Legal Briefs: Patton Boggs leads area firms in quarterly lobbying fees

By Amanda Becker
Monday, November 1, 2010

Area lobbying shops didn't lose steam bringing in fees from federal work during the traditionally slower third quarter, according to data filed with the House of Representatives.

Though revenue in the third quarter is typically lower than during the first two quarters thanks to Congress's August recess, about half of the nation's top influencers were on pace to meet or exceed last year's reported figures.

Patton Boggs once again led the pack, bringing in about $9.3 million. (That figure does not include revenue from the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group, which it acquired in July.) The firm continued to benefit from the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, on which it lobbied for its two highest-paying clients. Depository Trust Clearing, a financial services company that helps finalize the sale of bonds, mortgage-backed securities and other financial products, paid the firm $230,000 to represent its interests in the ongoing Wall Street regulatory overhaul effort. The industry group Wholesale Markets Brokers Association paid Patton Boggs $220,000 to lobby on the regulation of over-the-counter derivatives markets.

Close on Patton Boggs's tail was runner-up Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which reported federal lobbying income of nearly $9.2 million, with $460,000 coming from ratings agency Moody's, the firm's highest paying client. Podesta Group was third with roughly $7.3 million, with for-profit education provider Career Education paying $170,000 for the firm's services.

Van Scoyoc Associates, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Holland & Knight, Cassidy & Associates, K&L Gates, Ogilvy Government Relations and Dutko Worldwide rounded out the top 10.

A MATTER OF COORDINATION

One benefit of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is that there could be an opportunity there to coordinate state- and federal-level fraud investigations as a single effort, rather than each proceeding piecemeal, panelists at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's summit for legal reform said last week.

During a discussion about the role of state attorneys general in policing financial fraud, Mayer Brown partner Andrew J. Pincus pointed out that one of the worst scenarios a client can face is having to respond to multiple investigations launched by 20 or more state attorneys general and several federal agencies. "Having to respond once to everybody would be a great thing," he said.

Other panelists included North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and moderator Joe Nocera, business columnist at the New York Times.


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