Abramoff's Former Seattle-Based Lobbying Firm Is Mounting a Comeback

Now known as K&L Gates, they've brought in more than $13 million in billings.

There's been a dramatic turnaround for the once-humbled, Seattle-based law and lobbying firm Preston Gates Ellis (now known as K&L Gates, following a merger). It was riding high back in 1999, with more than $11 million in D.C. lobbying revenues, until stararm-twister Jack Abramoff left in 2001. That led billings to fall by more than half. The firm suffered further blowback from Abramoff's prosecution on fraud and conspiracy charges, stemming in part from work he did while at the firm. But today, according to the money watchdog Center for Responsive Politics, K&L Gates has rallied toalmost $13 million in 2006 billings, ranking 14th among D.C. lobbying firms. (The leader, D.C.-based Cassidy & Associates, hauled in $236 million.) K&L Gates' 2007 midyear lobbying disclosure filings show the upward trend continuing and new clients added. Among the reported six-month revenues: $100,000 from Microsoft (which also has its own lobbying force) topush for immigration reform (ex-senator and now K&L lobbyist Slade Gortonhelped on that one);and $100,000 from Weyerhaeuser and $80,000 from Starbucks, both seeking tax breaks. Other K&L lobbying clients include the Port of Seattle, Pierce County, and the Seattle Art Museum, which is seeking federal funds for its Asian Art Museum.

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