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+16.7%: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (#1) is sitting at the top of the list for the second year in a row. How’d the firm pull that off? The powerhouse registered more than 50 new clients in 2007, ranging from American Express to the Catfish Farmers of America, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman is proving to be corporate catnip. Can Akin keep it up in 2008? We’ll see if election-year voodoo jinxes its winning streak. +25.8%: Patton Boggs (#2) narrowed the gap with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld this year but didn’t quite close it. Still, the firm — which easily boasts more lobbyists than any other firm on our list — had a great year. But will the loss of former Sen. John Breaux, a rainmaker who left to start his own firm, hurt in 2008? Hard to say. Patton Boggs is working on a deal to keep Breaux tied to the firm somehow. There could be a lot of money riding on it. +2%: DLA Piper’s (#4) LDA revenue declined this year, but the firm made up for it with a booming $7.9 million FARA practice. The breakaway leader in foreign representation, DLA Piper handled everything from promoting trade deals to smothering camel-racing lawsuits. FARA work remains a priority in 2008, but so are practice groups like telecommunications privacy and financial services regulation. “The first three months have been very busy,” says Tom Boyd, co-chairman of the firm’s regulatory and government affairs group. +30%: Holland & Knight (#5) posted the biggest jump in gross revenue of the top 10 firms on the Influence 50 this year — the latest in several years of steady increases. And the firm has done it without announcing any flashy new initiatives. The gains, says Rich Gold, head of the public policy group, come from doing what they do well. “We are advocates,” he says. “We’re much more like the steady tortoise.” Expect this turtle to do more regulatory work in an election year — and keep an eye on the numbers. +13.4%: K&L Gates (#6) dropped one slot in this year’s ranking, but a $5 million revenue gain should give the firm something to be pleased about. Mark Ruge, head of the firm’s policy group, credits growth to core practice areas like maritime and defense lobbying and new clients in the fields of alternative energy and health sciences. This year, the firm is anticipating plenty of tax lobbying work. “I’m not a person who says nothing’s going to happen in a presidential year,” Ruge says. -0.7%: Cassidy & Associates (#11) held steady in 2007, as it continued its move away from appropriations work. The firm wants to boost its global business, but so far, results have been mixed. Cassidy chose to walk away from a $1.2 million contract to represent Pakistan after the country destabilized, which meant the firm took a financial and public relations hit. Other changes are in the works in the year ahead: Firm president Jack Quinn is close to leaving for a community college job, opening room at the top for new leadership. +8.6%: Sonnenschein’s (#13) revenue increase wasn’t the largest in this year’s list, but after a four-year growth spurt, the firm may have needed to catch its breath. Assuming control of the firm’s public law and policy strategies practice when the firm made Elliot Portnoy chairman, Mike McNamara has already made big moves, like bringing the international trade firm Fontheim International in-house, and he’s looking beyond straight lobbying for business. “We have more nonregistered lobbyists in our PLPS group than registered lobbyists,” McNamara says. +42.7%: In its first full year as a bipartisan lobby shop, Ogilvy Government Relations (#14) made a killing. Much of its gains came from serving as private equity’s eyes, ears, and mouth in Washington — the Blackstone Group spent $4.5 million on Ogilvy’s services alone, and the Carlyle Group chipped in $500,000 more. It may prove difficult to match those numbers this year. Troubles in the credit markets have halved Blackstone’s stock price, and one of Ogilvy’s founding partners, John Green, is on loan to work for Arizona Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid. +22.2%: Venable (#22) posted a substantial increase in 2007. The firm credits what it calls normal organic growth for part of the boost; new clients such as Tyson Foods also helped feed the bottom line. An increase in lobbying-related revenue was fueled by a congressional investigations practice the firm started in June and an environmental practice led by two partners who came over from DLA Piper, William Weissman and Doug Green. The two attorneys frequently work on issues and regulations before the Environmental Protection Agency. -14.4%: The Livingston Group (#26) had a difficult year in 2007 despite some high-profile and creative victories. The firm successfully lobbied on behalf of Turkey against a congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide (Bob Livingston even made a YouTube video), while the PLM Group, the firm’s joint venture with Anthony Podesta’s Democratic firm, earned significant revenue while incurring miniscule overhead. More bipartisanship is in store for 2008: The Livingston Group recently hired its first two Democratic partners. -27%: Arent Fox (#30) lost ground — and revenue — in 2007, falling back to roughly 2001 levels. Why the sudden slip? The firm lost two lobbyists to a competitor. An unresolvable client conflict prompted a third departure, and a fourth lobbyist left for a job on the Hill. Some clients — including the New York Mercantile Exchange and California Dairies — left, too. The firm has been moving into grass-roots advocacy work, something it wants to continue. Partner Craig Engle says the firm will hire in 2008 and look to regain some lost ground. +16.3%: Alpine Group (#34) co-founder Greg Means says he’s proud that he can’t point to any event, industry, or hire as the cause of last year’s solid growth. The bipartisan firm’s practice leans toward energy and health care but makes room for agriculture, telecommunications, finance, and a “whole lot of eclectic,” he says. Business has slowed in recent months — Means blames the election year — but he isn’t changing anything. “Our growth was in relation to the deck that we had already put together,” he says. “I would like to say we provide good customer service.”

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