K Street revenue jumps in second quarter on coronavirus lobbying

K Street revenue jumps in second quarter on coronavirus lobbying
© Greg Nash

Lobbying activity boomed in the second quarter of 2020 as the scramble for coronavirus relief prompted companies, trade associations and local governments to turn to K Street for help.

Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) reports released Monday showed that from April through June, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP was the highest grossing firm and reported a record $12.9 million in revenue after bringing in just over $11 million in the first quarter.

“There continues to be a significant increase in the business community on what Washington is doing. A lot of interest is implementation of the CARES Act and a lot of looking forward on what Congress and the government might do in terms of a next relief package. There still remains significant need for assistance for businesses,” Marc Lampkin, Brownstein’s government relations department chair, told The Hill. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Brownstein brought in roughly 29 percent more than the second quarter of 2019. Akin Gump brought in roughly 22 percent more than the second quarter of 2019.

“The level of activity that we have seen over the last six months is unprecedented, evidenced by back-to-back quarters of more than $12 million in LDA revenue, which are our strongest-ever. A major driver of this work has of course been the ongoing pandemic, which continues to have an enormous effect on the economy and touches pretty much every sector and industry,” said Hunter Bates, head of the public law and policy practice at Akin Gump, which was the highest grossing firm in the first quarter.

Akin Gump reported more than $12.4 million in the second quarter, a slight decrease from $12.6 million the previous three months. The firm has brought in $10 million or more for the past five quarters.

Lobbying for coronavirus relief was just getting started in the first quarter and picked up steam in March during negotiations for the record $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE signed the legislation into law on March 27.

Since then, trade associations and governments have been lobbying Congress for changes to programs, extended relief and consideration of their priorities for the upcoming coronavirus relief package.

ADVERTISEMENT

BGR Group reported just under $8 million in revenue for the second quarter, up from over $7.8 million. The firm has had a 9 percent increase in revenue since the second quarter of 2019.

“BGR’s strong LDA numbers are largely based on steady growth in our bipartisan health care and financial services practices. We are grateful for the confidence of our clients who are making difficult financial decisions during these turbulent times,” said Loren Monroe, principal at BGR.

Holland & Knight reported under $7.2 million, up from $6.4 million in the first quarter. Squire Patton Boggs reported just under $6.7 million, the same as its revenue in the first quarter.

Midsize firms also saw an increase in revenue during the second quarter. 

Ballard Partners, a Trump-connected firm, reported $6.5 million, while Invariant, run by Democratic operative Heather Podesta, reported a little less than $5.1 million.

K&L Gates reported $5.1 million, up from nearly $4.7 million in revenue in the first quarter. 

“[Coronavirus] triggered an unprecedented level of activity not seen in modern history,” said Darrell Conner, government affairs counselor and co-leader of K&L Gates's policy practice. “It has been very robust thus far, the level of engagement during both periods has just been off the charts.”

Forbes Tate reported $5 million in the second quarter, an increase from $4.3 million in the previous three months. Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas brought in nearly $4.8 million, an increase from a little less than $4.6 million in the first quarter.

Hogan Lovells reported more than $3.1 million, up from just under $3 million in the first quarter, and CGCN reported about $2 million, another increase from just under $1.8 million in the first quarter.