and his team joined us, it was with the expectation that they would combine with our existing world-class health-care regulatory and public law and policy practices to deliver exceptional breadth of services.”

Squire Patton Boggs global managing partner Ed Newberry said the firm’s focus remains on its clients.

“Policy is not a niche Washington practice for us, defined by quarterly [lobbying revenue],” he said in a statement. “It is now a fundamental part of a global practice that combines our regulatory expertise, our litigation skills, and our transaction experience to help clients throughout the world, whatever the nature of the problems or challenges they face.”

One firm’s loss is another firm’s gain

Squire Patton Boggs lost 19 lobbying clients — totaling $940,000 in fees — to Akin Gump during the second quarter of 2014. Below are the clients that left and how much business was shifted from Squire Patton Boggs to Akin Gump.

Client Fees to Squire Patton Boggs in Q2 2014
Amarin Corp. $60,000
American Ambulance Association $20,000
American College of Gastroenterology $30,000
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association $90,000
Ameritox $70,000
Asian American Hotel Owners Association none
Christus Health $70,000
Coalition for Excellence in Medication Monitoring $50,000
Kidney Care Council $40,000
Kidney Care Partners $130,000
Mead Johnson & Co. $10,000
Morrow County School District none
Morrow Development none
Online Publishers Association $20,000
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical $100,000
Pharmedium Services $40,000
Ranbaxy $120,000
WageWorks $30,000
Welch Allyn $60,000
Total $940,000
Catherine Ho covers lobbying at The Washington Post. She previously worked at the LA Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, the Wichita Eagle and the San Mateo County Times.



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