Akin Gump expands foreign government lobbying services in deal with Cambodia

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The Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP office in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Law firm seeks 'new relationships' with U.S. officials on behalf of Cambodia
  • Akin Gump's foreign clients include Japan, Republic of Palau and the government of the Marshall Islands

(Reuters) - The U.S. law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is expanding its lobbying services for foreign government clients, signing a one-year contract to advocate for Cambodia on U.S. government relations.

The firm's $720,000 contract was disclosed on Jan. 21 under a federal law that requires law firms, lobbying shops and public relations agencies to reveal certain engagements with foreign clients that extend beyond traditional legal services.

Akin Gump's disclosure said the firm, a perennial lobbying powerhouse in Washington, D.C., will "conduct outreach" with U.S. officials as part of an effort "to build new relationships that will help to move the bilateral relationship between Cambodia and the U.S. forward."

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Akin Gump partner Scott Parven in Washington, who signed the contract with Cambodia, did not immediately comment on Monday. A representative from Cambodia's embassy in Washington did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

U.S. relations with Cambodia have hit tension points in recent months. In December, the United States raised its concerns that China's military had a growing influence in the country. Cambodia is one of China's closest allies in Southeast Asia. The U.S. that month implemented an arms embargo and new export restrictions on Cambodia.

Akin Gump's Cambodia team includes Parven and partner Ed Pagano, a former Obama White House adviser who served as the administration's liaison to the U.S. Senate. Pagano previously served as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat.

In November, Akin Gump signed a $120,000, three-month contract to lobby for Morocco on matters focused on the Biden administration and Congress. Other active foreign lobbying clients include Japan, Republic of Palau and the government of the Marshall Islands.

The U.S. Justice Department, which monitors foreign lobbying activity in the U.S., posts Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosures online.

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