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Some Lobbyists Buck the Odds in 2011

"Health care lobbying is just exploding for me," said Jennifer Bell, who used to work as a health policy adviser for the Senate Finance Committee. "Regulations are coming out, even more legislation is going to be coming through," Bell said, following the passage of health care reform. "People have realized that it had not ended; it had just begun."

John McMickle, president of the newly created JDM Public Strategies, said the key to success in lobbying now is to recognize that its "procyclical."

The Republican-based lobbyist with previous clientele from another firm said he might have received a boost with the return of Republicans to run the House after the 2010 elections.

He said smaller firms can be agile, but there are challenges. "I have to figure out how to manage growth," he said. "I am not at capacity, but I am pretty close."

While some new lobbying firms staked claims during the past year and half's down federal lobbying market, some long-established companies were able to significantly increase their revenues, too.

Major firms with gains include Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre, which has billed more than $2.4 million so far in 2011, a quarterly increase of 32 percent over the past year. Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli and Berzok has increased its average revenue by more than 20 percent when compared with 2010.

On paper, the Livingston Group reported a quarterly gain of 35 percent in 2011, but most of that increase was due to the completion of work for one client. The firm reported more than $1.3 million in revenue from construction management company Bovis Lend Lease Holdings in 2011 for its work on the 9/11 Responders Bill.

The bill to provide medical benefits and compensation for first responders passed the Senate after a Republican filibuster in December. Though the bill was signed into law, a provision still denies coverage for some workers suffering from cancer.

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