Squire Patton Boggs

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Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) is an international law and lobbying firm with 46 offices in 21 countries.

It was formed in 2014 by the merger of multinational law firm Squire Sanders with Washington, D.C. based Patton Boggs.

Lobbying services

According to official US records, SPB earned $19m in 2016 from lobbying services in the US ($25m in 2015; $32m in 2014).[1]

Brexit services

SPB has a dedicated Brexit service and website: www.brexitlegal.com.

It says: 'Since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in June 2016 we have been providing our clients with support including undertaking careful analysis of the potential impact Brexit will have on them and the industries in which they operate.'[2]

Areas of law it says it can help with include 'international trade, regulated industries (e.g. financial services), tax and competition'.

Brexit team: political connections

SPB says that its team to help steer clients through Brexit uncertainty includes:

'sitting members of the UK Parliament, former United States Trade Representative and WTO officials, Members of the European Parliament and senior regulators, as well as European Free Trade Association (EFTA) officials, ex-ambassadors and national government ministers.[3]

It also states in a paper prepared for the Chemical Industries Association in February 2018, that its 'Senior Policy Advisors' have 'direct access to both the UK and the EU negotiating teams', although it is not clear who its senior policy advisors are.[4]

It also isn't clear which UK Parliamentarians it currently employs.

It employed Conservative MP Jake Berry until he was appointed Northern Powerhouse Minister (for the Department of Communities and Local Government) in June 2017. Berry also accepted a donation of £10,000 in December 2015 from the firm for the sponsorship of a private party for MPs, which Berry co-hosted with three other MPs.[5] In June 2015, Berry – then PPS to Greg Hands, spoke at a SPB panel discussion on ‘Conservative Party Manifesto Pledges – What Will the Impact be for the UK Real Estate Market’.[6]

In October 2017 SPB's Jeremy Cape tweeted that he was very pleased to have another Northern Powerhouse minister (and ex-International Development minister) James Wharton join the SPB team. Wharton lost his seat in Parliament in the 2017 general election. On 23 October 2017, an article on Brexit by Wharton was posted on SPB's blog.[7] Wharton describes himself as a consultant to Squire Patton Boggs from October 2017.[8]

Former DfID minister, James Wharton joins the team

In July 2016 SPB hosted a British Chamber of Commerce event featuring Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, then minister for energy and intellectual property. The event was pitched as an opportunity to meet Neville-Rolfe and hear her thoughts on 'Brexit implications for trade and investment'.[9]

Brexit team

Listed contacts for SPB's Brexit team:

Northern Powerhouse

Squire Patton Boggs is involved in the UK government's Northern Powerhouse programme, which aims to boost the economy of the North of England and Wales as part of the government’s industrial strategy.

