K Street Files: Defense Firm Rebrands

Posted March 12, 2012 at 3:49pm

The defense lobbying firm Ervin Technical Associates has brought on Dan Hill, formerly the head of Washington operations for AgustaWestland, and changed its name to Ervin|Hill Strategy.

The new firm is expanding its portfolio of services into public affairs, communications and lobbying.

“Our sweet spot is helping companies that have complex issues, crisis, litigation, investigations,” Hill said. “It’s really important to be able to offer government relations and communications in an integrated way.”

Companies are cutting back on their outside help, Hill added, so offering multiple services at one firm will help keep clients.

Jim Ervin said the new shop will keep its roster of defense clients.

“What’s been exciting is that Dan coming on board is giving us so much more breadth,” said Ervin, who founded the firm 25 years ago. “Given the way things are going, I don’t think the defense industry is a growth industry, and I don’t think lobbying for defense is either.”

The six-person outfit will pay employee bonuses based on client retention, not just based on new business.

“We want there to be an attitude that I’m going to be rewarded if we keep our clients,” Hill said. “Having been on the other side where I was retaining consultants for so long, there was a frustration that unless you’re jumping up and down asking them to consider your issue, they’ve moved on to the other clients’ issues.”

K Street Moves

Kevin Griffis, who is senior adviser to the chief of staff and former director of public affairs at the Commerce Department, will join the Podesta Group on Wednesday as a principal.