Global Government Relations

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Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.

Global Government Relations (formerly DLA Upstream) is the lobbying arm of giant law firm, DLA Piper, "one of the world's 'biggest and baddest' law firms".[1]

Renowned for both its size and depth, and working closely with colleagues in Washington and Brussels, GLG sits within the firm's legislative and regulatory group which provides client alerts on forthcoming regulation, lobbying, risk reviews, compliance programmes and specialist defence via a 24/7 rapid response service.[2]


Complaint against "anti-competitive" register

In June 2008, DLA Piper Global Government Affairs and the Whitehouse Consultancy wrote a letter of complaint to the Public Administration Select Committee, voicing their concerns about organisations refusing to work with agencies not signed up to the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) register. The letter, signed by DLA Piper's director Eben Black, stated:

We understand fully the Met Office's concern to ensure that it only considers tenders from organisations committed to adherence to high ethical standards. But we consider... that such behaviour, as encouraged by the APPC, is anti-competitive. Having taken legal advice we are strongly of the opinion that this contravenes not only government procurement guidelines but also EU directives... and as such is unlawful".

The letter came several weeks after the Met Office put out a tender for a lobbying firm, specifying that it was "essential" for the successful consultancy to be part of the APPC.[3]

Refusal to join Association of Professional Political Consultants

Following a committee inquiry chaired by Labour MP Tony Wright, it emerged that DLA Piper was one of three agencies refusing to join the APPC. Global Government Relations (GGR) is the lobbying arm of DLA Piper and was founded and chaired by Tim Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrat spokesman on culture and sport in the House of Lords. This creates - in the eyes of the APPC - a conflict of interests, as members cannot employ sitting peers or MPs. GGR head of media Eben Black, instead of Clement-Jones, was due to appear before the committee.[4]


  • Tim Clement-Jones. Lord Clement-Jones is a Partner of DLA Piper and Co-chair of Global Government Relations. In 2008 he was paid £61,000 by DLA Piper. Clement-Jones, known for his "legal acumen and networking know-how", argues that “As long as I know who pays for my airfare, I’m clean … I can’t take part in debates with or talk to ministers in the context of any clients. I tend to dip in and out of business deals."[5]
  • Brochures put out by Clement-Jones’ team give details of the services offered: “Influencing emerging policy and legislation can be crucial to commercial success. We help clients to build and maintain effective relationships with legislators and those who influence them. We also assist clients to communicate their priorities to governments and institutions to manage effectively any legislative and regulatory threats. This includes issues management and thought leadership, as well as political engagement.”
  • DLA Piper also advertises that it offers Select Committee Training; including “liaison with the Clerk of the Committee, its Chair and special advisers as part of the "negotiating" period before the oral evidence session;” Clement-Jones is the main contact for this service. His team also “can research and draft appropriate written submissions to Select Committee inquiries.”[6]
  • Clement-Jones is also a contact and “offers direction” for DLA Piper’s Global Government Relations team in China, which “offers a number of services to international clients seeking to establish, operate and manage their political and stakeholder relationships in China as well as “a combination of legal and government relations services to China-based companies looking to establish or expand their operations internationally.”
  • Lord Norman Warner. It was reported in February 2008 that Lord Warner, the former Labour health minister, who resigned from the government in December 2006, was being paid by DLA Piper. DLA Piper advised ministers on the £12billion IT project for the NHS. Warner was responsible for the project when in government.[7]
  • Andrew Darwin, designated member, 10 Aug 2006-present[8]. Joined DLA Piper in 1981 as a corporate lawyer, has held positions including head of corporate, managing director of the EMEA region and UK managing partner. Is currently chief operating officer for international LLP, managing partner Australia and a member of the global board.[9]

Former staff

  • Eben Black, now at Newgate Communications was head of media at GGR between July 2004 and September 2013. Before this, Black was chief political correspondent at the Sunday Times for five years and the political editor of the News of the World.
  • Steven De Keyser, designated member, 10 Aug 2006-1 Jan 2013[8]. Held the roles country managing partner and managing director in mainland Europe, strategic projects director and member of the global board, member of the executive committee for Europe, Asia and the Middle East at DLA Piper. Is a founding partner of Bignon De Keyser[10]


GGR doesn't publish a list of its lobbying clients, but they reportedly include:
British Bankers Association | Centrica | Standard Life[11]

  • Government IT projects

The Sunday Times reported in February 2008 that DLA Piper has been advising government ministers on the controversial £12 billion IT project for the NHS. In March 2007, a Law Society publication wrote that "its 'industrious' lawyers have 'really cornered the market in government IT work', with particular mention made of its continuing involvement in the Connecting for Health project, advising on contract management issues. Praise was also given to its outsourcing, procurement and litigation expertise in the technology field, with buyer clients in a variety of sectors and supplier clients ranging from hi-tech companies through to top international IT services companies."[12]


3 Noble Street
London EC2V 7EE


  1. Chambers & Partners Guide to the Legal Profession 2006
  2. Law Careers, March 2007
  3. David Singleton, "Agencies voice concern over APPC-only contracts", PR Week UK, 12.06.08, accessed 10.09.10
  4. Staff writers, "Lobbying inquiry zooms in on APPC non-members", PR Week UK, 21.02.08, accessed 10.09.10
  5. Profile, Lord Clement-Jones, Accountancy Age
  6. DLA Piper, Global Government Relations, April, 2007
  7. Sunday Times,February 24, 2008
  8. 8.0 8.1 DLA PIPER GLOBAL GOVERNMENT RELATIONS LLP Open Corporates, 6 October 2014, accessed 9 October 2014
  9. Andrew Darwin Linkedin, undated, 9 October 2014
  10. Staff biography Bignon De Keyser, undated, 9 October 2014
  11. Law Careers, March 2007
  12. Law Careers, March 2007