  • As stated above, since Autumn 2017, Squire Patton Boggs has employed former Northern Powerhouse minister, James Wharton, as a consultant. It also employed Conservative MP Jake Berry until he was appointed Northern Powerhouse Minister in June 2017.
  • The firm's Infrastructure Partner, Andrew Herring, sat on the UK Northern Powerhouse Advisory Board. At some point between June and December 2017, his name was removed from the list of Advisory Board members. By December 2017 the Advisory Board webpage had also been 'archived', suggesting it has been wrapped up.[10] The Advisory Board is attached to Northern Powerhouse Ltd, a private company that organises conferences. The 2018 Northern Powerhouse conference, arranged for February 2018, was indefinitely postponed in late 2017 with no reason given.[11] Squire Patton Boggs sponsored the same Northern Powerhouse Conference in 2017.[12]
  • Squire Patton Boggs launched a report in Feb 2017 (to coincide with the above conference) with the think tank IPPR North (Institute for Public Policy Research), looking at the funding and financing issues relating to infrastructure in the Northern Powerhouse region. It calls on the UK government to: use the March 2017 budget to pledge new investment in Northern Powerhouse infrastructure; redraft the Treasury Green Book to better reflect the wider economic benefits of infrastructure projects; provide for greater borrowing by local authorities and Transport for the North and for a Northern Powerhouse Infrastructure Bond; and package up investment opportunities into a northern infrastructure prospectus.[13]
  • SPB Partner Andrew Herring spoke at an event at the Conservative Party conference in October 2016 on the Northern Powerhouse. He shared a panel with among others Bob Kerslake, chair of the Northern Powerhouse Advisory Board (see above). Herring called for the public sector 'to be able to explore innovative funding mechanisms for investment in infrastructure... through a wider range of financing techniques including asset finance arrangements and pension fund investment'.[14]
  • The firm has its own 'Northern Powerhouse Law' website – northernpowerhouselaw.co.uk – registered in September 2017, which provides 'global insight into practical and legal issues relevant to those who take an interest in and who will be affected by the initiatives that arise as part of the UK Governments Northern Powerhouse proposals'.
  • US infrastructure giant AECOM, which is a US lobbying client of SPB and is involved in major UK infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail, has also weighed in on debates around the Northern Powerhouse. AECOM's Richard Green is also a Northern Powerhouse Advisory Board member. In 2016, AECOM said that for the Northern Powerhouse to succeed, foreign investment was needed, but that, in order to attract such investment, Northern cities must 'ensure their planning structures are better prepared to attract' such investment. 'Local, regional and planning authorities will need to create the right conditions' it said.[15]
  • Frank Samolis, co-chair of international trade at Squire Patton Boggs (in Washington) has spoken about how the Northern Powerhouse could benefit from UK-US trade talks on the back of Brexit. In early 2017, he said that people in the US needed to become familiar with the programme. 'Northern Powerhouse could organise investment missions to the region and present here in Washington,' he said, adding that think tanks and groups that focus on trade could provide an 'ideal forum' to promote Northern Powerhouse, where a speaker could explain 'what differentiates the Northern Powerhouse from anywhere else in the UK'. He concluded that 'people are starting to realise here [in Washington], and in the UK, that Brexit may not be all that terrible and maybe the UK can become this 'Singapore on steroids', as it has been described.'[16]

Clients

US lobbying clients

Lobbying clients in the US in 2017 include (in order of fee income, highest first): (see Open Secrets[17] for a full list of clients).
Mars Inc | NLMK (Novolipetsk Steel, one of the four largest steel companies in Russia) | Gulf Energy Alliance | Nissan North America | Wake Forest University | California Steel Industries | Transportation Institute | GVW Group (venture capital firm) | Autocar | AECOM | | Amazon | US Home Corp | Lennar Ventures (homebuilders) | Space Exploration Technologies | | FedEx Corp | UnitedHealth Group | Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance | Airbus | Daybrook Holdings | HemispheRx Biopharma | National Association of Broadcasters | Shell | Shell Oil | Sanderson Farms (US 3rd largest poultry producer) | Solar Energy Industries Association | Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America | Georgia Ports Authority | Alvogen | Management & Training Corp | MicroPact | Syngenta | City of New Orleans | Hammack, Barry et al | Denver Regional Transportation District | Policy & Taxation Group | Prudential Financial | Coca-Cola | Airlines for America | Aon Hewitt | Association of American Railroads | BAE Systems | Children's Tumor Foundation | HELLEN Systems | Huntington Ingalls Industries | LCMC Health | LHC Group | Rendeavour | United Rentals | US Immigration Fund | Biotechnology Innovation Organization | Nexus Services | American Association of Responsible Auto Lenders | Berkshire Hathaway | Netjets Inc | City of Cincinnati | City of Portland | Conservation Trust Fund of Puerto Rico | Hanesbrands | North Carolina Biotechnology Center | Planet Aid | Transurban Group | Universities Space Research Association | University of Miami | Clean Coal Technologies Inc | Equinix | American Podiatric Medical Association | Chatham Area Transit Authority | City of Las Vegas | City of Mesa | City of San Diego | City of San Jose | KTM-Sportmotorcycle | KTM (North America) | Los Angeles County | LA County Metro Transportation Authority | Miami-Dade County | Teijin Twaron USA | Thomas Jefferson University | University of Georgia | Atlas Copco | Hillsborough County | Northeast Ohio Areawide Coord Agency | Alliance for Biosecurity | Baton Rouge Area Foundation | City of Baton Rouge | Eckerd Kids | Jefferson County | Toshiba | Westinghouse Electric | Trojan Technologies | Weirton Medical Center | Cerner | High Negotiations Committe of the Syrian Opposition | ShipCom | Takata Corp | City & County of Denver | Denver Water | City of Commerce | City of Greenville | Developmental Pathways | Leon County | Leon County Board of County Commissioner | LiveWell Colorado | Natel Energy | Ocala | Ohio Business Roundtable | Ohio University | Melaleuca | Chandresh Patel | Molnlycke Health Care | Piaggio Group Americas | Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance | ICOT Holdings | Independent Colleges & University of Florida | Managed Funds Association | Washington Convention Center Authority/EventsDC | City of South San Francisco | Extraction Oil & Gas | National Conference on Public Employee Retirement | Neustar | Verified Voting | University of Florida Student Government Association | Momentive Performance Materials Holdings

