Top Washington Lobbying Firms Boost Client Rosters By 2%

The biggest lobbying firms in Washington, D.C., signed up slightly more clients while keeping revenue steady before today’s congressional election, a Bloomberg study found.

The top 20 firms, including Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, together saw sales for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 increase 0.3 percent to $81,090,000 from a year earlier. At the same time, the total number of lobbying clients rose 2 percent to 1,951.

Lobbying is expected to become one of the busiest industries after today’s congressional election, according to the Bloomberg review. The firms are in a good position, regardless of the outcome of individual races, said Anthony Costello, director of government affairs research at Bloomberg Government and co-author of the study.

“There are certainly plenty of issues they’ll have to work on,” Costello said in an interview. If Republicans win control of the Senate, the firms may be called on to help unravel parts of the Affordable Care Act and the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, he said.

Eleven of the 20 firms studied had increases in quarterly revenue compared with last year, while nine showed declines.

Capitol Counsel LLC had the biggest percentage jump in quarterly revenue from a year earlier, according to the study. Its sales rose by more than 20 percent to $4.6 million, from $3.8 million in the same quarter of 2013.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s client list swelled almost 12 percent to 105 clients, compared with 94 a year ago, the biggest percentage gain of the firms reviewed. Its new customers included Cochlear Americas, which makes hearing implants and accounted for $100,000 of Hogan’s revenue for the quarter.

Akin Gump had an average revenue of more than $63,000 per active client, more than any other firm. Even so, it lost Shell Oil Co., the U.S. subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and US Airways Group Inc., owned by the American Airlines Group Inc., as customers last quarter.

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