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Lawyers rarely hold back from a fight when it might help a client, but in Washington they rarely let a face-off become personal. But when lawyers for the lobby shop Barbour Griffith & Rogers asked a judge to hold a Winston & Strawn lawyer in contempt last week, the response was hardly tame. Filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Barbour accused W. Gordon Dobie of violating the court’s protective order by disclosing sealed documents about the firm and its affiliated corporate intelligence company, Diligence, to reporters. The documents are part of a suit filed by the IPOC International Growth Fund, an offshore business, which accuses Diligence — working for Barbour and its client, Alfa Bank — of impersonating intelligence agents to illegally obtain information on an IPOC audit. The recent articles in Roll Call and The Politico stated that Dobie planned to turn over sealed documents to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who had sent a letter to Dobie. Barbour says Dobie illegally disclosed tape recordings of Diligence employees and at least one KPMG employee, along with other sealed records. IPOC attorneys fired back, writing that “Winston & Strawn has done no such thing.” Much of the information in the articles was in unsealed court transcripts, they said. Instead, they argued, the motion “seeks to convince the Court to use its auspices in a cover-up of defendants’ abhorrent and illegal conduct designed to destroy IPOC.”
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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