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.

In June/July 2011, SS&A arranged a Washington DC charm offensive by Bahrain's ministers of labour and industry & commerce. Below are links to government press releases about the meetings:

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

Relevant Personnel

Key Documents