DLA Piper

Profile: DLA Piper

1- Name of NGO:

DLA Piper

2- Brief & Mission:

DLA Piper, a globally renowned law firm, maintains a presence in more than 40 nations across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. It is celebrated for its remarkable achievements and outstanding qualifications.

Regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as per its disclosure under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), DLA Piper has been engaged in legal work for the Saudi Arabian government since 2015.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

In 2019, DLA Piper found itself among a group of lobbying firms that faced scrutiny and criticism from the European Parliament due to their collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). A report from the parliament accused these firms of attempting to shape European Union (EU) policies concerning human rights and arms exports on behalf of KSA. Additionally, the report alleged that these firms had endeavored to stifle criticisms directed at the Saudi government.

DLA Piper’s involvement encompassed the provision of legal counsel on a range of matters, including KSA’s arms exports, its efforts in counter-terrorism, and its track record on human rights.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

DLA Piper’s association with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has attracted significant attention, especially regarding its extensive engagement in initiatives carried out on behalf of the KSA government. This highlights the influential role that DLA Piper assumes in advancing political goals through its partnership with the KSA government. These dynamics underscore the long-standing relationships that DLA Piper has nurtured with the leadership of KSA, underscoring the firm’s active involvement in political endeavors within the nation.

5- Sources of Funding:

According to Glassdoor, the annual average salary for a Senior Legal Associate employed by DLA Piper in Saudi Arabia stands at SAR 39,882. DLA Piper serves as legal counsel for clients in all Saudi Arabian courts, including religious courts and the Board of Grievances, and works in conjunction with Alshahrani Almansour to manage intricate cross-border disputes. DLA Piper also provides employment law training courses in Saudi Arabia. As per Payscale, the average salary for DLA Piper employees in Saudi Arabia is SAR 438,000 in the year 2023.

6- Activities:

DLA Piper’s involvement with KSA has encompassed various activities, including:

  1. Providing counsel to the Saudi government regarding its arms exports to the United States.
  2. Representing the Saudi government in a legal case brought forth by the families of 9/11 attack victims.
  3. Engaging in lobbying efforts directed at the US government to garner support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.
  4. Offering advice to the Saudi government concerning its human rights record.

It’s worth highlighting that not all of DLA Piper’s work for KSA has been met with controversy. The firm has also undertaken projects perceived as beneficial to the kingdom, such as its participation in the Vision 2030 economic reform plan.

7- NGO Leadership:

Within DLA Piper, Simon Levine holds multiple influential roles, serving as the Global Co-CEO, International Managing Partner, and a member of both the Global and International Boards. In these capacities, he plays a central role in guiding the firm’s global operations and strategic decisions. On the other hand, Frank Ryan also holds pivotal positions within the organization, including Global Co-CEO, Global Co-Chair, and Americas Chair. These leadership roles reflect their contributions to shaping the firm’s direction and global presence.

8- Controversy:

The significant proximity between DLA Piper officials and representatives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) gives rise to concerns about the potential utilization of DLA Piper personnel as instruments of KSA’s foreign policy. This situation also prompts inquiries regarding whether this close affiliation might have exerted an influence on the composition of panels and discussions involving Gulf nations, with the potential to impact regional discourse and policy-making processes.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://www.dlapiper.com/
  • Address:UK
  • Email: geneva.youel@us.dlapiper.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

DLA Piper’s engagement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has unquestionably generated substantial controversy, primarily due to its collaboration with an autocratic regime notorious for extensively documented human rights infringements. This alignment has attracted intense scrutiny, leading to DLA Piper being included on a watchlist of organizations subject to close monitoring due to their connections with the KSA government.

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