keeping an eye on the Kingdom's PR
Sorini, Samet & Associates
Nature of Business: Government lobbying and public relations, specializing in trade legislation
700 13th Street, NW, Suite 930
Washington, DC 20005 (map)
|Fees and Expenses: $630,742|
Relationship with Bahrain Government
In the crackdown against the pro-democracy protests of February 2011, the Bahraini government collectively dismissed hundreds of workers seen as sympathetic to the protests. In response, the AFL-CIO (the US's largest trade union federation) filed a complaint with the US government 21 April 2011, calling on it to review its Free Trade Agreement with Bahrain in light of the mass dismissals and labour rights violations.
To prepare its response to the AFL-CIO submission, the government of Bahrain hired the services of Sorini, Samet & Associates (SS&A) in May 2011. According to the terms of the contract, the lobbying firm would not only advise on the content of the reply and other official paperwork, but it would also arrange for meetings with US government officials, Members of Congress, the AFL-CIO, human rights groups, think tanks and scholars, the US business community, and the media.
SS&A was to be paid an hourly rate, varying between $100 and $550 depending on the type of work, and an initial retainer of $25,000 on the signing of the contract. Expenses would be reimbursed by the Bahraini government separately.
- Bahraini Delegation Meets US Officials (June 29, 2011)
- Bahraini Delegation to the USA Holds Meetings with US Officials (June 30, 2011)
- Bahraini Ministers Dr Fakhro and Humaidan meet US officials (July 4, 2011)
The main point of contact for this contract is SS&A co-founder Andrew Samet. He has made made several trips to Bahrain that have been proudly reported by Bahrain's state news agency, referring to him at different times as "US Legal Advisor", "U.S. Counsel" and "US Consultant" -- as though he is working for the US government.
The original contract was set to expire after a year, on May 8, 2012. It is not clear whether the contract was renewed or not.
Fees and Expenses
Between $100 and $550 per hour, depending on work. Initial retainer of $25,000. Expenses billed separately.
Between May 8, 2012 and May 31, 2012, SS&A reported earning fees totalling $533,216 and charging expenses totalling $97,526. In total, it charged the government of Bahrain a sum of $630,742.
Date of Hiring
8 May 2011
- Andrew J. Samet, co-founder and principal
- US Dept of Justice: FARA Exhibit AB to Registration Statement, May 26, 2011
- US Dept of Justice: FARA Supplemental Statement (period: Dec 2010 to May 2011), Jun 28, 2011
- US Dept of Justice: FARA Supplemental Statement (period: Jun 2011 to Nov 2011), Dec 16, 2011
- US Dept of Justice: FARA Supplemental Statement (period: Dec 2010 to May 2012), 28 Jun, 2012
- Salon.com: DC law firm defends Bahrain on human rights crackdown, Jun 10, 2011
- Bahrain News Agency: Dr. Fakhro Receives US Consultant and German Ambassador, May 26, 2011
- Bahrain News Agency: Industry and Commerce Minister receives Baitak CEO and US Legal Advisor, Oct 5, 2011
- Bahrain News Agency: Minister of Industry and Commerce receives U.S Counsel Feb 6, 2012