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Despite the Democrats’ congressional takeover, GOP lobbyists continue to be in demand in the ever-dynamic marketplace. The most recent example: Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner raiding Arent Fox of four lobbyists � including GOP lobbyist Harry Katrichis, former head of Arent Fox’s public policy practice. Katrichis’ Republican bona fides didn’t come into play for Foley during its recruitment of Katrichis, according to Richard Weiss, head of Foley’s Washington office. “It wasn’t a factor at all,” says Weiss. “Clearly the Democrats are more hot right now then the Republicans. . . . Harry’s worked both sides for a long time.” Katrichis, former chief counsel to the House Committee on Small Business, is joined by two of counsel: Vicki Hicks, a Clinton administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Lance Kotschwar, former general counsel to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. Patricia Doty is also joining the firm from Arent Fox. “Foley’s a larger platform, which made the firm attractive to me,” says Katrichis of his reason for jumping to Foley after six years with Arent Fox. His clients include the New York Mercantile Exchange, and the National Association of Convenience Stores. The hires come less than a month after the firm brought on another Republican, Philip Kiko, former general counsel of the House Judiciary Committee. “This is a result of a deliberate plan to really deepen our bench in the public affairs area,” says Weiss. He expects the firm to focus on growing its lobbying efforts in patent reform, financial services, and agriculture. But Foley has run into some trouble with its state-level lobbyists in California over the past year. Last month, the firm lost its last two lobbyists in Sacramento, including George Steffes, who was legislative secretary to then-Gov. Ronald Reagan. Last year, Arent Fox’s lobbying revenue hit $17 million, according to Legal Times‘ Influence 50. Katrichis will be taking one of the firm’s biggest lobbying clients, the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, with him. The bank paid Arent Fox $420,000 in lobbying fees last year. But Marc Fleischaker, Arent Fox’s chairman, says he isn’t worried about the future of his firm’s lobbying efforts. “Harry had a good run, and he just decided, after a lot of discussions, he was going to leave,” says Fleischaker. Fleischaker says he expects to fill the gap. In his absence, the firm has retooled its management of the practice. Former Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.) is taking over as chairman of the practice. Beneath him the firm has placed three lobbyists, partners Dan Renberg and Craig Engle and associate Jon Bouker, to run day-to-day operations. This isn’t the first time Arent Fox has had to rebuild its lobbying presence. In 2002, Elliott Portnoy exited with six other Arent Fox lobbyists to Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.
Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected].

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