Kasirer edges Capalino as top NYC lobbying firm in 2017

Suri Kasirer
Suri Kasirer
Ali Garber
Suri Kasirer

Kasirer edges Capalino as top NYC lobbying firm in 2017

The two firms have held the top two spots since 2010.
March 2, 2018

Kasirer has regained the title of top lobbyist in New York City, knocking Capalino off the throne.

The Lobbying Bureau of the New York City Clerk’s Office released its hotly anticipated annual report on Thursday, revealing the lobbying firms that received the highest compensation the previous year. There was some turnover in the top 10 lobbyists by compensation in 2017, with Kasirer LLC displacing James F. Capalino & Associates, Inc. for the highest spot. Kasirer and Capalino have been the top two highest earners since 2010.

Kasirer was the highest compensated lobbyist every year from 2006 until 2013, with a brief interregnum from 2014 until 2016, when Capalino took first place. The 2017 numbers show that Kasirer may be reasserting itself as the city’s most in-demand law firm. Capalino has drawn attention for his ties to the administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and company CEO James Capalino is a supporter of the mayor. De Blasio took in office in 2014 – the year that Capalino overtook Kasirer as the highest paid lobbying firm.

Compensation for these firms has increased dramatically since 2010. In 2010, Kasirer’s revenue was just over $4 million, and Capalino’s revenue was over $2 million. In 2016, Capalino had a revenue of over $13 million, and Kasirer made over $10 million. Capalino’s revenue dropped to around $11.2 million in 2017, with Kasirer squeaking to the top place with $11.4 million.

Total lobbying revenue in the city held steady, inching up from $95.58 million in 2016 to $95.63 million last year.

There has also been turnover in who holds a place in the top 10 in the past year. The third, fourth and fifth positions remain the same – Pitta Bishop, Bolton-St. Johns and Constantinople & Vallone. The sixth place, which was held by Davidoff Hutcher & Citron in 2016, is now held by Greenberg Traurig, which rose from eighth place. Davidoff Hutcher was pushed to seventh place, and earned lower compensation than it did in 2016, with around $2.5 million instead of $3.1 million.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, the seventh place finisher in 2016, was the tenth highest-earning lobbyist in 2017, making just over $3 million in 2016 compared to over $2 million in 2017. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, ranked eighth in 2016, failed to make the list in 2017. Geto & DeMilly replaced Manatt for the eighth spot in 2017, and Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz made their debut on the list at ninth place.

Here are the top ten lobbyists by compensation in 2017, according to the New York City Clerk’s Office:

Kasirer LLC – $11,480,411.00

James F. Capalino & Associates, Inc. – $11,272,802.81

Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno LLC – $4,875,859.15

Bolton-St. Johns, LLC – $3,930,269.96

Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC – $3,882,992.00

Greenberg Traurig, LLP – $3,492,808.65

Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP – $2,550,181.00

Geto & de Milly Inc. – $2,487,748.00

Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz – $2,408,491.96

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP – $2,269,764.25

Grace Segers
is City & State’s digital reporter. She writes daily content on New York City and New York state politics.