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K Street Firms Post Mixed Revenue; Chamber Spending Plunges

CEO Drew Maloney said new clients — such as Hilton Worldwide, Travelers Indemnity Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb — and new hires helped drive the increase.

Alston & Bird’s lobbying practice posted an increase from $2.7 million in 2010’s first quarter to $2.9 million in this year’s first quarter.

“I think it’s going to be a great year for us,” said Alston policy practice leader Bob Jones. Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) affiliated with the firm this year, and Alston’s health care practice scooped up ex-Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.).

“The stars just aligned on that,” Jones said of the addition of Tauzin. He added that Pomeroy would be a great asset to the firm’s health care practice and would help build an agriculture business.

BGR Group, which started as an all-GOP shop and is now bipartisan, saw revenue bounce to $4.3 million in the first quarter of this year from $3.5 million the same period last year.

Patton Boggs, the city’s biggest LDA practice, grew to $12.4 million in the first quarter of the year from $10.4 million in the first quarter of last year. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld remained steady at $8.7 million. Ditto for the Podesta Group, which brought in about $7 million in each of the first quarters of 2010 and 2011.

One of the biggest spenders on lobbying, meanwhile, took a significant dip.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported spending $10.9 million on lobbying in the first quarter of this year, down 56 percent from the first quarter of last year, when it reported $25.1 million.

Of course, the chamber was significantly busier during the first quarter of last year, when it was lobbying heavily against the Democrats’ health care overhaul bill and debating financial services reform.

“The Chamber’s lobbying activity remained consistent with previous non-election years and resulted in a number of positive results for our members,” chamber spokesman J.P. Fielder said in an email. “Among the many issues we were engaged in, our efforts to repeal some of the most onerous provisions in the health care law has resulted in some early success and will continue, and the pending trade agreements are seeing renewed activity.”

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