Lobbying compensation: Ballard Partners tops $7M in Q2
Brian Ballard remains on top. Image via Bloomberg.

The firm earned nearly $7.6 million last quarter.

Ballard Partners remains one of the top-earning lobbying firms in the state, topping $7 million in earnings for the second consecutive quarter.

Second-quarter compensation reports show the firm founded by Brian Ballard reeled in nearly $7.6 million from its state-level lobbying clients — $4.33 million for lobbying the Legislature and $3.23 million for lobbying the executive branch.

Ballard’s new reports maintain the pace set in Q1, when the firm logged more than $7.4 million in lobbying revenues. With $15 million in receipts since Jan. 1, Ballard Partners is currently the top earning firm for the year.

Florida Politics estimates lobbying pay based on the middle number of the per-client ranges firms listed on their compensation reports. Contracts are reported in $10,000 increments up to $50,000. Firms are also required to register overall earnings ranges. Firm-level ranges top out at $1 million, a hurdle Ballard Partners easily clears on both of its reports.

More than two dozen lobbyists contributed to Ballard Partners’ successful quarter. In addition to Vail and Lukis, the Florida team includes Michael Abrams, Jeff Atwater, Brady Benford, Carol Bracy, Christina Daly Brodeur, Brad Burleson, Robert Burleson, Courtney Coppola, Ana Cruz, Jose Diaz, Dane Eagle, Jordan Elsbury, Mathew Forrest, Jan Gorrie, Chris Hansen, John Johnston, Todd Josko, Jeff Miller, Donald Payton, Carlos Ramos, Monica Rodriguez, Katherine San Pedro, Justin Sayfie, Tola Thompson, Wansley Walters, Courtney Whitney, Amy Young and Stephanie Grutman Zauder.

The firm’s legislative report lists well over 200 clients, including several that paid more than $50,000 over the three-month reporting period.

Top contracts included Tallahassee law firm Panza Maurer at $63,000, Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics at $62,000; HNTB Corporation and Safe Port Terminals at $53,000 apiece; National Strategies at $51,000; and BSD 268 Investors and Nova Southeastern University at $50,000 each.

“Ballard Partners is a firm with global reach that is committed to values — for both clients and partners — that you would expect in a close-knit family business: loyalty, mutual respect, and an unrelenting work ethic,” said firm partner Adrian Lukis. “This year’s success, like years past, demonstrate we have a winning formula, and I am privileged to be a part of it.”

The firm’s executive branch report topped all firms in Q2. Ballard Partners lists more than 250 contracts in the executive branch, including a handful worth $50,000 or more — the best-known in that set is KPMG, which is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms.

Ballard Partners reps dozens of other well-known clients across a variety of industries, such as mega e-tailer Amazon, multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer, satellite provider DISH Network, delivery app DoorDash and tech giant Google. The firm also represents several local governments, including the city of Miami.

But the firm moves mountains for clients that aren’t household names, too. The Florida Automotive Dealers Association is one success story that fits the mold — the organization, with Ballard Partners’ help, pushed for a new law that prohibits most automakers from selling vehicles directly to buyers.

“Ballard Partners is a family. We are a drama-free environment focused on delivering for our clients. We have never been driven by monetary results, but it is gratifying to see that we continue to be the top-earning firm in Florida,” said Abby Vail, the managing partner of the firm’s  Tallahassee office.

Based on the top end of per-client ranges, Ballard Partners firm may have earned as much as $5.4 million in legislative lobbying fees last quarter. The upper limit on the executive side is $4.34 million, meaning the firm may have earned as much as $9.75 million last quarter.

Florida lobbyists and lobbying firms faced an Aug. 14 deadline to file compensation reports for the period covering April 1 through June 30. Compensation reports for the third quarter are due to the state on Nov. 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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