Tory minister names and shames two more City law firms that worked for Russian oligarchs
Cabinet minister James Cleverly has named two other law firms that sent legal letters to the Foreign Office seeking to challenge the government’s sanctions regime on behalf of “Russian or Russian-linked” clients.
The Conservative MP said City of London law firms W Legal and Peters & Peters both sought to challenge the UK’s sanctions.
In response to a question from Labour MP Christian Matheson, calling on the government to publish the names of all UK law firms that sent letters to the Foreign Office over its sanctions, the Conservative minister named the two firms.
“Law firms that have made representations to the Government on behalf of Russian or Russian-linked clients in relation to the UK-Russian sanctions regime in processed correspondence include BCL Solicitors LLP, W Legal Limited and Peters & Peters,” Cleverly said.
The comments come after Cleverly said London law firm BCL Solicitors sent letters to the Foreign Office, on behalf of Russo-Uzbeki mining billionaire Alisher Usmanov, earlier this month.
Cleverly’s comments come after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the government’s efforts to sanction oligarchs had been hindered by legal threats.
The statements come after Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said lawyers are being singled out and scapegoated for the “horrors in Ukraine.”
Boyce claimed that law firms only started working in Russia due to British government policy.
Last night, the head of the Bar also said lawyers and barristers have been wrongly labelled as “facilitators and enablers” of Vladimir Putin’s regime.
In response to Cleverly’s comments, a Peters & Peters spokesperson said: “Peters and Peters is one of the leading law firms in the sanctions space. Individuals and businesses potentially affected by sanctions are advised in UK government guidance to obtain approved independent legal advice on their rights and obligations.”
“We provide this advice, licensed by HM Treasury, to clients from all over the world, including those affected by sanctions on Russia.”