APCO Associates claims Akin Gump failed to pay up for eight months of work it had farmed out to the public affairs firm in 1997 on behalf of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
APCO's task was to come up with a grass-roots lobbying program to drum up support for South Korea in the US.
The law firm, complains APCO, breached its $35,000 per month, one-year contract.
APCO says Akin Gump owes $280,000 in unpaid fees plus $25,000 travel expenses. The suit, however, claims triple damages on the grounds that Akin Gump either misled APCO or was negligent in allowing it to continue working, even though the law firm knew, or should have know, that APCO would not be paid.
Akin Gump denies the allegations, claiming an internal investigation concluded that payment was withheld because of unsatisfactory work