Wal-Mart nabs leader of K Street firm

Wal-Mart nabs leader of K Street firm
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The head of global law firm Covington & Burling’s Washington lobby shop is heading to Wal-Mart to lead the company’s new global public policy and government affairs section.

Dan Bryant, who moved from PepsiCo’s lobbying operation to Covington in 2012, begins on Nov. 9. He will be coordinating its international and domestic advocacy efforts, Dan Bartlett, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs told staff in a memo.

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“His team will manage relationships with international stakeholders in the U.S., external stakeholders in international retail, sourcing markets and Global eCommerce; represent the company before members of the U.S. Congress, the White House and federal agencies; and stand up policy councils to drive Walmart’s global public policy strategy,” Bartlett said.

Prior to working at PepsiCo, Bryant served as assistant attorney general for legal policy and assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Justice Department. He also has Capitol Hill experience, having worked on two House and Senate panels.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest company by revenue, spent $7 million to lobby federal officials last year. It’s disclosure forms show that it deals in everything from trade and tax policies to dealing with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It also lists lobbying on changes to the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform and its nutrition label initiatives.

Despite the large figure, however, Wal-Mart remains outside of the top 50 spenders on lobbying, according to data provided to The Hill by the Center for Responsive Politics.

It has retained 11 outside firms to work on its behalf, including Capitol Counsel, the Podesta Group, Mehlman Castegnetti Rosen & Thomas, the Alpine Group, Hannegan Landau Poersch Advocacy and the Nickles Group.

Covington & Burling remains among one of Washington’s top grossing lobby firms by revenue. It earned more than $11.5 million in lobbying fees last year, and represents clients including Qualcomm, Microsoft, the Protect Trade Secrets Coalition, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Bombardier Transit Corporation.

“We wish Dan well,” the firm told The Hill in an email.