It’s Official: Adam Waldman of The Endeavor Law Firm No Longer Represents Deripaska’s Rusal

According to Foreign Agents Registration (FARA) papers filed June 29, 2018, Endeavor’s connection with Rusal/Deripaska ended April 5, 2018, one day before Deripaska was added to the sanctions list. Additionally, The Endeavor Law Firm has changed its address to the DC office of another firm that represented Deripaska via its London office.

FARA REPRESENTATION:

Waldman first filed FARA papers to represent Oleg Deripaska on May 8, 2009. Waldman’s stated activities on behalf of Deripaska were help with Deripaska’s US Visa, assistance with commercial transactions, and advice on global issues in the aluminum market. The retainer stated on the original contract was $40,000/month, plus expenses. I’ve gone through all of the Supplemental Statements since the initial filing, and the $40,000/month + expensese payments continued through March 29, 2018.

My favorite part of Waldman’s initial FARA paperwork (filed MAY 2009) is the payment information, especially the gem at the bottom:

On October 6, 2010, Waldman filed FARA papers to represent Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, to lobby for Deripaska’s visa. Though there are descriptions of work done on behalf of Lavrov in the Supplemental Statements, there are no payments to Waldman for the Lavrov representation-only payments for the Deripaska representation.

LAW FIRM ADDRESS CHANGE & WHY IT’S INTERESTING:

According to the Supplemental Statement filed June 29, 2018, The Endeavor Law Firm’s address has changed to “care of” Bryan Cave’s Washington DC office. Bryan Cave is a global law firm that is based in St Louis, but with offices all over the world. A London-based Bryan Cave attorney named Paul Hauser represents Deripaska, but Bryan Cave has no FARA filings for Deripaska or any of his companies. (Note: I’m not a lawyer- I don’t know if Hauser still represents Deripaska, given the US sanctions & I don’t know if Bryan Cave would even need to file FARA papers since Hauser is based in London. )

Waldman has been in the press a lot of late; most recently it has been reported in The Guardian that Waldman visited Julian Assange nine times in 2017. Given Assange’s and Deripaska’s ties to players in the TrumpRussia investigation, the timing of Endeavor’s address change to “care of” law firm Bryan Cave is intriguing.

On February 9, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley sent a letter to Hauser asking the following questions:

1. Public reports and court documents indicate that you are an attorney for Mr. Oleg Deripaska. Do you serve, or have you served, as legal counsel for Mr. Deripaska or any business associated with him?
2. Have you ever hired or otherwise worked with Mr. Christopher Steele, Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, Orbis Business International Limited, Walsingham Training Limited, or Walsingham Partners Limited? If so, when, and what was the nature of the arrangement?
3. Is it the case that Mr. Steele, through you, works or has worked on behalf of Mr. Deripaska or businesses associated with him? If so, when has such work occurred?
4. Are you otherwise aware of any business or financial relationships between Mr. Steele and Russian government officials, Russian oligarchs, or Russian businesses?

Hauser responded on February 14, 2018, and answered the first question affirmatively, that he has and continues “to serve as legal counsel for Mr. Deripaska and for various of the businesses associated with him.” Hauser declined to answer questions 2–4, writing,

attorney/client privelege, work product doctrine, and rules of professional responsibility prevent me from commenting on client work. However, I confirm that neither my firm nor I was involved in the commissioning of, prepara of or payment for the so-called “Steele Dossier.” I am not aware of any involvement by Mr. Deripaska in commissioning, preparing, or paying for that document.”

I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more about Waldman, Deripaska, and Assange soon.