Patton Boggs received payments totaling $1.9 million for lobbying work performed on behalf of overseas governments during the first half of 2013, according to a report filed with the U.S. Department of Justice last week.
The semiannual report was filed July 17 with Main Justice and includes details about the firm’s lobbying work for and income from foreign governments. The disclosure is required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which covers firms that lobby in the United States for foreign government entities. Of the 13 foreign clients from which Patton Boggs received payments from January through June, the Embassy of Ecuador doled out the most – $458,000.
Earlier this month, Patton Boggs ended its lobbying relationship with Ecuador, which had hired the firm in 2009. The $780,000-a-year contract was to "improve its reputational image and bilateral relations with the United States." The termination report was filed one day after Ecuador removed itself from trade talks with the United States amid international tension over the asylum application of Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who revealed the existence of a domestic spy program run by the National Security Agency.
One of Patton Boggs' more controversial clients, Banque du Liban, the central bank of Lebanon, paid the firm $320,000 in the first half of 2013. That was more than double the $150,000 the bank paid Patton Boggs since it retained the firm in September. The firm helped the bank with "the promotion of the image of Lebanese banking before the U.S. Congress and Administration," according to documents filed with DOJ. The U.S. Treasury Department earlier this year expressed concern about Banque du Liban's oversight of financial transactions. In April, the Treasury Department sanctioned two Lebanese financial institutions for allegedly laundering money to aid Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party classified as a terrorist organization by the United States.
In February, Patton Boggs started lobbying on behalf of the government of Georgia and has been paid $271,000 since then.
Patton Boggs also received payments from the Republic of Cameroon, the embassy of the People's Republic of China, the government of Libya, the government of Qatar, the embassy of Saudi Arabia and the government of South Korea.
In 2012, Patton Boggs received payments in excess of $8.2 million for foreign lobbying work, with $6.3 million coming in the second half of the year.
Andrew Ramonas contributed to this report.