Holland & Knight expands PR services

One of Washington’s preeminent lobby shops is expanding its public relations team.

Holland & Knight has snagged three principals from the law firm SNR Denton to boost the PR component of its public policy and litigation work.

Audrey Young, Mark Meissner and Stewart Gordon will be part of Holland & Knight’s public policy & regulation practice, which is headed by Rich Gold. They will provide crisis and litigation communications services for the firm’s clients.

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“Given the crisis management we specialize in, the team decided to accept the opportunity to join Holland & Knight and be part of their robust litigation and public policy practices,” Young told The Hill.

Gold said Congress’s heavy legislative hand in 2010 helped lead to an increased regulatory output from the Obama administration, which ultimately results in more lawsuits and legal work for the firm.

“That pipeline ends up coming back to litigation,” Gold said. “It’s kind of logical that when we are putting together our public policy strategy together that we have this capability.”

The three join a strategic communications team that includes Aimee Steel, Karl Koch, Beth Viola and Kerry Feehery. Young and Meissner will be senior strategic communications advisers for the firm, while Gordon will be a strategic communications adviser.

Holland & Knight was among the top 10 firms in lobbying revenue last year. The firm took in $19 million in lobbying fees in 2011, a 10 percent drop from 2010, when it earned $21.1 million.

Gold said the hires of Young, Meissner and Gordon will expand the firm’s services beyond traditional lobbying. Holland & Knight already emphasizes its legal work in the regulatory arena, which is not necessarily reported under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.
Gold said the three will assist in the firm’s work on regulations.

“It will have a strategic communications facet to it,” Gold said. “It’s really about making your case to the public.”