WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10—When Fleishman-Hillard merged with its Omnicom sister company GPC International earlier this year it acquired a second lobbying brand to complement its existing subsidiary R. Duffy Wall & Associates, acquired in 1998. Now the world’s largest public relations firm is merging the two firms to create one of the largest non-law-firm lobbying shops in the nation, operating under the FH/GPC brand.
FH/GPC will have 28 professionals and will be led by Bill Brewster, former chairman of R. Duffy Wall, who will hold the same title with the new firm. John Cahill, formerly senior vice president at GPC and former U.S. Representative Rod Chandler, president of Duffy Wall, will serve as vice chairman. The firm is currently searching for a chief operating officer.

Duffy Wall has been a top-ten lobbying firm at the time of its acquisition by Fleishman-Hillard, but the past three years saw some top-level defections and the death of its founder.
In addition, GPC offices in Boston and Providence will begin using the FH/GPC brand, although operations in Canada and the U.K.—where GPC is traditionally strongest—will continue to function under the GPC name. GPC is Fleishman-Hillard’s public affairs brand outside the U.S.
“The creation of FH/GPC signals not only our commitment to providing our clients with the best government relations services possible, but also our commitment to leveraging the strength of the FH and GPC brands as we continue to look for opportunities to extend our government relations and public affairs capabilities,” says Fleishman-Hillard chairman John Graham.

“This powerful new combination brings together two great teams in Washington and broadens our government relations capabilities on such key issues as tax, trade, transportation, technology, telecommunications, energy, natural resources, and healthcare.” GPC was best known for its trade and transportation practice.
According to Brewster, a former Democratic congressman from Oklahoma, “This merger is not simply about becoming the biggest.  It’s about being the best, and providing the finest government relations services available in Washington.”
Paul Johnson, regional president for F-H, says the FH/GPC brand will be expanded to places where F-H already has a public relations presence, with California and Texas being the two most obvious priorities.