EU lobbying clients

Lobbying clients in Brussels in 2017 include: (see Squire Patton Boggs entry on the EU transparency register[18] for EU clients).
KazMunayGas International | Advantage Capital Partners | E-Pure/ The European Renewable Ethanol Association | Children’s Tumor Foundation | Synthos Group (manufacturers of chemical raw materials in Poland).

UK clients

SPB says that it represents in the UK 'a number of household names including those within the retail, hospitality, manufacturing and architecture sectors'.[19]

It is not registered on the government's statutory register of consultant lobbyists.[20]

Contact

Website: www.squirepattonboggs.com; www.brexitlegal.com
London address: 7 Devonshire Square, London, London, EC2M 4YH

Notes

  1. SPB, Open Secrets website, accessed Nov 2017
  2. Brexit SPB website, accessed Nov 2017
  3. Brexit SPB website, accessed Nov 2017
  4. Making Brexit Work for the Chemical Industry, Squire Patton Boggs paper for the Chemical Industries Association, Feb 2018
  5. Berry register of interests, TheyWorkForYou, accessed Nov 2017
  6. Event listing, AMNT website, 17 June 2015
  7. EU Withdrawal, the missing Bill, SPB website, 23 October 2017
  8. James Wharton, Linkedin profile, accessed Nov 2017, link not publicly accessible from December 2017
  9. BCC event, BCC mailout, accessed Nov 2017
  10. Team, Northern Powerhouse Conference website, accessed December 2017
  11. Shock announcement as Northern Powerhouse Conference postponed, Manchester Evening News, 3 Dec 2017
  12. Northern Powerhouse – The Biggest Commercial Conversation in a Generation, SPB's Northern Powerhouse Law website, 11 April 2017
  13. Paying for our Progress: How will the Northern Powerhouse be Financed and Funded?, SPB website, Feb 2017
  14. UK Northern Powerhouse essential for entire UK, says leading conservative, Northern Powerhouse Conference website, 10 Oct 2016
  15. Northern Powerhouse must plan for foreign investment, says global infrastructure expert, AECOM website, accessed Dec 2017
  16. Northern Powerhouse could help UK become 'Singapore on steroids' says US trade expert, Manchester Evening News, 29 Jan 2017
  17. SPB, Open Secrets, accessed Nov 2017
  18. SPB, EU TRansparency register, accessed Nov 2017
  19. 'Brexit and the Labour Market', written evidence, Parliament website, July 2017
  20. Registrar site, accessed Nov 2017