SPONSORED:

K Street starts 2021 with strong revenues under Biden, new Congress

K Street starts 2021 with strong revenues under Biden, new Congress
© Greg Nash

Lobbyists had a strong start to the new year with a new Congress and new administration, following a year of major growth lobbying for relief during the coronavirus pandemic.

President BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit On The Money: Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report | GOP targets jobless aid after lackluster April gain MORE kicked off the year with a new COVID-relief package, which saw the same influx of lobbying activity as the packages in 2020, and the upcoming infrastructure package also has led companies to further engage in Washington. 

Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) reports released Tuesday showed the top lobbying firms in Washington were nearly neck and neck in revenues between January and March, with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck gaining the edge over Akin Gump.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brownstein reported $12.53 million for the first quarter of 2021. The firm made nearly $12.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and over $11.5 million in the first quarter of 2020. 

“First quarter, it’s a tale of a new administration with a new Congress working in overdrive to solve problems across the board. We started the term of the new Congress and the new Biden administration with the COVID relief bill, which provoked a lot of interest,” said Marc Lampkin, chair of Brownstein’s Government Relations Department. 

Akin Gump reported $12.52 million for the first quarter of 2021, an increase from the fourth quarter of 2020 when the firm made over $12.4 million. 

“Our work was driven by the strong levels of activity we have seen on the Hill with the change in administration and the number of issues that are on the table, from COVID relief to tax, infrastructure, and more,” said Brian Pomper, co-head of Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice. 

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2021, firms will be focused on infrastructure, trade, diversity and inclusion, and regulatory issues with their clients. 

“You know that you need to come to Washington and make your voices heard so that your priority is considered when Congress and the White House figure out where they need to draw the line on a final infrastructure bill,” Lampkin said. “I think this has signaled the broad call for firms who are well positioned like we are to be able to solve client needs.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Firms are also hopeful business operations can return to normal and remote lobbying may eventually be a concept of the past. 

“While virtual meetings have allowed us to continue doing our work, they are a poor substitute for real, in-person connection.  I know I speak for many of our friends on the Hill and colleagues throughout the industry when I say we can’t wait for the opportunity to be together again and see each other in person.  I am very hopeful that better days are ahead,” Pomper said. 

Midsize firms also have seen growth during the Biden administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress so far. 

BGR Group reported $8.3 million in the first quarter of 2021, a 2.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2020 and a 6 percent increase from the first quarter of 2020.

Cornerstone reported nearly $7.8 million in the first quarter of 2021, a major increase from the $6.3 million the firm made in the first quarter of 2020.

Another firm, Holland & Knight, reported $7.4 million for the first quarter of 2021, a slight increase from the over $7.3 it made it in the fourth quarter of 2020. And, Invariant reported over $6.6 million for the first quarter of 2021, an over 15.5 percent increase from the last quarter of 2020.

Squire Patton Boggs made nearly $5.6 million in the first quarter of the year, following a strong finish to 2020 when the firm made nearly $6.7 million in the fourth quarter.

Closely behind Squire Patton Boggs was Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, which reported $5.2 million in the first quarter. Their quarter one revenue was a slight increase compared to $5.1 million reported in the last quarter of 2020.

Smaller firms had varied starts to the new year. 

K&L Gates reported nearly $4.8 million in the first quarter of 2020, up from the nearly $4.7 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Ballard Partners, a Trump-connected firm that has seen revenues boom under the prior administration, reported $4.7 million last quarter, a decline from the $6 million it reported in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Cassidy & Associates reported over $4.4 million, a slight increase from the over $4.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Also, Monument Advocacy reported nearly $2.3 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2021, a decline from the nearly $2.5 million in revenue in the last quarter of 2020 but an increase from the first quarter of 2020 when it made over $2.2 million.

“The advocacy marketplace is focused on tech reform, infrastructure, immigration, earmarks, and COVID-relief for business. That’s driving lobbying fee growth for many firms, and those of us that have robust communications, public affairs and digital offerings are faring even better overall,” said Stewart Verdery, Monument Advocacy founder and CEO.

The Vogel Group reported over $1 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2021, a large increase from the $858,000 it reported for the first quarter of 2020.