Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns
Josh Ackil and Matt Tanielian, Franklin Square Group
Companies large and small rely on this tech-centric lobbying firm, which this year delved into big issues like broadband access and intellectual property enforcement.
Andy Barbour, Smith-Free Group
As a financial services pro, it’s no surprise that Barbour’s client list includes Bank of America and the electronic payments company Square.
Haley Barbour, Lanny Griffith, Ed Rogers and Loren Monroe, BGR Group
Long one of K Street’s elite shops, BGR Group is on pace for its highest revenue in years.
Doyle Bartlett, Eris Group
Bartlett’s firm, which specializes in financial services issues, is going strong as it heads into its 15th year.
Jennifer Bell, Chamber Hill Strategies
Chamber Hill Strategies honed its focus on health-care policy in 2017, growing new business in a fertile lobbying area.
Kirk Blalock and Kirsten Chadwick, Fierce Government Relations
An alum of the George W. Bush White House, Blalock helps run one of the few all-GOP shops left on K Street. Chadwick, who was the top lobbyist for the Bush White House, is also a prolific Republican donor.
Dan Boston, Health Policy Source Inc.
As his firm’s name suggests, Boston is a seasoned veteran on health-care policy; his client sheet includes several hospital groups.
Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies LLC
Brain founded this small Democratic firm more than 15 years ago; it punches above its weight with a solid book of business.
Robert Chamberlin and Sam Whitehorn, Signal Group Consulting LLC
Chamberlin and Whitehorn are fixtures at this bipartisan public affairs firm, which represents a mixture of corporate and municipal clients.
Rob Collins and Mike Ference, S-3 Group
With close ties to House and Senate leadership, S-3 is well-positioned to help blue-chip clients in the biggest policy battles.
Justin Daly, Daly Consulting Group
This small firm helps big financial services companies navigate the complexities of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, in addition to the halls of the Capitol.
Tom and Nathan Daschle, The Daschle Group
The former senator and his son have become major players on the lobbying scene, securing foreign government clients, such as Turkey and Japan, and corporate ones, like Aetna.
Licy Do Canto, The Do Canto Group
Do Canto is an energetic champion for his clients, including a home health care network, the community health care industry and a nonprofit that helps connect low-income mothers with nurses.
Ken Duberstein and David Schiappa, The Duberstein Group Inc.
Duberstein, a chief of staff in the Reagan White House, commands top-dollar treatment from clients like Estee Lauder, Alibaba Group, the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office and Duke Energy. Schiappa, who spent nearly three decades in the Senate, knows how members in the upper chamber think.
Missy Edwards, Missy Edwards Strategies LLC
Edwards previously held top jobs on Capitol Hill and at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, giving her proximity to key players in the policy and campaign space.
Steve Eichenauer, Public Strategies Washington Inc.
A former Democratic aide, Eichenauer specializes in trade at the boutique firm, putting him at the center of some of Washington’s biggest policy fights.
Steve Elmendorf and Jimmy Ryan, Subject Matter
Business is booming at this lobbying firm, which has undergone a wholesale transformation by specializing in advocacy and public relations.
Holly Fechner, Jon Kyl, Howard Berman and Bill Wichterman, Covington & Burling LLP
Fechner and Wichterman are an influential bipartisan duo; Kyl, a former Republican senator, and Berman, a former Democratic House member, round out the team at this law and lobbying powerhouse.
John Feehery, EFB Advocacy LLC
Feehery’s new firm has already signed big names like 21st Century Fox, Sprint and the RATE Coalition, which is fighting for a lower corporate tax rate. (Feehery is a columnist for The Hill.)
Mitchell Feuer and John Anderson, Rich Feuer Anderson
Feuer, a Democratic alum of the Senate Banking Committee, and Anderson, a Republican who served as the top lobbyist for Credit Suisse, helped build a firm that attracts clients such as the London Stock Exchange, online lender SoFi and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Jeff Forbes and Dan Tate Jr., Forbes-Tate Partners
Forbes, who worked for former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) during the last attempt at tax reform, and Tate, who did a stint in the Clinton White House, are making waves at their bipartisan shop.
Elizabeth Frazee, TwinLogic Strategies
Frazee, a former AOL executive and Capitol Hill aide, runs her small firm with verve, scoring big-time tech and telecommunications clients.
Kimberley Fritts, Paul Brathwaite and Josh Holly, Podesta Group
The firm, which has a diverse clientele, is undergoing change after the announcement that founder Tony Podesta will be stepping down.
Sam Geduldig and John Stipicevic, CGCN Group
Once a four-person shop, the all-Republican CGCN Group has quadrupled in size, adding a public affairs component — including the hiring of former Koch Industries spokesman Ken Spain — to complement its all-star team of lobbyists.
Chris Giblin and Moses Mercado, Ogilvy Government Relations
Giblin, a Republican, and Mercado, a Democrat, are the pillars of this successful bipartisan firm.
Nicholas Giordano, Washington Council Ernst & Young
Giordano, a former chief tax counsel for Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, is an advocate clients will want in their corner during the debate over tax reform.
