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In 2005, Arnold & Porter reported just over $1 million under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, a fraction of the business the lobbying practice had done in more flush years. But that same year, the firm came up with a plan to turn things around: bringing in former Rep. Jim Turner, a Texas Democrat. “The firm has gone through several cycles of highs and, perhaps, not so highs,” Turner says. His job, he says, was to push hard to build the practice back up. It didn’t take long: The firm moved back onto the Influence 50 list in 2006 with $9 million in revenue. This year, the firm is reporting an even bigger jump: more than double that 2006 revenue. “I think we’ve actually exceeded what we thought we could do in this period of time,” Turner says. The firm filed 21 new client registrations in 2007, up from nine in 2005, and brought in some big new clients, including United Parcel Service, Accenture, Boston Scientific Corp., and Hoffman-LaRoche. Arnold & Porter is also hiring more lobbyists, not all lawyers, and some who come with a book of business. One prominent new hire is Matthew LaRocco. The former general manager of Fleishman-Hilliard brought a practice heavy with student loan clients such as the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, Inc. and Access Group. He’s also registered to lobby for a client the firm touted at midyear, United Parcel Service, which paid Arnold & Porter $120,000 in 2007, disclosure reports show. The firm also recently hired Freddie Mac government relations director Dwight Fettig, a former legislative director to Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). Fettig’s experience in the financial sector will complement the firm’s strong practice in that area, Turner says. Arnold & Porter already provides strategic advice and legislative monitoring to the Coalition of Private Investment Funds, though the firm doesn’t lobby for the group. Jack Quinn, who headed the lobbying practice at Arnold & Porter before leaving in 2000 to found Quinn Gillespie, says the firm’s recent success shows it’s going back to its roots in a strong government relations practice. Quinn says he hasn’t followed the firm’s ups and downs closely lately, but “over the years, it has had some really first-class talent in government relations. I learned most of what I learned from a good many of the people who had that talent at Arnold & Porter.” One thing the public policy practice is trying to do is line up lobbying work for Arnold & Porter’s existing client base. The firm “has developed a very strong practice in representing people who are the subject of congressional investigations,” Turner says; it’s something that’s reflected in the firm’s related revenue numbers, which grew by more than $3 million in 2007. And Turner says they’re hoping the boom-and-bust cycle of years past turns into an upward trend. “Hopefully,” he says, “we’ll have a significant number of (new clients) in the next year or two.”
Carrie Levine can be contacted at [email protected].

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