Archer & Greiner has launched a government affairs subsidiary in Trenton, staffed by a half-dozen lobbyists with significant government backgrounds.
The Haddonfield-based law firm announced Tuesday the formation of Archer & Greiner Public Affairs LLC.
The firm acquired Richard S. Mroz Consulting of Trenton, a top-earning lobbyist company headed by Richard Mroz, a lawyer in Gov. Christine Todd Whitman’s administration who has been of counsel at Archer since 2011.
Managing partner Christopher Gibson and Mroz had been discussing a lobbying affiliate for a few years. The law firm “didn’t really have the broad capabilities” to meet existing and future clients’ lobbying needs without a dedicated affiliate, Mroz says.
But Mroz, a Republican, needed help from the Democratic side. So in early September, the firm brought on William Caruso, until recently the executive director of the Assembly Majority Office, as of counsel.
Mroz and Caruso are co-managing partners of the new subsidiary.
Other familiar faces joining Mroz and Caruso are Archer partners Vincent Sarubbi, Carlton Johnson and Brian Nelson, and John Fisher III, a nonlawyer government affairs specialist.
“It’s a pretty big number that we have,” says Gibson. “We’re not sticking our toe in the water.”
Archer will maintain its existing government affairs practice, but those attorneys now will focus on technical legal needs—such as licensing, permitting and land-use matters—while those in the lobbying subsidiary will handle policy, business-development and other political functions, Mroz says.
Mroz Consulting generated $637,345 in 2012 revenue, ranking 19th out of 111 lobbyists that reported income for that year, according to reports filed with the N.J. Election Law Enforcement Commission. In 2011, it generated $701,866, ranking 24th out of 124.
Mroz drew salaries of $582,420 and $606,262 in those years, respectively.
The lobbying company has clients in numerous industries, particularly energy, transportation and health care.
The top-paying clients during that two-year span were Trump Entertainment Resorts of Atlantic City ($172,500); Atlantic City Electric/Pepco Holdings of Mays Landing ($159,750); health-care provider Kennedy Health System of Voorhees ($157,500); convention facility operator SMG Worldwide of Atlantic City ($110,000); and Develcom of Bellmawr, a municipal redevelopment company ($97,031).
Archer’s lobbying practice was less lucrative in 2012 and 2011, generating $156,605 and $29,382, respectively.
The largest fees in those years were paid by petroleum refiner PBF Holdings LLC of Parsippany ($70,108); Gaming Laboratories International of Kansas City, a casino game-testing company ($42,216); Veolia Energy North American Holdings, an energy company ($23,689); Amtrak ($23,044); and CPV Shore LLC of Braintree, Mass., also an energy company ($7,063).
Mroz was Camden County counsel from 1991 until joining Whitman’s administration in 1994 as director of the Authorities Unit. In June 1999, he became her chief counsel, replacing John Farmer Jr., who became attorney general.
Less than a year later, Mroz left to join Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young in Cherry Hill as a partner. He then moved to Vineland’s Gruccio, Pepper, DeSanto & Ruth in September 2007, and Archer in March 2011, practicing in the government affairs, public finance and other practice groups.
Mroz also has served as counsel to George W. Bush’s and John McCain’s presidential campaigns.
Caruso, before his five-year stint with the Assembly Democrats, spent 11 years as chief of staff and campaign manager for Rep. Rob Andrews.
Sarubbi, Camden County’s prosecutor from 2002 to 2006 and freeholder director before that, joined Archer & Greiner in 2006 to co-chairman its new government affairs section.
Johnson joined the firm contemporaneously with Sarubbi to be co-chairman of the government affairs section. Johnson, who is in the firm’s Philadelphia office, was deputy solicitor general in the civil rights unit of the city’s law department for more than 21 years.
Fisher, before joining Archer in September 2011, was Gloucester County’s first county administrator, a position he held for a total of 30 years over two stints.
Archer is eying two more outside hires, Gibson says, though he declines to name them. “We’d love to see growth,” he says, adding the move “certainly will be a productive business venture for us.”
Archer became the second New Jersey firm in a few days’ time to create a lobbying unit. On Oct. 28, Roseland’s Brach Eichler launched its own affiliate, Brach Eichler Government Affairs LLC.