Lobbying compensation: Top firms continue pulling in millions in 3Q

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Ballard Partners maintained its grip on the top spot with $4.4 million in earnings.

Ballard Partners remains the firm to beat in quarterly earnings.

The firm founded by Brian Ballard reported nearly $4.4 million in third quarter lobbying pay, besting its total from the second quarter, when it reported $4.2 million in receipts.

The performance once again assuages fears that the pandemic is taking a toll on bottom lines of the state’s top lobbying firms.

The new reports show Ballard Partners earned $2.34 million in legislative lobbying fees and another $2.02 million in executive branch lobbying fees. Last quarter, it earned $2.3 million and $1.9 million, respectively.

Lobbying firms report their pay in ranges covering $10,000 increments. Florida Politics uses the middle number of each range to estimate total revenue for the quarter.

The extremes show Ballard Partners pulled in no less than $2.5 million and may have earned as much as $6.1 million last quarter.

Coming in close behind was Capital City Consulting, which reported $3.57 million in receipts — $1.89 million lobbying the Legislature and $1.67 million lobbying the Governor and Cabinet.

The second-place finish for Nick Iarossi, Ron LaFace and the rest of the CCC team is a rung above last quarter, when the firm came in at No. 3 behind The Southern Group.

Though The Southern Group’s $3.49 million in Q3 puts it inches behind CCC, range reporting shows the firm may have held on to No. 2.

At the low end, Capital City consulting earned $2.15 million for the July through September reporting period while The Southern Group pulled in no less than $1.66 million. At the top end, CCC may have earned $5 million while The Southern Group could have maxed out at $5.31 million.

As in past quarters, Ron Book’s small but agile operation took the No. 4 spot, largely due to a strong legislative compensation report from him and partners Rana Brown and Kelly Mallette.

That half of the ledger showed $1.61 million in earnings. It was coupled with a $500,000 executive branch lobbying haul, making for a $2.11 million quarter. The trio scored no less than $1.24 million and may have earned up to $2.88 million.

The No. 5 spot is traditionally a dogfight between Greenberg Traurig and GrayRobinson. This quarter was no different.

Based on median earnings, GrayRobinson gets the W. Firm President Dean Cannon and his team notched $1.01 million in the executive and $975,000 in the legislative, putting them just shy of $2 million and within arm’s reach of Book.

Greenberg Traurig, meanwhile, posted $1.8 million in revenues — $1.14 million in the Legislature and $660,000 in the executive branch.

The duel was more competitive at the extremes, however. GR’s minimum estimate clocks in at $720,000 compared to $940,000 for GT law. At maximum GrayRobinson earned $3.25 million to Greenberg Traurig’s $2.66 million.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a Nov. 14 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering July 1 through Sept. 30. Compensation reports for the fourth quarter of 2020 are due to the state in mid-February.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.



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