This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
Patton Boggs is a general practice law firm and high-powered lobbying firm, associated with Qorvis Communications. In addition to their Washington DC headquarters, they maintain offices in Anchorage, Dallas, Denver, Northern Virginia, and Doha, Qatar.
According to its website, "Patton Boggs was among the first national law firms to recognize that all three branches of government could serve as forums in which to achieve client goals... Founded in 1962 by James R. Patton, Jr., and joined soon after by George Blow and then Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., we have maintained our strong concentration in international and trade law with over 200 international clients from over 70 countries. Patton Boggs, for example, has participated in the formation of every major multilateral trade agreement considered by Congress. But we have evolved beyond our roots to become a full-service firm with a national presence in every major area of legal representation, and have developed our business law expertise -- secured transactions, public offerings, financial services, and the like -- into our largest practice area today."
In October 2008, Patton Boggs "signed a $350K six-month contract with India to serve as its public policy representative on issues coming before Congress and the Administration." The firm reports to Ronen Sen, India’s Ambassador to the U.S. 
In October 2004, Patton Boggs secured a $22,000-a-month contract with the government of Kuwait, "to win Congressional passage of the U.S.-Kuwait Free Trade Agreement," reported O'Dwyer's PR Daily. As part of the contract, the firm will "advise Kuwait about its current image among U.S. policymakers, prepare economic/policy briefing materials and set up meetings with government officials." The O'Dwyer's story noted, "Kuwait scored political points in the U.S. for its role of launching pad for the invasion of Iraq. Jordan was awarded an FTA with the U.S. last year."
In August 2004, O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that the company had won a $400,000 contract with the government of Cameroon to represent it with the U.S. Congress, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The account team will be headed by Joseph Brand, O'Dwyers reported.
In 2003, Patton Boggs started an "Iraq Reconstruction" practice area, noting: "Early estimates on the total value of reconstruction-oriented contracts from such organizations as USAID and the Army Corps of Engineers exceed $4 billion... Despite the scope and number of opportunities for contractors, competition will be strong, and regulations governing contract bidding and award present distinct challenges for companies hoping to compete for and win U.S. government contracts for reconstruction projects... Patton Boggs has represented many companies seeking and eventually winning contracts for infrastructure reconstruction in the wake of hostilities and regime change. The firm has also represented business enterprises that provide technical assistance to governments in other important realms of regime change, including transformation of state-run economies to market-based, and related efforts to privatize state-owned enterprises." The successful examples the firm cited was winning the contract to rebuild "the most difficult segment of the George W. Bush Kabul-Kandahar Highway in Afghanistan" for a major U.S. construction company.
In November 2002, "the House Committee on Government Reform, which is investigating reports of American children kidnapped and held in Saudi Arabia, has issued subpoenas to the Kingdom's top lobbying firms Qorvis Communications, Patton Boggs and the Gallagher Group demanding they turn over their PR and lobbying records," reported O'Dwyer's PR Daily. "The Saudi Embassy claims those documents are protected under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as 'archives and documents of the mission.'" Committee head Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) rejected that argument, noting that the Vienna Convention is "intended to protect foreign diplomats but has no application to American citizens 'who choose to sell their services as public relations/lobbying mouthpieces for foreign interests'."
Patton Boggs has lobbied on behalf of the dietary supplement company Metabolife International. According to Associated Press, "Patton Boggs earned millions helping project reassurances to Congress and its customers that Metabolife products were safe. Patton Boggs attorneys helped prepare carefully worded responses to regulators. Between 2001 and this year, Metabolife paid Patton Boggs $1.8 million to lobby Congress."
Patton Boggs' work for Metabolife has resulted in legal scrutiny: "One former and four current Patton Boggs attorneys were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in San Diego, court documents say. Prosecutors allege company founder Michael Ellis lied about Metabolife's safety record in a 1998 letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which documents say Patton Boggs attorneys helped draft. ... In mid 2002, Patton Boggs lobbyist Lanny Davis wrote a senator whose subcommittee was investigating Metabolife that the company had received only 78 'unproven, anecdotal allegations' of strokes, heart attacks, seizures and deaths." Company documents released just one week later revealed that the number of health complaints actually numbered in the thousands.
In April 2002, members of congress objected to a video prepared by Patton Boggs promoting exploration for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, hosted on the U.S. Interior Department's web site. The Department's distribution of the video was in apparent violation of a law forbidding federal agencies to engage in PR activities "designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress." The Department is becoming "a cinema house for lobbyists," says Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey. "The Interior Department should not be spreading oil company propaganda any more than the Department of Energy should be promoting Enron stock," he said. "It's not their job."
Political Support for Mitt Romney
In September 2012 Patton Boggs hosted a private fundraiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney organized by former Senate majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
Past and present clients
Patton Boggs' more than 170 registered lobbyist employees serve a long and diverse list of clients. Some of its past and present clients include: (cited source applies to all preceding unmarked clients)
- Angola 
- Cameroon  (Sub re'd)
- Campaign for a U.S. - Afghanistan Partnership
- Costa Rica
- Haiti 
- India 
- Kuwait 
- Metabolife International 
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- Abbott Laboratories
- Boston Scientific Corporation
- HCR-Manor Care, Inc., Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., Omnicare, Inc. on Medicare/ Medicaid;
- Arvesta Corporation, The Climate Council, National Grid USA, United Technologies Corporation and W. R. Grace & Company on the Superfund program;
- Arrow Electronics, CH2M Hill, DTE Energy, FirstEnergy Corporation and Los Angeles, California's Department of Water and Power on nuclear energy;
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
- George Soros's Open Society Institute
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Patton Boggs, LLP
- 2550 M Street NW
- Washington, DC 20037-1350
- Phone: 202-457-6000
- Fax: 202-457-6315
- Email: info AT pattonboggs.com
- Website: www.pattonboggs.com
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- "PB Inks India Pact," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), October 15, 2008.
- Robert Fisk, US envoy's business link to Egypt, Independent, 7 February 2011.
- Robert Fisk, op. cit.
- Seth Hettena, "Washington lobbying firm drawn into probe of Metabolife," Associated Press, October 16, 2004.
- "PB Pushes for Kuwait," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub. req'd.), October 15, 2004.
- Julie Gozan, "The Torturers' Lobby", Multinational Monitor, April 1993.
- The Center for Public Integrity, "Expenditures to individuals and organizations affiliated with Patton Boggs from Republican Governors Association", 2003.
- Tim Mazzucca, "Patton Boggs picks unlikely spot for international debut", Washington Business Journal, August 29, 2003.
- The Center for Responsive Politics, "Patton Boggs LLP", 1999-2000 election cycle contributions.
- Felice Wagner, "Patton Boggs' Rain Man: An Interview with Mark Cowan", March 16, 2004.
- “Cameroon picks Patton Boggs”, O’Dwyers PR Daily, August 25, 2004.
- Schema-root.org: current news feed for Patton Boggs
- "Patton Boggs Backs Nukes For India", O'Dwyers PR Daily, June 19, 2006. (Sub req'd).