Former U.S. Senate leaders John Breaux and Trent Lott — who founded Breaux-Lott Leadership Group, the boutique lobby shop that was acquired by Patton Boggs in 2010 — are taking over the lobbying practice at the newly formed Squire Patton Boggs, the law firm announced this week.
The move marks a shift in the way the public policy group was organized at Patton Boggs, which in May announced a deal to combine with the larger international law firm Squire Sanders.
Even after becoming part of Patton Boggs, Breaux-Lott — which at the time was a nearly $12 million-a-year business — continued to operate somewhat separately from the rest of the firm, though the lobbying fees it generated did boost Patton Boggs’s revenue.
“Four years ago we merged with Patton Boggs, which still kept our team stovepiped. We did our thing with our book of clients,” said Lott, the former Senate minority leader. “Now . . . we’re fully integrated into the broader firm. ”
Patton Boggs’s public policy group was most recently led by Jeff Turner and his deputy Kevin O’Neill, both longtime Patton Boggs lobbyists. Now, Turner and lobbyist Al Cardenas, who joined Squire Sanders in March, are deputy co-chairmen of the public policy practice at Squire Patton Boggs. O’Neill is now deputy to Ed Newberry, global managing partner of legislative, policy and regulatory matters.
The leadership reshuffling is one of several moves the firm is making to adjust to the combination, which brought together Squire Sanders’s 1,300 attorneys and Patton Boggs’s 300 to form a global law firm with 45 offices in 21 countries.
Newberry said since the deal closed June 1, the firm has had more than 50 leads for potential new business, many from existing clients that the newly combined firm, with its larger platform, is better equipped to handle.
“You want to be better positioned to get more work out of your top clients,” said Squire Patton Boggs chairman and chief executive Jim Maiwurm. “We’re going to get new clients out of this combination, too. But what’s going to hit first is more volume out of existing clients because you’re able to provide more.”
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