Greenberg rainmaker quits amid billing row

Greenberg Traurig’s biggest rainmaker and key Washington DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been forced to resign amid allegations that he has charged native American tribes more than $45m (£24.6m) for lobbying the Republican Party.

The Senate is investigating why this amount of money was necessary, when it could have been better spent on health and education.

Richard Rosenbaum, national operating shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, said: “Last Friday (27 February), Mr Abramoff disclosed to the firm for the first time personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm.”

Greenberg has retained top white collar defence lawyer Henry Schuelke of DC firm Janis Schuelke and Wechsler to conduct an investigation into the matters.

In a statement, Abramoff said: “It’s regrettable that Greenberg Traurig would indicate that my resignation was based on anything other than our mutual decision to ensure that recent events did not interfere with the representation of our clients. In time, I hope the firm will understand that a lobbying practice in Washington is different from other areas in the practice of law, and how a firm and its clients have to be prepared to take and respond to political attacks and unpopular positions without overreacting.”