KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — A law firm that represents fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, who is accused of masterminding one of the world’s largest corruption scandals, has received £1.3m (RM6.94 million) for its work on a public relations campaign for Low, UK news outlet The Guardian reported.
Schillings, a London-based firm which specialises in managing the reputations of wealthy clients including the Duchess of Sussex, was paid the sum for work done for Low between January 2019 and March 2020.
The revelation was based on United States lobbying disclosures, with some of its activities aimed at “informing public opinion” in that country.
The news report added that Low had embarked on a multimillion-dollar public relations offensive and hired an army of lawyers and PR advisers over the past two years.
“Disclosures submitted to the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) show Schillings has supported this effort, providing ‘legal and consulting advice and research in support of the work’ of PR advisers.
“The latest disclosures, submitted by the firm’s US subsidiary last month, include a breakdown of fees for the services it has to report under Fara, which requires representatives of foreign individuals, companies or governments to file reports about their lobbying and influence activities and how much they are paid,” it added.
Accordingly, Schillings said its work included helping to prepare press releases and maintain a website for Low which described the fugitive as “a global philanthropist, investor, and entrepreneur” who believes “he will be vindicated once all the relevant evidence has been presented in a fair and legitimate court of law”.
Other disclosures also revealed that a London-based PR and crisis management agency, the PHA Group, received almost £275,000 (RM1.47 million) since 2018 for representing Low.
The report states that both Schilling and PHA were paid via Kobre & Kim, a US law firm acting for Low.
A lawyer for Schillings which responded on behalf of the law firm and PHA was quoted as saying that both firms complied with all applicable laws and regulations and had “nothing further to add” to the contents of the Fara filings.
Low is accused by US and Malaysian prosecutors of orchestrating a vast money-laundering scheme that embezzled billions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).