Capitol Counsel thrives amid K Street slump

Capitol Counsel defied K Street’s business slump in 2013 by posting an almost $2.6 million increase in lobbying revenue.

At a time when other top firms struggled to hold even, Capitol Counsel hauled in $14.71 million, a 21 percent increase over 2012.

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Firm founder John Raffaelli credited the growth to a deliberate strategy of building a team that works policy specialties on both sides of the aisle.

Capitol Counsel, which started as a largely Democratic firm that specialized in tax and health issues, has made several Republican hires, including bringing on former Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) three years ago.

“He really solidified our position as a real strong bipartisan firm and that has enabled us to continue to attract good people,” he said, mentioning newer bipartisan hires Kyle Nevins, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) senior aide, and former chief of staff to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Josh Kardon.

As companies and trade groups tighten their belts, Raffaelli says he wants to position his firm as “the best buy.”

“We want clients to look at us as a firm that can cover, in a substantive way, various committees and members of leadership and make their dollar go farther,” he said. “Save them money and make us money.”

The firm’s clients include General Electric, Comcast and the American Health Care Association. All together, the firm took in more than $14.7 million in 2013.

The firm signed about 30 new clients last year and terminated contracts with almost a dozen.