Lobbying compensation: Hopping Green & Sams tallies $435K in first quarter

hopping green sams
The firm is on track to beat its 2020 earnings total.

The lobbying team at Hopping Green & Sams earned an estimated $435,000 last quarter.

New compensation reports show the firm represented nearly three dozen clients in the first quarter of 2021. HGS was founded more than 40 years ago in Tallahassee with five lawyers and has grown significantly, as have their clients, in the decades since.

The firm has 10 lawyers on its lobbying team: Joseph Brown, David Childs, Gary Hunter, Jennifer Lynn Kilinski, Robert Manning, Eric Olsen, Timothy Riley, Amelia Savage, Susan Stephens, and Eileen Stuart.

The contracts added up to an estimated $315,000 in legislative lobbying pay and another $120,000 in executive branch earnings.

Florida lobbyists report their earnings for each contract in ranges covering $10,000 increments up to $50,000, after which a firm must report the exact amount they received. Florida Politics uses the middle number of each range to estimate quarterly earnings.

Compensation reports also list overall compensation ranges for the quarter. Hopping Green & Sams reported earning between $250,000 and $500,000 in the Legislature and another $100,000 to $250,000 in the executive branch.

The firm’s legislative compensation report was topped by Mosaic Fertilizer, which paid $35,000 to retain the firm last quarter. Three $25,000 clients followed — American Resort Development Association, Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group and SAS Institute.

HGS represented several well-known clients in the Legislature last quarter, including Exxon Mobil, the University of Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Rayonier.

Mosaic also showed up in the $35,000 level on the firm’s executive branch report, alongside US Legal Support. SAS Institute repeated at the $25,000 level, followed by the Florida Water Environment Association Utility Council at $15,000 and East Central Florida Services and the Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group at $5,000 apiece.

If each of Hopping Green & Sams’ clients paid the maximum amount in their reported range, the firm would have earned $580,000 last quarter — $430,000 in the Legislature and $150,000 in the executive branch. The Q1 earnings put HGS on track to meet or exceed the $1.68 million it earned in 2020.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms face a May 15 deadline to turn in compensation reports covering Jan. 1 through March 31. Second-quarter compensation reports are due to the state on Aug. 14.

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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