K Street’s Ogilvy adds firepower on taxes

Ogilvy Government Relations has brought on a trio of tax lobbyists. 
 
Thomas Dwyer, James Gould and Tucker Shumack have joined the lobby firm as principals. The three have worked with Ogilvy before through an alliance with their old firm, GDS Strategies. 
 

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“We are excited about adding Jim, Tuck and Tom formally to our team. Their policy expertise and deep understanding of the tax writing committees and members will bring tremendous value to our clients,” said Gordon Taylor, Ogilvy’s president, in a statement.
 
The work in Congress on tax reform legislation has been a boon to K Street.
 
Industry groups and corporations have rushed to add lobbyists, fearful that a catchall reform bill could put their favorite credits or incentives on the chopping block.
 
“This year will be a critical time for industry to engage in tax policy, with comprehensive reform on the horizon and with the prospect of budget deficits far into the future. I look forward to working with the Ogilvy team to help clients participate in the process and ensure that policymakers understand the effects their choices may have on our clients,” Gould said. 
 
The three lobbyists added by Ogilvy have extensive tax experience.
 
Gould was staff director, chief counsel and chief tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee; Shumack was tax and finance counsel for former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and Dwyer was tax and banking counsel to ex-Sen. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.) on several committees.
 
The GDS lobbyists could bring a sizable book of business to Ogilvy. The firm took in almost $1.2 million in lobbying fees during 2013, according to disclosure records.
 
GDS was already lobbying for Ogilvy on behalf of Signet Jewelers Limited, according to disclosure records. Other clients included the American Petroleum Institute, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and Oaktree Capital Management.
 
The GDS lobbyists are expected to bring their clients with them to Ogilvy.
 
Ogilvy has struggled in recent times, losing clients and revenue after well-known GOP lobbyists Wayne Berman and Drew Maloney left the firm in 2012.
 
But Ogilvy is working to rebuild as a boutique lobbying practice.

The firm brought on Dee Buchanan, a former House Republican Conference chief of staff, and Con Lass, once senior director of federal relations for the American Petroleum Institute, later in 2012.