- Jordan gets help from reputation management firm after king’s spending spills out in the open
- Yemen Defense Ministry hires US law firm for telecoms services
- FGH deepens UAE lobbying with Harbour Group acquisition
- Citgo takes on Venezuela creditors
- Trio of media consultants join Canadian hydro-power utility’s fight against US environmentalists
- FARA office seeks analyst to comb through lobbyists’ disclosures
Welcome to Foreign Lobby Report’s biweekly roundup of all the latest lobbying developments. Every week we go through dozens of filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) to offer our readers the most comprehensive snapshot anywhere of the foreign governments, political groups and businesses trying to influence US policymaking and public opinion.
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New lobbying developments
FGH Holdings is acquiring Washington public affairs firm The Harbour Group (THG), a longtime lobbying firm for the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington. FGH (Finsbury Glover Hering) represents the UAE Embassy as well as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and acknowledged the Harbour Group’s Middle East connections in a LinkedIn post announcing the acquisition.
“THG has worked closely with the Government of the UAE to help build deep partnerships with US institutions and stakeholders,” FGH said. “Their deep expertise and network will complement and enhance our existing practice and presence in the Middle East and around the world.”
Canada: Crestview Strategy has registered campaign strategist Kyle English as a foreign agent for the government of Quebec, tasked with working to “expand and amplify the existing North American Rebound digital campaign of the Canadian American Business Council.” The initiative is designed to “promote cross-border supply chain movement and foster trade between the United States and Canada.”
Canada: Washington public affairs firm Forbes Tate Partners has registered media consultants Nicholas Alexander Kadick, Michael Neil O’Donnell and Peter Lloyd Pessel as foreign agents for Canadian public utility Hydro-Quebec. They will be paid $75,000 to produce video ads against a Maine ballot initiative opposing a $1 billion power transmission line to bring Canadian hydropower to New England. Forbes Tate recently extended its contract with US affiliate HQ Energy Services from August 20 through November for up to $2.38 million.
Venezuela: Citgo has registered Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer John David Zuklic as a foreign agent as the Houston refiner presses the Joe Biden administration to protect the US assets of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) from the South American country’s creditors. According to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filing, Zuklic “may participate in meetings with representatives of the U.S. Government and U.S. media to discuss the importance and means of protecting CPC’s assets, or the value of said assets, from claims brought by creditors of the Maduro regime. The registrant may additionally contribute to written materials taking a position on the same
subject in preparation for those meetings.”
Japan: Holland & Knight has renewed its contract with the Embassy of Japan for another year from April 1 through March 2022, according to a newly disclosed lobbying filing. The fee is $80,000 per year, the same as previously. The firm has represented the embassy since 2015. Separately, Holland & Knight registered law partners Nasim Fussell, Francisco Sanchez and Christopher DeLacy as foreign agents for Japan.
Gibraltar: The government of Gibraltar has extended its lobbying contract with Holland & Knight through March 2022. The firm has represented the British Overseas Territory since 2014.
United Kingdom: Holland & Knight has renewed its contract for legal advice services to the British Embassy in Washington through March 2022. The contract is with the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) section of the UK Defense Procurement Office. Holland & Knight has been registered as a foreign agent of the embassy since 1999.
Jordan: DLA Piper has hired an Atlanta reputation management firm that boasts about being able to “suppress negative content on search engines” as part of its engagement with Jordan’s royal court following the public disclosure of leaked financial records documenting King Abdullah II‘s lavish spending. Stripe Services is expected to provide consulting services and “assist the law firm in providing legal advice and representation concerning potential defamation and other legal remedies associated with inquiries and/or articles concerning His Majesty King Abdullah II from media outlet.” The contract was drafted Sept. 22 as Jordan geared up for the anticipated blowback from the global publication of the Pandora Papers investigation last weekend.
Yemen: The Ministry of Defense of Yemen has hired Albany-based international law firm Tully Rinckey to assist and advise the negotiation and drafting of a contract for telecommunication services with Tecore Networks, a global supplier of wireless network infrastructure based in Maryland. The law firm is also charged with helping identify potential US government or military funding to procure a telecommunications system for the Yemeni Ministry of Defense. Managing partner Daniel Meyer (bio) and senior attorney Gregory Melus (bio) in Washington are registered as foreign agents on the account.
Caught our eye
The Department of Justice office that oversees the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is hiring a program analyst to “plan, analyze, and evaluate the effectiveness of the FARA program.” The analyst will notably recommend changes to current policies and procedures “to ensure compliance with the Act,” analyze registration statements and “implement accurate accounting of financial data and other information in the FARA databases to ensure accurate recording of registrants’ receipts and expenses.” It’s “the first time in years” the unit looks for an analyst, according to former FARA unit chief Brandon Van Grack.