Bottom Line

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. The Music Publishers Association hired Alston & Bird to help press for music licensing reform. Interest is growing in changing how songwriters license their works, as evidenced by the increased advocacy on the issue in recent years. The regulations now on the books date back to World War II. In 2015, both chambers of Congress introduced the Songwriter Equity Act, which would update the regulations, and lawmakers re-introduced the bill in 2016. It has not yet been introduced this congressional session.

RUSSIA. Former Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.), now at Greenberg Traurig, is lobbying for Sergei Poymanov, a Russian national and businessman. The lobbyist will be watching for bills on Capitol Hill and administrative actions in the executive branch and conduct “outreach related to U.S.-Russia relations.” Poymanov is in the midst of a lawsuit in New York against Russian bank Sberbank and other entities that he alleges conspired to steal his business. Greenberg Traurig is also representing PPF Management LLC, a Delaware-based entity that Poymanov set up for the legal claims, in court.

FOREIGN POLICY. Sonoran Policy Group, a firm with former advisers to President Trump, has signed the government of Kenya to a $300,000, three-month lobbying contract to “cement and deepen relations between Kenya and the U.S. government as well as between the people of Kenya and the U.S.” The firm will also be advising the country on issues of trade and tourism. Other foreign government clients of Sonoran Policy Group include New Zealand, the Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia.

Squire Patton Boggs is working to prevent the federal government from re-imposing sanctions on the Republic of Sudan, serving as lobbyists for the country’s government. Right before leaving office in January, then-President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaBiden thanks GOP healthcare bill opponents after skinny ObamaCare repeal failure FDA gives cigar, e-cig makers more time to get products approved GOP lawmaker: Time for us to listen to Democrats on healthcare MORE signed an executive order lifting the 20-year embargo on Sudan. The order cites Sudan’s “positive actions over the past 6 months.” Some individuals and entities still have sanctions in effect, and some restrictions on U.S. companies doing business with the country still remain. Squire Patton Boggs will also “identify and implement strategies to improve Sudan’s investment climate.” The contract is worth $40,000 per month.