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How Health Care Reform Setback Might Benefit BigLaw

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  • How Health Care Reform Setback Might Benefit BigLaw

    It’s an interesting, and often underexposed component of BigLaw practice — lobbying. And given the popularity nationwide of lobbyists and their oft-derided “special interests,” it’s not entirely surprising that firms with sizable D.C. offices don’t do more to publicize this niche.

    That said, the practice isn’t faring all that badly. Much as the stock markets loathe uncertainty, lobbyists love it. And that’s why folks are speculating that the recent election of Scott Brown to the Senate in Massachusetts could boost the revenues of law firms. Click here for the story, from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    According to the story, while lobbying doesn’t generate nearly the revenue of high-end legal work, it is a steady source of income. And firms don’t have to pay that much to to offer so-called government-relations services.

    The Inquirer piece takes a look at Philly’s own Cozen O’Connor, which reported recently that revenues for 2009 were up 22 percent. Profits-per-partner jumped by nearly the same amount to $650,000. Part of the rationale: Cozen’s hustled to build up its lobbying practice in Washington.

    And with the health-care debate thrown back into uncertainty, it could be another banner year for the lobbying industry.

    “Public-strategies work thrives on public debate,” said Mark Alderman, the former head of Wolf Block who recently joined Cozen. “No debate, nothing to do. The more robust the debate, the more there is to do.”

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