Trio of Squire Patton Boggs lobbyists defect

Trio of Squire Patton Boggs lobbyists defect
A trio of lobbyists from Squire Patton Boggs is departing for Arnold & Porter, another law and lobby firm in town.
Longtime partner Kevin O’Neill, along with Kristine Blackwood and Eugenia Pierson, are making the jump to help Arnold & Porter further build out its advocacy work. They will begin later this week.
"We are pleased to welcome Kevin, Eugenia and Kristine to the firm," said Thomas Milch, the chairman of Arnold & Porter. "Their recognized track record in advancing clients’ interests on Capitol Hill deepens and broadens our legislative practice."
O’Neill has been with Squire Patton Boggs for more than 15 years, and is registered to represent 21 clients — including the Safe Campus Coalition, several universities, the American Association of Responsible Auto Lenders, the Institute of Internal Auditors and Equinix. 
It’s the fourth largest share of lobbying clients at the firm after former Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who co-chair the public policy practice, and Matthew Cutts, the co-chair of the firm's strategic advocacy public policy practice. 
O’Neill is taking with him Pierson — who joined in mid-2005 and specializes in healthcare policy — and Blackwood, a former deputy director of congressional oversight and investigations at Department of Health and Human Services. She was recruited earlier this year.
Squire Patton Boggs announced the news of O’Neill and Pierson leaving on the Wednesday before the long holiday weekend. It then confirmed that Blackwood was apart of the departure on Monday morning.
"We have an incredibly talented, bipartisan public policy team in place that is integrated into our global firm,” Breaux and Lott said in an emailed statement. “We wish Kevin, Eugenia and Kristine well on their new endeavor as our firm continues to advance in a new and positive direction."
Patton Boggs, formerly the top lobby shop in town by revenue, went through some growing pains surrounding its merger with global law firm Squire Sanders last year, with many of its top lawyers and lobbyists defecting to other firms in town.
Although it has seen a decline in its lobbying fees, dropping it to No. 2 on K Street following the combination, the firm has also continued to attract new talent, such as former Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Jim MathesonJames (Jim) David MathesonTrump EPA eases standards for coal ash disposal Utah redistricting reform measure likely to qualify for ballot Trump's budget targets affordable, reliable power MORE (D-Utah) and Dave Schnittger, who worked for former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible MORE’s (R-Ohio) for more than two decades, most recently as his leadership deputy chief of staff.
Arnold & Porter primarily focuses on its legal work, but took in $3.3 million in lobbying fees last year with clients including Lloyd’s of London, Genentech, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the American Wood Council and Texas Tech University System.
It recently signed up online eyewear retailer Warby Parker as a client and inked a lucrative lobbying contract with Samsung earlier this year.
Former Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas) leads Arnold & Porter’s legislative and public policy practice.
Squire Patton Boggs, meanwhile, has more than 60 registered lobbyists and banked $19.55 million in lobbying revenue during the first nine months of 2015.
This post was updated at 5:51 p.m.