Takeaways from Tallahassee — Some Assembly Required

When we wrote about Foley & Lardner’s Tallahassee lobbying practice in the last issue of INFLUENCE magazine, we called it “a sort of think tank with political muscle.”
The law firm is about to get even stronger with the imminent addition of Jason Allison, head of the state’s Agency for State Technology, whose departure from state government was leaked this week.
Last month, the firm stole another Rick Scott appointee: Jon Steverson, the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. And his predecessor at the department, Herschel Vinyard, also works at Foley.
Before that, then-Department of Economic Opportunity honcho Jesse Panuccio left Scottworld to practice law for the firm. Now he’s headed to Washington for a high-ranking post at the U.S. Department of Justice under President Donald Trump.
Let’s not forget another Friend of Rick who was with the firm: Karen Bowling, who co-founded the Solantic walk-in urgent care centers with Scott, was a Foley lobbyist before becoming CEO of a Jacksonville-based health care tech company.
Credit the recruiting of Jonathan Kilman, who co-chairs the firm’s Government & Public Policy Practice. The Harvard-trained lawyer first came to Florida as outside counsel to the Florida House in redistricting litigation.
Kilman’s clearly setting up his shop as a go-to for those seeking expert Adams Street advice.
He’s got some catching up to do. The most recent compensation reports, for fourth quarter 2016, show the firm at 30th in legislative lobbyist compensation, with reported median revenue of $220,000. To compare, the top five firms in town are all throwing up seven digits in median revenue.
But Kilman knows he’s in a building season, with eyes firmly on the prize. Don’t be surprised if another jaw-dropping hire makes the headlines in the months ahead.
Coming up, the usual assortment of tidbits, leftovers and not-ready-for-prime-time moments by Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, Michael Moline, Jim Rosica, and Peter Schorsch.


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