Patton Boggs lays off 65; 23 in Washington

Lobbying giant Patton Boggs has laid off 65 lawyers and staff, including 23 from its Washington, D.C. practice, according to multiple reports.

The firm's revenue and net profits had fallen between 2011 and 2012. Lobbying revenue declined five percent from $48.4 to $46 million, according to calculations by The Hill.

The layoffs are an attempt to "align head count with revenue," managing partner Edward Newberry told the Wall Street Journal

"We're trying to be very disciplined in managing expense and operations," Newberry said.

The move responds to increasing market pressure and is expected to save Patton Boggs about $15 million. The firm has reportedly renegotiated its Washington, D.C., lease, and moved portions of its staff to Virginia, where office space is less expensive.

Last week's layoffs primarily hit the firm's litigation group, though its corporate and public-policy teams also saw reductions. No partners were let go, but Newberry said that the firm "will make adjustments to the partner headcount over time."

The firm was able to withstand the recession without layoffs, unlike many other top law practices, he said.

"Now, several years later, [one] big case and a couple others are in a wind-down phase. We’re seeing the decline in demand that others saw previously, and we’ve taken these prudent steps … in light of the decline we’re seeing [from] major clients.”

While based in D.C., Patton Boggs has five other U.S. offices, as well as three, soon to be four, in the Middle East. It is the largest U.S. lobby firm and employs more than 400 lawyers.

In Washington, it is known for its 2010 acquisition of the Breaux Lott Leadership Group, the bipartisan advocacy firm run by former Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.). Past top-tier clients have included AT&T, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and as a result of the Breaux-Lott deal, Chevron, Citigroup and FedEx.

--This report was updated at 10:34 a.m.