Rich Gold, Kathryn Lehman and Gerry Sikorski, Holland & Knight LLP
The firm’s lobby shop, which represents Native American tribes, cities around the U.S. and corporations, is propelled by Gold, Lehman and Sikorski, a former congressman from Minnesota.
Elizabeth Gore, Marc Lampkin and Al Mottur, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Led by this potent trio, the team at Brownstein has rocketed into the stratosphere, growing the firm’s client base and revenue.
Micah Green, Jason Abel and Luis Fortuño, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
The law and lobby firm’s capabilities are vast; Green is a financial services pro, Abel is an ethics law expert and former aide to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Fortuño served as the governor of Puerto Rico.
Ilisa Halpern Paul and Jodie Curtis, District Policy Group
Health care dominates the roster for this firm, with Halpern Paul and Curtis called upon to move the agenda and cultivate relationships on Capitol Hill and in the administration.
J. Steven Hart and Susan Hirschmann, Williams & Jensen PLLC
Both Hart and Hirschmann are established Republican power-players able to build relationships in pursuit of policy goals.
Ralph Hellmann and David Lugar, Lugar Hellmann Group LLC
This firm is like a one-two punch: Lugar, the son of former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), brings his experience as a longtime lobbyist to the table for clients, while Hellmann leverages his time working for Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.
Michael Herson, American Defense International Inc.
Herson has earned his stripes over the years, becoming a top lobbyist on defense issues; recently, he’s helped SpaceX take on more established players in Washington.
Mike House, Hogan Lovells LLP
House has decades of K Street experience, giving him a rarefied ability to work through complicated legislative and regulatory tasks.
Steven Irizarry and Vin Roberti, Roberti Global LLC
Irizarry is a GOP health-care wiz, while Roberti is a high-profile Democratic donor and strategist; together, they’ve created a small but mighty lobbying shop that, among other things, helped Samsung navigate the recall of exploding cellphone batteries.
Joel Johnson, The Glover Park Group LLC
Johnson is one of the go-tos for clients in a jam; beyond his advocacy work for domestic and foreign clients, he provides crisis communications services.
Matt Keelen, The Keelen Group LLC
Keelen’s firm is unique in catering to both industry groups and unions, working for the Natural Products Association, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association and the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Ken Kies, Federal Policy Group LLC
Kies has decades of experience in tax policy; few lobbyists will be in such high demand as the Republican Congress considers changes to the tax code.
Lisa Kountoupes, KDCR partners LLC
Kountoupes’s firm is soaring to new heights as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Blanche Lincoln, Lincoln Policy Group
Lincoln, a former Democratic senator, has created a K Street success story, signing almost 20 new clients in 2017, primarily in the health-care space.
Robert Livingston, The Livingston Group LLC
Livingston, a former congressman and top appropriator, has clients ranging from Oracle to the Democratic Republic of Congo relying on his expertise.
Trent Lott, John Breaux and Jack Kingston, Squire Patton Boggs
This top-flight team of former lawmakers has helped the global firm rebound from a slump, signing the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and BAE Systems in the past year.
Sander Lurie, Dentons US LLP
Lurie has nearly three decades of public policy experience to draw upon as he represents members of the Fortune 500.
Bruce Mehlman and David Castagnetti, Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas Inc.
When they aren’t fighting for clients on Capitol Hill, Mehlman and Castagnetti travel around the country providing insight for groups outside the Beltway into how American leaders think.
Kyle Nevins and Steve Stombres, Harbinger Strategies LLC
Having worked for former Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Nevins and Stombres have valuable connections to the close-knit world of House GOP leadership.
Larry O’Brien, The OB-C Group LLC
O’Brien is a Democratic mover and shaker who has been working on gun control for Everytown for Gun Safety and on tax policy for Intuit, the maker of TurboTax.
Tom O’Donnell, Gephardt Group Government Affairs
The firm founded by former Democratic Rep. Dick Gephardt (Mo.) is flush with clients, including working for Bayer as the company attempts a mega-merger with Monsanto.
Kevin O’Neill and Eugenia Pierson, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
This duo was brought on in January 2016 to help build out the law firm’s lobbying practice; since then, advocacy revenues are on pace to more than double over last year.
Manny Ortiz, VantageKnight Inc.
A year after leaving top K Street firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, the Democratic operative is flourishing, keeping a prized contract with CITGO Petroleum and expanding his work for Puerto Rico.
Scott Pastrick and Charlie Black, Prime Policy Group
Genuine Washington insiders, Pastrick and Black are political animals who move freely between the worlds of lobbying and campaigns.
Jeff Peck, Peck Madigan Jones
Peck brings sterling Democratic credentials — having worked for then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) — to clients like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, the Business Roundtable and the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.
Steven Phillips, DLA Piper LLP
Phillips, who worked for a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, clears the way for defense clients looking to work with the federal government.
Jim Pitts and Chris Cox, Navigators Global LLC
The firm has already matched its revenues for all of 2016 this year as it goes into overdrive for clients such as Oracle and the Puerto Rico Statehood Council.
