Squire Patton Boggs

Profile: Squire Patton Boggs

1- Name of NGO:

Squire Patton Boggs

2- Brief & Mission:

Squire Patton Boggs stands as a comprehensive worldwide legal firm, offering expertise at the intersection of law, business, and government interactions. Their role is to not only provide legal guidance but also to empower voice, assist aspirations, and secure favorable results. 

Recent disclosures have come to light, indicating that SPB is actively delivering lobbying and legal services to the Saudi Center.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

Functioning within the Saudi Royal Court, the Saudi Center for Studies and Media Affairs (referred to as “the Saudi Center”) holds a notable position. Financially backed by the Saudi government, the Saudi Center has been implicated in coercing writers and activists to produce content that aligns with the Saudi government’s preferences. Additionally, it has wielded its influence to penalize writers and journalists who dare to critique the regime. Central to the Saudi Center is its leader, Saud al-Qahtani. 


Al-Qahtani’s connection to the Saudi Center takes on a darker hue in the context of his involvement in grave violations. The U.S. government, recognizing his role, has imposed sanctions on him for his complicity in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and his association with the torture of women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the Saudi Center’s intimidating actions extend to the imprisonment of writers who refused to bow to its directives, leading to charges of misusing social media. The pervasive influence of al-Qahtani and the Saudi Center has translated into a climate of fear and violence, targeting critics of the Saudi government.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

In spite of the United States government’s public disclosure linking the Saudi Center to the murder of Khashoggi and imposing Global Magnitsky sanctions on its leader, al-Qahtani, Squire Patton Boggs has persisted in actions that inadvertently appear to downplay the Saudi government’s wrongdoings. Notably, Squire Patton Boggs continues to offer the Saudi Center both lobbying and legal assistance. This dynamic underscores the close ties that SPB maintains with the Saudi government and raises questions about its role as a potential instrument aligned with the government’s interests.

5- Sources of Funding:

Since 2016, SPB has received at least $2.7 million from the Saudi Center.

6- Activities:

During the initial four months of 2016, SPB disclosed more than 200 instances of engagements involving meetings, phone conversations, and emails with Congressional staff members on behalf of the Saudi Center. SPB’s advisory role for the Saudi Center encompassed providing legal and strategic policy guidance and advocating for foreign policy matters within the U.S. Government. As of 2020, the Saudi Center compensated SPB with a sum of $391,000 for their multifaceted services, encompassing both lobbying and legal support. 


Adding to the complexity, Al-Qahtani has maintained a close advisory relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Pertinently, according to the U.S. intelligence community, Al-Qahtani is implicated as the mastermind behind the planning of Khashoggi’s murder.

7- NGO Leadership:

Jayne Aarons holds the position of Director, while Malak Abbas serves as an Associate at SPB.

8- Controversy:

According to international law, enterprises like SPB are obligated to refrain from participating in or gaining advantages from negative human rights consequences resulting from their business engagements and operations. Advocating on behalf of governmental bodies and individuals responsible for actions like murder, torture, and unjustified arrests and detention contradicts these obligations. This form of lobbying effectively lends assistance and concealment to those perpetrating human rights violations. 

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://www.squirepattonboggs.com
  • Address:USA
  • Email:  daniel.ajuh@squirepb.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

SPB’s decision to represent the Saudi Center for Studies and Media Affairs and offer foreign policy advice and advocacy concerning the U.S. government, despite the Center’s extensive history of human rights violations, has brought them under scrutiny. This has led to an inquiry into their actions owing to their association with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the possibility of being added to a list of blacklisted entities.

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