Olswang distances itself from Greenberg’s Abramoff scandal

Olswang, the UK ally of under-fire US firm Greenberg Traurig, has distanced itself from the Greenberg’s difficulties sparked by a former lobbyist who last week pleaded guilty to defrauding clients and bribing government officials.

Jonathan Goldstein, Olswang chief executive, said the issue was not one on which it was appropriate for Olswang to comment and referred all questions to Greenberg Traurig.

However, an internal source confirmed that Olswang had raised the issue ahead of its July association. “We feel for them,” he said, “but they have done everything they could have done to take responsibility as management.”

The federal investigation into the events surrounding Jack Abramoff is continuing in Washington. However, last week the former Greenberg lobbyist pleaded guilty to mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion in connection with his lobbying activities.

In a prepared statement Greenberg said that Abramoff had revealed conduct it found “unacceptable” almost two years ago.

“The firm demanded and obtained Mr. Abramoff’s immediate resignation,” it continued. “This week’s developments validate that action. Mr Abramoff’s agreement also exposes additional conduct unknown to us in February 2004, including conduct intended to deceive our firm and others. Consistent with our ethical obligations to clients, our firm continues to cooperate fully with ongoing government investigations.”