JM Burkman, K&L Gates sign most new clients in Q1

JM Burkman & Associates, K&L Gates, Holland & Knight and Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville signed the most new lobbying clients during the first quarter of 2014, according to an analysis by lobbying analytics firm Capitol Metrics.

The analysis looked at the number of client registration reports the firms filed during the first three months of 2014. Lobbyists must file registration reports with the Senate when they sign a new company, trade group, nonprofit or other client. Registrations do not necessarily equal lobbying dollars right away, nor do they always represent new business for a lobbyist. Lobbyists file them, for example, when they switch firms and take clients with them, which represents new business for the new firm. Registrations generally indicate fees are likely to follow.

JM Burkman & Associates signed 18 new clients during the first quarter, which represents about 23 percent of the firm’s total client base, according to the analysis. The firm, however, lost 12 clients during the same period, the analysis found. Several of the firm’s new clients are lobbying on government contracting issues.

“We’ve had a real growth spurt in the government contracting side of our business,” said the firm’s president Jack Burkman. “That has become the niche we’re known for. While other parts of lobbying are trending down, government contracting help trends up.”

New hires helped drive new business to K&L Gates — which signed 17 new clients, representing 10 percent of firm’s lobbying clients (the firm also lost seven clients during the same period) — and Powers Pyles, which signed 14 new clients. The uptick at Powers Pyle was tied to the Indian tribal governments group joining the firm from Drinker Biddle in February and bringing their clients with them.


A look the number of clients D.C. lobbying firms had in the first quarter

Lobbyist Judson Greif, who joined K&L Gates from Denny Miller Associates recently, brought several new clients in the technology and health care industries, said Bruce Heiman, leader of K&L Gates’ policy and regulatory practice.

“Folks say it’s a do-nothing Congress, we think it’s a do-something Congress,” Heiman said. “It’s doing enough in different areas that clients are interested in participating.”

Last month, the firm pushed a bill on behalf of a client, the Museum of Flight, that authorizes leaders in Congress to award the Congressional Gold Medal to an elite group of fighter pilots.

» Capital Business and Capitol Metrics, a data analytics firm specializing in the advocacy sector, have partnered to provide a periodic snapshot of the lobby industry. Capitol Metrics can be found at www.capitolmetrics.com

Catherine Ho covers law and lobbying for Capital Business, which she joined in 2011. She was previously a reporter at the Daily Journal in Los Angeles, covering LA civil courts and labor and employment law.
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