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Influence 50 members registered a slight increase in government-affairs lobbying revenue in 2012.
"We took the action we felt we needed to protect the profitability of the firm and the financial strength of the firm in light of what we anticipate revenue will be this year," Newberry said.
Also reporting declining government-affairs revenue were Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Arent Fox, DLA Piper and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Pure lobbying shops, not connected to law firms, also suffered, contributing less than one-third of the lobbying revenue among the Influence 50 shops.
Ogilvy Government Relations, which collected $13.6 million in government-affairs revenue, showed the greatest percentage decrease, with a 34.6 percent drop. The nonlaw firm, which took part in the Influence 50 last year, this year declined to report revenue totals it isn't required to provide to the government. For firms that don't participate in our survey, the NLJ calculates revenue using publicly available Lobbying Disclosure Act and Foreign Agents Registration Act numbers only.
Judging by those figures alone for 2011 and 2012 revenue, Ogilvy's revenue fell by 31.7 percent, still the biggest percentage decrease among the Influence 50. The firm in 2012 lost about a half-dozen lobbyists and several clients, including Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Chevron Corp. Asked about the decline, Rawson Hart, Ogilvy's chief administrative officer, said, "We're focused on the future."
On the other side of the pendulum, Alston & Bird, with $21.5 million in lobbying revenue, posted the largest percentage increase at 41.4 percent, moving into the top 20. Alston partner Robert Jones, who leads the legislative and public policy group, credited an increase in Dodd-Frank and other regulatory work in 2012. "It's hard to replicate," Jones said of Alston's revenue bump.
Other changes include the departures of Greenberg Traurig, Livingston Group and QGA Public Affairs from the Influence 50. New to the list are Faegre Baker Daniels, Heather Podesta + Partners and The Glover Park Group. Faegre, which lobbies as FaegreBD Consulting, made its debut at No. 33, the highest position on the Influence 50 for a new entrant. Last year, Baker Daniels and B&D Consulting merged with Faegre & Benson to create FaegreBD Consulting.
"2012 was an important year for our firm," said David Zook, FaegreBD Consulting's chairman.
Andrew Ramonas can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.