But There’s More Cherie Get’s in on the Action
Cherie Blair is being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for a few months’ legal work by Kazakhstan, whose autocratic president employs her husband as an official adviser. Mrs Blair’s law firm Omnia Strategy agreed a deal with Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice earlier this year to conduct a review of the country’s “bilateral investment treaties”. The first stage of the review, which was expected to take as little as three months, is worth £120,000, sources have told The Sunday Telegraph.
A second phase of the project is worth a further £200,000 to £250,000 for another three to four months’ work, it is understood. Omnia Strategy, which Mrs Blair set up in 2011, also has an option to complete a third stage of the legal project for the Ministry of Justice at a fee to be decided, according to the source. Mrs Blair is understood normally to charge clients £1,150 an hour but will bill the Kazakh taxpayer at a reduced rate of £975 an hour if the Ministry of Justice, based in the capital Astana, continues to employ Omnia on the legal review into its third stage.
But there’s more – Tony & Cherie Blair, the oil tycoon and jobs for Blairites in poor Albania
On the face of it, Albania, once the most hardline of Stalinist states and still one of the poorest countries in Europe, seems unlikely to hold much attraction for Tony Blair. But The Telegraph can disclose that the Balkan country, recently discovered to be abundant in oil and gas, appears to be providing rich pickings for a dynasty of Blairites.
This newspaper has already disclosed how Mr Blair is a consultant to Albania’s Labour government. Now it has emerged that his wife Cherie picked up a lucrative legal contract with the previous government; while even the nephew of Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair’s former spin doctor, has landed himself a job advising the new Albanian prime minister.
Mrs Blair was awarded a contract worth £300,000 to advise the Albanian government after making friends with the wife of the Balkan country’s then prime minister while in Downing Street.
Mrs Blair, best known in the legal world as a human rights lawyer, acted for Albania in a billion dollar oil dispute with an American energy firm.
There’s even more – Tony Blair strikes gold in Mongolia
The former prime minister has negotiated a contract to advise the Mongolian government just as the country strikes it rich from a vast copper and gold mine in the Gobi desert. The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that Mr Blair spent two days in March in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia’s capital, striking the deal with the country’s president and prime minister.
His diplomatic skills will be needed in a country undergoing a rapid economic transformation. The Mongolian government has been in dispute with Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian mining conglomerate, over the operation of the country’s biggest mine. Sources have suggested Mr Blair was called in to mediate between the two although Mr Blair and Rio Tinto both denied that last night.
The addition of Mongolia to Mr Blair’s portfolio will bolster the income of Mr Blair’s Government Advisory Practice, which operates as part of Tony Blair Associates, “the umbrella organisation” for Mr Blair’s “commercial operations”.
Sunday Telegraph investigations have shown Mr Blair and a team of consultants are now paid millions of pounds to advise governments in;
Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Colombia, Brazil, Albania, Malawi, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Liberia, Guinea