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Lobby Terminations Up Over Last Year

Ogilvy terminated 13 contracts during the first quarter, including Icahn Associates, Credit Suisse Securities and LG Electronics USA.

Another firm attributed the jump in terminations to the slumping economy — but for reasons that may not be as obvious.

Paul Lee, a former staffer to ex-Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) who started the firm Strategic Health Care 15 years ago, said his shop had to cut loose a number of pro bono clients in order to meet the brisk demand for hand-holding, as the White House plots to upend the nation’s health care system.

“We do a lot of pro bono work for hospitals and other health care providers, and our work has actually picked up so much in the last six months or so that we don’t have as much time to do the pro bono work anymore,” Lee said. “We just made a decision that we can’t do as much of that anymore because we’re getting too busy.”

Strategic Health Care canceled 15 contracts during the first quarter, including 10 hospitals.

Krivit & Krivit, another firm with more than a dozen terminations during the first quarter, said it used the early months of 2009 to review its internal compliance policy, according to Sandra Krivit. After analyzing its case load, the law firm — which has a number of public interest clients — realized it was over-reporting and filed termination reports for 13 clients, including numerous municipal governments.

“Most people under-report. We were over-reporting,” Krivit said, adding that “especially with all of the hoopla going on, we thought, ‘Why would we put ourselves out there?’”

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