Latest filings

Korean church blamed for COVID hires lobbyist; pandemic nixes Edelman’s Dubai PR; Glover Park signs new three clients in 6 months : Wednesday’s Daily Digest

Welcome to our end-of-the-day round-up of all the latest foreign lobbying news. Send tips, critiques and comments to [email protected]. On Twitter @JulianPecquet.

Korean church blamed for COVID-19 outbreak hires US lobby shop

This sign at a Seoul church is telling members of the Shincheonji Church that they are not permitted entry. April 24, 2020 / Ki Young

A US branch of the South Korean megachurch blamed for that country’s largest COVID-19 outbreak has hired a lobby shop to battle what it claims is persecution by the Korean government.

The San Francisco Zion Church hired The Livingston Group on August 17 to “inform” US officials about the “persecution and undue treatment of associated churches” in South Korea and the United States, according to a new lobbying filing. The church is listed as “associated” with the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, whose leader was arrested in early August on charges of obstructing efforts to contain the virus after more than 5,000 church members became infected.

According to the filing, the South Korean government’s actions against the church have had “implications for the privacy rights of US citizens.” Livingston is expected to contact US officials and distribute informational materials. It will “seek to encourage the U.S. government to address these issues in an
appropriate manner.”

Read our story here.

New foreign lobbying filings (FARA)

United Arab Emirates: Edelman ended its contract with the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing in April, according to a newly disclosed lobbying filing for the six months through July. The firm said the contract was terminated “due to COVID-19.” The firm’s Edelman FZ affiliate in Dubai signed a 15-month contract extension with the department in January for $8.9 million.

Waxman Consulting has registered Senior Director Phelim Bruce John Kyne as a foreign agent on its accounts with the Center for International Policy, the National Wildlife Federation, Aidenvironment and the European Federation for Transport and Environment. All four groups receive grant funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, leading the US Justice Department to require that Waxman register under FARA, as Foreign Lobby Report first reported on June 23. Kyne will “engage in educational research and communication efforts about environmental protection.”

The Glover Park Group signed three new foreign clients in the six months through July:

  • May 4: The Embassy of Argentina (via Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer). The contract is for 1 year at $36,000 per month;
  • May 8: The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (via CPC Strategies). The contract is for 1 year at $10,000 per month; and
  • June 22: The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates. The contract is worth $35,000 and was to last one month.

The firm also continues to represent the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; the government of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Somaliland; and the UAE’s permanent mission to the UN.

In other news

Deutsche Bank AG has hired an old friend of US Attorney General Bill Barr as the bank faces criminal complaints and political probes, Bloomberg reports. The decision to hire Robert Kimmitt, a laywer and former US ambassador to Germany, came from Frankfurt, the newspaper reports. His friendship with Barr dates to the 1980s.

Reports Bloomberg:

Kimmitt’s precise role isn’t clear even to many executives within the bank. The view from Frankfurt, some of the people said, is that the bank’s senior leadership brought him on earlier this year to bolster its presence in the U.S. capital, where, in addition to the criminal inquiries, Democratic lawmakers are scrutinizing the bank’s relationship with one its highest-profile clients, President Donald Trump.

Peck Madigan Jones is currently registered to lobby for ​Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. for $50,000 per month.