Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Profile: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

1- Name of NGO:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

2- Brief & Mission:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld was established in 1945 by renowned attorney Richard Gump and skilled negotiator Robert Strauss, who also served as an advisor to President Jimmy Carter. In August 2007, the UAE embassy entered into a contract with Akin Gump, seeking a range of extensive services. These services were categorized into legal assistance for facilitating trade and investment agreements with the United States, political lobbying services, communication with members of Congress and the US government, and public relations campaigns aimed at enhancing the UAE’s reputation.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a prominent multinational law firm based in Washington, DC. It holds the distinction of being the second-largest lobbying firm in the United States in terms of revenue. The firm has consistently earned high rankings among the top law firms in the country, according to The American Lawyer. However, it has been closely aligned with the interests of the UAE in the USA, actively promoting and advocating for their agenda.

Akin Gump collaborated with DLA Piper on the nuclear issue, with Shapiro leading the efforts on behalf of Akin Gump. This collaboration was done in conjunction with the President of the US-UAE Business Council, Sebright. In response to opposition, the firm argued that the UAE would face future electricity shortages and that adopting nuclear energy would address their future energy needs.

During this period, the UAE made payments totaling $1.6 million for the implementation of the agreement. Even after the agreement was established, Akin Gump continued to engage in lobbying activities, seeking Congress’s approval for a US firm to sell nuclear technology to the UAE.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

Allegations have surfaced indicating that the think tank actively promotes the foreign policy goals of the UAE, given its close alignment with the government’s policies. There are claims that the institution receives full support from the UAE government.

5- Sources of Funding:

Allegations have arisen suggesting that the firm has received $20,197,000 received funding from the UAE government since 2011. 

6- Activities:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld (Akin Gump), a firm hired by the UAE in 2007, has overseen the UAE’s work on the nuclear file and coordinated the Open Skies agreement between the US and the UAE. It played a prominent role in the UAE’s campaign against Al-Jazeera.

Summary:

The United States signed the Open Skies Agreement with Gulf states in 1992, aiming to liberalize the global aviation market by removing government interference in airline decisions. This agreement allowed airlines from both sides to enter each other’s markets freely. In 2015, Delta Air Lines and Etihad Airways accused their competitors, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways, of receiving substantial government aid, which they believed violated the spirit of the Open Skies agreement. Akin Gump, a law firm allied with the UAE, lobbied to maintain the agreement’s integrity, and in 2015, they held a meeting with key congressional staff to discuss the matter.

7- NGO Leadership:

Kim Koopersmith is Chairperson of Akin GUMP.

8- Controversy:

Analyzing the expertise of the team hired to assist the UAE reveals the scope of their work. In recent years, they have been involved in various projects, including the UAE nuclear agreement, facilitating trade deals with the United States, and addressing concerns regarding arms trade between the UAE and Iran through export control.

Furthermore, the company has exerted pressure on Congress concerning draft laws related to the UAE. Their efforts aimed either to block unfavorable legislation or to advocate for the passage of laws that serve the interests of the UAE.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://www.akingump.com/en
  • Address:USA
  • Email: ochung@akingump.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The firm has been labeled as blacklisted because of its associations with UAE governments.

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