Squire Patton Boggs and Cozen O’Connor, followed by Hogan Lovells and Holland & Knight, were the first Big Law firms to make public statements about how their political action committees are going to function moving forward, after big corporations made similar announcements Monday in the wake of last week’s storm on the U.S. Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob.
Squire Patton Boggs, Hogan Lovells and Holland & Knight said they are freezing all contributions while they reassess, while Cozen O’Connor is stopping any contributions to politicians who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
In a statement attributed to executive chairman and CEO Michael Heller, Cozen O’Connor stated that the firm “condemns last week’s events in the strongest possible terms.” The statement went on to say that politicians who voted against a peaceful transfer of power don’t “align with our values” and that Cozen O’Connor Political Action Committee “has frozen any future PAC contributions to these members of Congress who objected to the certification” of President-elect Joe Biden. The firm said it will evaluate its political contribution policies for the future as well.
Squire has frozen its PAC contributions as a whole. In a statement, the firm said there is “no room for violence in our society, including in the context of political protests, and that a peaceful transition of power is fundamental to our democratic system of government.” The firm will not allow any contributions to the fund until it has had a chance to “review our policies and criteria on a going forward basis.”
Ivan Zapien, a partner in Hogan Lovells’ Washington, D.C., office and head of the firm’s government relations and public affairs practice, said, “Based on recent events, we’ve decided to pause PAC giving and reevaluate our giving criteria.”
Lobbying giant Holland & Knight has also suspended the firm’s PAC until further notice. In a statement, the firm said that “in light of recent events, the Holland & Knight Committee for Effective Government is suspending further PAC commitments while it reviews its policies and practices.”
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a stalwart in the D.C. legal and lobbying scene, said in a statement that it will “consider the riotous events in Washington, D.C. and the false rhetoric questioning the legitimacy of the recent elections as part of a broad array of factors when determining our PAC giving priorities.” The firm did not specify whether it would suspend contributions at this time.
On Monday, several large banks and corporations, including Morgan Stanley, Marriott, Dow, AT&T and Coca-Cola, either suspended their PACs completely or took a targeted approach of not allowing contributions to any elected officials that voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
On the banking side, in Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup also said they would postpone all campaign contributions.
This is the latest step Big Law has taken to voice its concern over the attack on the U.S. Capitol and the role of politicians in encouraging and inciting the violence. On Jan. 8, Crowell & Moring led a charge of firms including DLA Piper, Foley Hoag, and many other smaller firms in calling for the removal of President Donald Trump for his role in the riots at the Capitol.
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