The King of Jordan committed a $ 1,300-hour deal in Washington, DC, a lawyer for potential defamation counseling shortly before the Pandora Papers exposure broke out, a report said.

King Abdullah of Jordan

King Abdullah of Jordan. Olivia Harris / REUTERS

  • The King of Jordan hired the law firm DLA Piper days before the Pandora Papers were published, documents show.

  • A $ 1,335-hour lawyer would advise on “potential defamation” and more, records show, according to Politico.

  • The Pandora papers showed that King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein spent $ 100 million on luxury homes in the United States and Britain.

  • See more stories on Insider’s company page.

The King of Jordan, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, got a lawyer in Washington, DC in the weeks before the Pandora Papers broadcast went live, partly in anticipation of potential defamation, according to documents filed with the Justice Department and first reported by Politics.

The Pandora papers showed that King Abdullah spent more than $ 100 million on a real estate empire in the United States and Britain using a network of secretly owned companies. The papers were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Prior to the publication of the Pandora Papers, Jordan’s Royal Hashemite Court signed a contract with London-based law firm DLA Piper, according to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which was discovered by OpenSecrets and reported on by both Politico and Axios.

The company would provide “legal advice regarding potential defamation and other remedies in connection with inquiries and / or articles about His Majesty King Abdullah II from the media”, according to the documents.

DLA Pipers Mary Elizabeth Gately, a partner at the law firm and co-head of its litigation in Washington, DC, said she would be in charge of the case but could involve additional attorneys, according to the documents.

Gately said her standard hourly rate was $ 1,335, according to the records.

The king’s office signed the contract on September 29, the documents show.

There are no allegations of misconduct against either DLA Piper or Gately. When the Pandora Papers were published, the DLA responded to Piper, denying “any implication that there is anything wrong with [Abdullah’s] ownership of property through companies in offshore jurisdictions. “He used these companies for security reasons,” it said.

The Pandora papers broke out Sunday, revealing how current and former world leaders, billionaires, celebrities and officials are hiding billions of dollars in secret offshore systems.

The Pandora papers showed that the King of Jordan used a network of offshore companies to buy 14 luxury homes in places like Malibu, California and London, ICIJ reported, citing the Pandora papers.

Jordan is heavily dependent on foreign aid to care for and support its people, according to the ICIJ. In 2020, the United States provided $ 1.5 billion in aid and military funding, according to the U.S. State Department website.

King Abdullah “has at no time misused public money or in any way made use of the proceeds of assistance or assistance intended for public use,” the DLA said after stories about him were published.

DLA Piper and Gately did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment. Gately also did not respond to inquiries from Axios about her work, nor did King Abdullah’s office respond to a request for comment.

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