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K Street Files: Holland & Knight Lobby Group’s Growth Is GOP-Heavy

Holland & Knight’s lobbying shop has been on an aggressive hiring binge this year, particularly collecting Republicans. One of its most prominent new lobbyists is Kerry Feehery, a longtime Senate aide who will be the firm’s top GOP liaison to the chamber.

Feehery, who most recently served as chief of staff to then-Sen. George LeMieux (Fla.), will lead GOP Hill outreach along with Kathryn Lehman, a former top House Republican aide who has been at Holland & Knight since 2005.

“When we’re doing client meetings, this will give us a much more in-depth touch — not just who the Senate Republicans are, but how they think,” said Lehman, who once worked for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). “Kerry also was a communications director, so she knows what messaging works with Republicans.”

Rich Gold, who runs Holland & Knight’s public policy and regulation group, said Feehery — one of seven new hires in recent weeks — is part of the firm’s effort to expand its lobbying work on the Hill and with the executive branch.

“We’re seeing a moment in time where we really have the opportunity to move forward and up,” Gold said. “We have a strategy in place to grow. This is one of the top practices in the firm, and top management is committed to having it be among the top couple firms in town.”

The shop’s other gets include Lauri Hettinger, a senior policy adviser focusing on local municipalities and transportation issues. Most recently, Hettinger was minority staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Michael McAdams, formerly with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, is another senior policy adviser and will focus on advanced biofuels, climate change and air policy. New partner Steve Humes also focuses on energy, environmental and public utility matters, while partner Kurt Blase specializes in regulatory and legislative issues related to the Clean Air Act and energy policy.

Of counsel Xianping “Ping” Wang focuses on the civil aviation industry in China, and Neil Albert, a senior policy adviser, will rely on his tenure as D.C.’s city administrator to focus on local government issues.

High Finance

The German company Deutsche Boerse, which is buying the New York Stock Exchange, has tapped Quinn Gillespie & Associates to help it detect any possible Capitol Hill hurdles to the merger.

The $10 billion deal has so far generated little public outcry, but officials privately fear there may be some opposition to the German company taking over what is viewed as a quintessential American financial institution. There is also some expectation that there may be some opposition from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Last year the NYSE spent almost $1.6 million on lobbying.

Quinn Gillespie has picked up a number of new clients this year, including News Corp., the media company owned by Rupert Murdoch that includes conservative outlets such as Fox News. The News Corp. account was brought along by John Feehery, a former Republican Congressional aide who was hired by Quinn & Gillespie last year. (He is the husband of Kerry Feehery.) Other new Quinn Gillespie clients include Microsoft Corp., Apollo and the Hecla Mining Co.

K Street Moves

Gloria Dittus’ Story Partners has added four staffers including Anne Brady, formerly deputy chief of staff to then-Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), who joins as vice president, and Director Mollie O’Dell, most recently with North Bridge Communications. Mary Elizabeth Margolis also came aboard as an associate from Runyan Public Affairs, while Steven Place, a recent grad of Catholic University, is the shop’s new executive assistant.

• Courtney Lamie, most recently communications director for then-Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), has signed on with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s team. The group lobbies for electric utilities co-ops on a variety of energy, environmental and fiscal policy issues, according to recent lobbying disclosure reports.

Bennett Roth contributed to this report.

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