Heather Podesta, Invariant LLC
Podesta rebranded her firm earlier this year, completing the transformation from small start-up to K Street institution.
Brian Pomper, Hunter Bates, Scott Parven, Arshi Siddiqui and Geoff Verhoff, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Pomper and Bates are taking on a new leadership role in the law firm’s lobbying operation, backed by an all-star team that includes Parven, Siddiqui and Verhoff.
Thomas Quinn and Rob Smith, Venable LLP
Quinn is a longtime Democratic operative known all over town, while Smith is a Republican skilled in tax, defense and telecommunications policy.
Robert Raben, The Raben Group
Raben mixes corporations and causes at his successful firm; its business sheet includes not only Google, Sprint and Mastercard, but also the Innocence Project, FairVote and Everytown For Gun Safety.
John Raffaelli, Jim McCrery and Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel LLC
The firm founded by Raffaelli boasts high-level talent like McCrery, the former top Republican on the House tax-writing committee, and Finley, a multifaceted Democratic lobbyist; this year, former Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) also came on board.
Mark Rayder, Alston & Bird LLP
Rayder, a former lobbyist for the American College of Gastroenterology and adviser on Capitol Hill, is a trusted resource for clients on health-care policy.
Barry Rhoads, Kai Anderson and Jordan Bernstein, Cassidy & Associates Inc.
Rhoads, Anderson and Bernstein are leading the charge to buy the firm back from its parent company, Interpublic Group; their skill in appropriations and defense work is second to none.
Emanuel Rouvelas, Darrell Conner, Bart Gordon and James Walsh, K&L Gates LLP
Taxes and appropriations are the bedrock of K&L’s advocacy; think of these lobbyists as the money men.
Scott Segal and Dee Martin, Bracewell LLP
Segal has helped advance coal interests in the midst of a federal overhaul of energy regulations, while Martin focuses on homeland security issues — now working on a push to define “domestic terrorism” under federal law.
Rhod Shaw, Alpine Group
Shaw can handle any policy issue thrown at him — that’s the versatility that comes after two decades in the lobbying game.
Michaela Sims, Sims Strategies
Sims, a former aide to then-Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), went into business for herself this year; health-care clients like WellCare Health Plans and GlaxoSmithKline quickly followed.
Mike Smith and Jim Richards, Cornerstone Government Affairs Inc.
Smith and Richards can turn a single line of the federal budget into a policy win — to clients, that speaks volumes.
Charlie Spies and Kevin Kelly, Clark Hill PLC
Spies is a Republican political operative at the helm of Clark Hill’s Washington office; Kelly, who worked as an aide to former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), helps steer the firm’s government and public affairs practice.
Tracy Spicer, Avenue Solutions
Spicer, a former aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), has kept her all-Democratic firm humming along this year, with the debate over health care driving business.
Russ Sullivan and Michael Drobac, McGuireWoods Consulting
As the longtime staff director for the Senate Finance Committee, Sullivan knows tax policy inside and out; Drobac is an expert on all things tech.
David Tamasi, Rasky Partners, Inc.
Tamasi has long been a prolific GOP fundraiser; in addition to his advocacy work, he served as the finance chairman for Trump Victory, a key money machine connected to the Republican Party.
Linda Tarplin, Tarplin, Downs & Young LLC
Tarplin, a longtime consultant and lobbyist, has an impressive roster of health-care clients to her name.
Carl Thorsen and Alec French, Thorsen French Advocacy
This two-man bipartisan firm often works on issues that are off the beaten path for clients such as the American Association for Justice, the Directors Guild of America and Cultural Care Au Pair.
David Urban and Manus Cooney, American Continental Group
Urban, who helped President Trump in Urban’s home state of Pennsylvania, has a client list that keeps growing; Cooney, a former chief counsel and staff director for Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a virtuoso at intellectual policy.
Stu Van Scoyoc, Van Scoyoc Associates
Van Scoyoc has cultivated a bipartisan firm with roots in appropriations issues, helping out clients such as SeaWorld, Airports Council International, the city of San Diego and the Cleveland Clinic.
Stewart Verdery, Monument Policy Group LLC
It’s been nothing but growth since Verdery founded his shop more than 10 years ago; they’ve launched a public affairs arm and reopened a Seattle office this year.
Jack Victory and Rick Shelby, Capitol Hill Consulting Group
Victory is a CEO with a knack for developing legislative strategy; Shelby wields power in the energy space and in state politics.
Scott Weaver, Wiley Rein LLP
Weaver, who worked as an adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) White House bid, has been helping push through the merger of AT&T and Time Warner and signed FitBit this year when it faced a tariffs issue.
Vin Weber, Mercury
The former Republican congressman from Minnesota has access to the inner sanctums of politics; he lends his expertise to companies such as Airbnb, Navient and foreign clients like the government of Qatar.
Jonathan Yarowsky, WilmerHale
Yarowsky’s client sheet spans multiple industry sectors, setting the tone as co-chairman of the firm’s public policy and legislative affairs practice.
Read more from The Hill: