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Don’t get Trumped: The 2016 U.S. Election and Political Law Risks for Corporates

Claire Rajan

MicrophonesFrom March through Election Day in November, Allen & Overy’s political law team is publishing a series of articles for Corporate Counsel, one of the leading U.S. publications for in-house lawyers, on political law issues that could affect major U.S. corporations and foreign corporations that do business in the U.S. The series is designed to help in-house legal and compliance personnel assess and manage their political law risks, with a particular emphasis on the issues most likely to occur in this election cycle.


Links to the first four articles in the series are set out below.


With the U.S. Presidential campaign season in full swing, this is the perfect time for companies doing business in the United States to take a fresh look at your public affairs programs and political activities, including campaign finance and lobbying. Regardless of where they are headquartered,  companies with operations in the United States increasingly need to be active in the U.S. political and electoral process to remain competitive. This is particularly true of companies in regulated industries. Such activities potentially subject  entities to a complex and evolving system of overlapping political law regulation. Interactions with public officials, including political contributions and lobbying, could be subject to restrictions or disclosure obligations. Charles Borden, Samuel Brown and Claire Rajan from our Washington office will discuss the U.S. political law regulatory regime and its impact on UK companies with U.S. operations at a seminar  in London on April 15, 2016. To reserve you space at this seminar, please click here.


Ballot boxAllen & Overy’s Weekly Election Series
March 2, 2016

This is the first article in the series, and provides an overview of the topics the series will cover, including campaign finance, corporate political action committees (PACs), super PACs, reputational risks, and pay-to-play restrictions.





Hat with moneyWhat Your Company Can Do—and Should Not Do—During the Election Campaign
March 9, 2016

In this article, we discuss the three most popular methods of campaign involvement at the federal level. We also delve into the various prohibitions that apply to corporate political activity, and explain how a company can find itself in violation of the law due to the activities of its employees, even if those activities were engaged in without the company’s knowledge or permission.




Brand Risks: Trump, Miss USA and Jose Andres
March 16, 2016

This article looks at reputational risks for companies, an issue that has been prominent throughout the presidential primaries this year. Legal and reputational consequences can arise out of the present and past business relationships of the candidates themselves, or a candidate can bring a company into the campaign discussion in ways that may harm the company’s brand or business.





PoliticsThe Presidential Candidates on Campaign Finance Reform
March 23, 2016

This article looks at campaign finance reform, a subject that is not typically high on the presidential campaign agenda. However, the 2016 election has been unusual in this respect, as candidates have raised the subject and voiced concerns about the existing system to an unprecedented degree. Political donors, government contractors and anyone with an interest in electoral economics should take notice of this phenomenon and the candidates’ proposals for reform.



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