FAT chat lawyers are using human rights law to help Russian oligarchs dodge sanctions, it was revealed yesterday.
They charge “astronomical” fees to stop or delay government measures to freeze their assets and seize their lavish homes.
Senior MPs say some lawyers apply human rights laws more zealously than the courts in the EU where they were set up.
Law firms fighting sanctions have argued that their clients are innocent until proven guilty and invoked the right to a fair trial, which is found in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. man.
In one case, a lawyer used this argument to ensure that a wealthy client had not been sanctioned by the Foreign Office in the past year.
Furious Tories have accused some lawyers of stifling efforts to pressure warmonger Vladimir Putin.
The US and even the EU – the birthplace of human rights laws – moved faster than Britain to seize the dirty Russian money.
Some lawyers would charge two or three times their exorbitant standard fees to help the oligarchs off the hook.
Boris Johnson has approved legal changes to speed up the ability to punish Putin cronies, but senior MPs are demanding greater scrutiny of the use of human rights laws to protect oligarchs.
Former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland said yesterday: ‘We should consider whether UK courts are interpreting the right to a fair trial more strictly than in the EU.
“If the European Convention on Human Rights does not prevent other EU countries from imposing sanctions on oligarchs, then it should not do so here.
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“Any delay in sanctioning an individual will give them more time to skim assets or remove them from jurisdiction.”
Tory MP David Davis added: “The bottomless wallets of the oligarch fund lawyers who charge double or triple their already astronomical standard fees.
“And as we work to clean up dirty Russian money in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, lawyers and accountants will no doubt help put roadblocks in the way of government policy.
“They are helping the oligarchs flee the UK with their ill-gotten gains.”
Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine…