Lobbying compensation: Smith Bryan & Myers collects $1.5M in Q1

Smith Bryan & Myers
SBM ranked No. 11 in first-quarter earnings.

Smith Bryan & Myers earned an estimated $1.5 million in this first quarter, placing No. 11 among all lobbying firms in the state.

Led by Matt Bryan and Jeff Hartley, the firm’s roster also includes Teye Carmichael, David Daniel, Thomas Griffin, Lisa Hurley, Jim Naff and Jonathan Rees. The team represented 79 clients last quarter, netting an estimated $840,000 in legislative lobbying fees and $655,000 in executive branch lobbying fees.

Florida Politics estimates lobbying pay based on the middle number of the per-client ranges firms list on their compensation reports. Contracts are reported in $10,000 increments up to $50,000.

SBM’s top legislative client was Osceola Legislative Effort, which was listed at the $45,000 level. Worldwide Terminals Fernandina followed with $35,000 while The Family Law Section of The Florida Bar, the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, GLP FLA and JM Family Enterprises each paid $25,000 for help in the Legislature.

MLU Serivces topped the firm’s executive branch report with a $35,000 retainer while GLP FLA and the Osceola Legislative Effort stayed near the top with $25,000 in payments each.

Smith Bryan & Myers’ client sheet included several health care interests, such as the Florida Health Care Association, the Florida Hospital Association, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson. The firm also represents Publix Super Markets, one of Florida’s home-grown corporate powerhouses.

Notably, SBM also represented Roller Skating Association International. While the skating and lobbying worlds typically don’t share much overlap, the 2023 Legislative Session was an exception.

The House and Senate both unanimously passed the “Roller Skating Rink Safety Act,” and the Governor recently signed it into law. The legislation shifts liability burdens in many cases to skaters and patrons rather than management and ownership, with the goal of lowering insurance premiums for owners and operators of the roughly 41 rinks left in the Sunshine State.

RSAI paid Smith Bryan & Myers $15,000 for legislative lobbying work and the same amount for executive branch lobbying.

Smith Bryan & Myers reported earnings between $500,000 and $1 million on both reports, and per-client ranges suggest it could have come close to its $2 million earnings ceiling. The first-quarter haul puts the firm on track to meet or exceed the $5.75 million it reported earning last year, when it ranked No. 12 among all firms in annual revenues.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced a May 15 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering Jan. 1 through May. 31. Compensation reports for the second quarter 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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