With certain exemptions, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) requires agents of foreign principals to register with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for conducting specified activities within the United States, including “political activities,” acting as a public relations counsel or political consultant, or representing a foreign principal before federal agencies. Registered agents must provide regular reports to the DOJ, detailing the activities they conduct on behalf of foreign principals and the compensation received from each foreign principal—which are more demanding requirements than those of the Lobbying Disclosure Act.

In recent years, the DOJ has stepped up its enforcement of FARA, leading to dozens of criminal prosecutions and record numbers of registrations. Foreign persons, companies, governments and political parties—as well as the lobbyists and agents who counsel or represent them—should pay close attention. The DOJ has continued to devote resources to support an aggressive enforcement culture, imposing more substantial compliance obligations on those who work to influence policy in the United States (and consequences for failing to do so).

We advise US businesses and persons retained by foreign companies and governments on the intricacies of FARA and other US foreign influence transparency statutes. Our team includes a former senior DOJ official who revamped its FARA enforcement program. We have extensive insight into the statute’s breadth and complexity that we can bring to bear for our clients.

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