Little will change in post-merger Squire Patton Boggs’ Washington lobbying operation, despite a flurry of organizational announcements in recent weeks.
The firm said on Monday that it had named 13 people to various positions at the top of its public-policy group. And last week, it announced that former U.S. sens. Trent Lott and John Breaux would co-chair the practice. The firm provided both announcements to Politico as exclusive stories.
But the announcements boiled down to semantics. “The only thing that has changed is my title,” said Jeff Turner, now called “managing partner” of the combined firm’s public-policy practice. He had been public policy department “chair” at legacy firm Patton Boggs and ran day-to-day operations for the group.
So why the commotion?
“We’re getting lots of questions about the new structure and how this fits together with what Sen. Breaux and Sen. Lott are doing,” Turner said. “Part of the message we’ve been trying to convey is that they will be assuming a much more substantial role in promoting the interest of the combined firm.”
Almost all the people named in the practice leadership announcements had been tied to Patton Boggs, the Washington lobbying powerhouse, rather than Squire Sanders, which had a minor pre-merger lobbying presence.
Breaux and Lott, whose business Patton Boggs acquired in 2010, operated their Breaux Lott Leadership Group as an subsidiary of that firm. Breaux sat on Patton’s executive committee but he and Lott focused primarily on their group’s work.
The former senators now will promote the combined firm and work with Squire Patton clients, Turner said.
Some of their clients, however, will still register with the Breaux Lott Leadership Group—keeping the subsidiary alive on paper to maintain continuity in public congressional lobbying disclosures.
Al Cardenas, a Republican organizer and lobbyist, is the sole legacy Squire Sanders public-policy leader. He joined the firm in the months before the June 1 merger—and will serve as deputy leader of the combined national practice and leader of the Florida and Latin America practices. He brought with him a group of Tallahassee lobbyists who will continue as a subsidiary, according to a firm spokesman, similar to the Breaux-Lott arrangement.
In a press release, Breaux teased more news to come: “Our combined firm offers both longtime clients and potential future partners an unmatched level of expertise to solving problems for businesses, not only in the U.S., but around the world. This is just the beginning, and we look forward to even more big announcements in the months ahead.”
The leaders mentioned in Monday’s announcement include, in addition to Turner:
*Kevin O’Neill, previously policy department deputy chairman, will become deputy global managing partner for public policy, investigatory and regulatory solutions.
*Victoria Cram and Carolina Mederos, both nonlawyer principals, will co-chair the transportation, infrastructure and local governments practice.
*Micah Green, a partner, will lead the financial services and tax practice.
*Robert Kapla, a partner, will lead the international policy practice.
*Jack Deschauer, a partner, will lead the defense practice.
*Josh Greene, a partner, will manage the energy and natural resources public policy practice.
*Eugenia Pierson, a principal, will lead the health care practice. She will take over the group from John Jonas, who moved to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld during the merger with a team of partners.
*Stuart Pape, a partner and former Patton Boggs managing partner, will lead the food and drug practice.
*Rodney Slater and Brian Starer will co-chair the transportation shipping and global logistics industry group. It is not a lobbying practice-related group.
All of the people listed, with the exception of Starer, worked with Patton Boggs.
A Squire Patton spokesman said that John Burlingame, managing partner of Squire Sanders’ Washington and Northern Virginia offices, will share office management duties with Michael Nardotti, Patton Boggs’ D.C. office managing partner.
That would give five lawyers in Washington the words “managing partner” in their titles. The number includes former Patton Boggs’ managing partner Edward Newberry, now global co-managing partner alongside Stephen Mahon, from Squire Sanders, who works in Cincinnati and New York.
Contact Katelyn Polantz at firstname.lastname@example.org.