K Street king Patton Boggs loses 17 partners

Seventeen partners are leaving Patton Boggs, the law and lobby firm said on Monday.

In an emailed statement, the firm called the departures a “regular occurrence” that reflects the frequent turnover of the lobbying industry. Patton Boggs has 10 offices around the world and more than 400 lawyers on staff.

“Movements of this kind are a regular occurrence in an industry where the competitive environment has changed, and many leading firms are transitioning their work forces to compete more effectively,” a spokesman told The Hill in an email. “These colleagues are our friends and we thank them for their service and wish them well in their new endeavors.”

At least half of the 17 partners who are resigning are in the firm’s Dallas office, said a spokesman. Other employees who are leaving are based in Denver and Washington.

“Although we regret partner departures, we, too, need to change to remain competitive. Patton Boggs has a sound underlying practice and a strong brand,” the firm said.

A spokesperson for Holland & Knight said that a group of the departed Patton Boggs partners from Dallas would be joining their firm.

The departures come after Patton laid off 65 employees in March, including 23 from its Washington office. Those layoffs raised broader questions about the financial health of the influence industry, which has seen a slow but steady decline in business in recent quarters.

Patton Boggs attributed the March cutbacks to broader trends in the legal industry, and said the firm’s lobby shop was mostly unaffected.

“As we see some cases wind down, we were seeing a modest decline in demand and we are responding to line up head count and expenses with revenue,” managing partner Edward Newberry told The Hill at the time. “While we are the largest lobbying firm in the country, we are one of the largest full-service law firms in the country.”

A few weeks after the layoffs, Patton Boggs reported a sharp decline of nearly $2 million in its lobbying revenue for the first quarter of 2013.

Patton Boggs raked in $46 million in lobbying revenue last year, the highest total for any K Street firm.

Among the slew of big-name clients contracted with the firm are Amazon.com, the American Beverage Association, Bristol-Myers Squibb, several municipalities, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and Arch Coal, the second largest coal producer in the United States.