Lawyers use human rights law to help Russian oligarchs evade sanctions

FAT chat lawyers are using human rights law to help Russian oligarchs evade sanctions, it was revealed yesterday.

They charge “astronomical” fees to prevent or delay government measures to freeze their assets and confiscate their grand homes.

Former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland says UK should review how human rights laws apply to oligarchscredit: getty

Senior lawmakers say some lawyers enforce human rights laws more enthusiastically in the EU than the courts where they were set up.

Law firms fighting sanctions have argued that their clients are innocent until proven guilty and have called for the right to a fair trial, which is found in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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.

The Furious Tories have accused some lawyers of trying to pressure warmonger Vladimir Putin.

The US and even the European Union – the birthplace of human rights laws – moved faster than Britain to seize Russia’s dirty money.

Some lawyers charge two or three times their highly standard fees to help get the oligarchs off the hook.

Boris Johnson has approved legal changes to accelerate the ability to punish Putin’s comrades, but senior lawmakers are calling for more 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 the EU.

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“If the European Convention on Human Rights does not prevent other EU countries from imposing sanctions on oligarchs, it should not do so here.

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“Any delay in granting clearance to a person will give them more time to skim the property or remove them from the jurisdiction. ,

Tory MP David Davis said: “The bottomless wallet of elite fund lawyers who double or triple their already astronomical standard fee.

“And as we work to clean up dirty Russian money following the invasion of Ukraine, lawyers and accountants will undoubtedly help prevent obstacles in the way of government policy.

“They are helping the oligarchs flee Britain with their wrongful gains.”

Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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