Washington law firm and lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs has dismissed 10 lawyers and 35 staffers, the second round of cuts it has made this year.
The latest departures are intended to save the firm $5.5 million in salary and benefits. The affected attorneys are associates in Patton Boggs’s New Jersey office, and the staffers are spread across 10 offices in the United States and the Middle East. The firm said in a statement that the reductions are part of a larger plan to adjust staffing ratios and that “as a result of these tough decisions, we are becoming far stronger financially.”
Patton Boggs’s revenue dropped 6.5 percent, to $317.4 million, in 2012 from $339.7 million in 2011.
But the firm still earns more lobbying revenue than other lobby shops, reporting $30.7 million in lobbying fees for the first nine months of the year. That figure, though, is down 14 percent compared with the same period last year.
Starting last year, the firm gradually began implementing cuts. In March, it dismissed 65 lawyers and staff, including 23 in Washington, which managing partner Ed Newberry said at the time was part of a “right-sizing” move that would save $14.7 million. Over the summer, more than 30 lawyers left the firm.
Patton Boggs is now in talks to merge with Texas-based law firm Locke Lord.
— Catherine Ho
Amtrak, the U.S. taxpayer-supported passenger railroad, is losing tens of millions of dollars a year on food and beverage service even after years of cutting costs, its inspector general said.
Almost all of last year’s $72 million in food-service losses were from providing meals on long-distance trains, Inspector General Ted Alves said in testimony at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Thursday. Contracting out some functions has the greatest potential to stem losses, he said.
“Amtrak’s operating losses on food and beverage services have been a long-standing issue, and they contribute directly to the need for federal subsidies to support operations,” Alves said.
Alves outlined a number of ways for the railroad to reduce waste and cut costs, from contracting out operations to reducing theft and food spoilage.
Amtrak’s Auto Train between Virginia and Florida offers passengers complimentary wine and cheese, and three long- distance routes provide complimentary wine and champagne to sleeper-car passengers, Alves said, which cost Amtrak $428,000 in 2012. Amtrak employees traveling on free passes consumed about $260,000 in complimentary meals on the Auto Train, he said.
“Somehow, some of this has to be revised,” said Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), the government operations subcommittee chair.
— Bloomberg News
● Under Armour agreed to buy MapMyFitness for $150 million as the Baltimore-based maker of athletic apparel looks to compete with Nike in offering fitness buffs a way to measure their training and performance online. MapMyFitness designs applications that allow athletes to record and share their workouts using global-positioning technology, according to a statement from Under Armour. Closely held MapMyFitness, founded in 2007 and based in Austin, has about 20 million registered users who can measure their training on more than 400 devices, sensors and wearables.
● The San Francisco Bay Area Tesla factory where three workers were burned by hot metal was previously cited for a safety violation that led to an injury, a state official said Thursday. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health fined Tesla Motors $2,700 last year after an accident investigation found that a hydraulic power press did not have a proper stop control, agency spokesman Peter Melton said. Two of the three Tesla Motors workers who were burned when a machine malfunctioned at the Fremont factory remained hospitalized on Thursday.
● An investment firm is offering to buy from the government the core businesses of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a $52 billion deal. Fairholme Capital Management made the proposal Wednesday to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie. An agency spokeswoman declined to comment on the proposal.
— From news services
● 9:15 a.m.: Industrial production data for October.
● 10 a.m.: Wholesale trade inventories for September.