FAT cat lawyers are using the Human Rights Act in a bid to help Russian oligarchs dodge sanctions, it was revealed yesterday.
They are charging “astronomical” fees to stop or delay government moves to freeze their assets and seize their palatial homes.
Former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland says the UK must review how Human Rights laws are being applied to oligarchsCredit: Getty
Senior MPs claim some solicitors are applying human rights laws fare more zealously than courts in the EU where they were created.
Law firms fighting sanctions have argued their clients are innocent until proven guilty, and have invoked the right to a fair trial, which is in Article Six of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In one case, a lawyer used the argument to ensure a wealthy client avoided being sanctioned by the Foreign Office in the last year.
Furious Tories have accused some lawyers stifling efforts to put the squeeze on warmonger Vladimir Putin.
The USA and even the EU – birthplace human rights laws – have moved faster than Britain to seize dirty Russian money.
Some lawyers are said to be charging two or three times their eye-watering standard fees to help get oligarchs off the hook.
Boris Johnson has approved legal changes to speed up the ability to sanction Putin’s pals, 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 look at whether UK courts are interpreting the right to a fair trial more strictly than in the EU.
“If the European Convention on Human Rights is not holding back other EU countries from bringing sanctions against oligarchs then it should not be doing so here.
🔵 Read our UK politics live blog for the latest news and updates
“Any delay on sanctioning an individual will give them more time to squirrel away assets or remove them from jurisdiction.”
Tory MP David Davis added: “The oligarch’s bottomless wallets fund lawyers demanding double or triple their already astronomical standard rates.
“And as we move to clean out dirty Russian money in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, lawyers and accountants will doubtless be helping put blockages in the way of government policy.
“They are helping oligarchs escape the UK with their ill-gotten gains.”
All you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Everything you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…