Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Profile: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

1- Name of NGO:

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

2- Brief & Mission:

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP is a U.S.-based lobbying and legal firm comprising 250 attorneys and policy consultants situated across 13 offices in the western U.S. and Washington, D.C.

Reports have surfaced indicating that BFHS is involved in downplaying the wrongdoings of autocratic governments in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. The firm utilizes its influential connections to encourage the U.S. government to provide support, disregarding extensive and well-documented human rights violations.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

A lobbyist hailing from Denver-based Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, acting on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government, actively pursued and ultimately secured a meeting with a White House official during the period of public outcry following the killing of a journalist by Saudi operatives. According to a regulatory document submitted by the firm, lobbyist Marc Lampkin, who serves as the managing partner of BHFS’s Washington, D.C., office, initiated contact by sending an email to Amy Swonger, a member of the Trump administration overseeing Senate legislative affairs. This email, dated December 5, formally requested the meeting. The document further reveals that two days after this communication, Lampkin and Swonger convened for a “general discussion of the current situation.” The filing, submitted in adherence to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, chronicles these events.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

In the aftermath of Saudi agents’ lethal actions within a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, an action attributed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, BHFS declared its intention to persist in representing the kingdom. BHFS characterized Saudi Arabia as a pivotal strategic ally of the United States.

This situation distinctly underscores BHFS’s active engagement with the Saudi monarchy for political objectives, marking the establishment of connections with the Saudi royal family.

5- Sources of Funding:

In spite of Saudi Arabia’s highly concerning history of human rights violations, Brownstein has additionally been providing representation to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2016. The firm received a substantial payment of $1.8 million from the Saudi government for its lobbying endeavors in the year 2020.

6- Activities:

Since 2016, Brownstein has functioned as a representative for the Saudi government, notwithstanding Saudi Arabia’s status as one of the most severe violators of human rights and international humanitarian law. The firm undertook this role even as the Saudi government aimed to improve its rapport with Congress. Notably, Congress had voted four times to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia due to its involvement in Yemen’s war crimes and the 2018 killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

7- NGO Leadership:

NORMAN BROWNSTEIN serves as the Founder and Chairman, while RICHARD BENENSON holds the position of Managing Partner at BHFS.

8- Controversy:

Saudi Arabia’s human rights standing ranks among the most abysmal globally, encompassing deficient democratic representation, with Saudi citizens having virtually no influence in the monarchical governance. Under Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s leadership, Saudi Arabia’s human rights situation has further deteriorated. Instances of human rights violations are pervasive, and any form of opposing viewpoints is met with zero tolerance. Extensive surveillance is imposed on Saudi citizens, and individuals deemed as political adversaries are frequently apprehended, subjected to indefinite incommunicado detention, and subjected to torture.

In accordance with international law, firms like Brownstein bear the responsibility of refraining from contributing to or benefiting from adverse human rights consequences through their business involvements and operations. Lobbying on behalf of government bodies and officials implicated in acts such as murder, torture, arbitrary arrests, and detention contradicts these obligations. Such lobbying functions to endorse and provide shelter for perpetrators of human rights violations.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website https://www.bhfs.com
  • Address:USA
  • Email:  nelshami@bhfs.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

Through ongoing endorsement of the Saudi governments’ interests, Brownstein is actively participating in and gaining advantages from the human rights abuses and transgressions of international law committed by the Saudi governments. It is noteworthy that these actions are conducted on behalf of an autocratic regime with a track record of disregarding essential human rights. This alliance has led to BHFS being included among entities subjected to examination due to their connections with the Saudi government.

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