The thinned skinned lawyers from the reputation ‘management’ (for which some read ‘laundering’) outfit, Carter Ruck, object to being called out.
Yesterday, Bob Seely MP, who has campaigned for the protection of journalists, described such lawyers as a “servant class of enablers who enable the billionaire class or oligarchs who enable the neo-fascism that [is] seen in Europe”.
The MP went on to name those he considered to be the top dirty grovellers – they included Carter Ruck [Sarawak Report declares an interest vis a vis the Hadi Awang case settled favourably for SR]. Seely pointed to the growing concerns that such firms even use their privileged position to provide cover for a wider network of services to move against journalists.
“These firms set up a one-stop corruption shop to offer a form of legalised intimidation to silence their rivals but also journalists and authors, but also an unstructured and unregulated private eye business which is now collecting kompromat on people in this country.
‘Do not get me wrong – people have the right to advice and legal representation. But they are abusing it very badly in our society at the moment.’
Seely said he had been told by whistleblowers working for big firms that they do not do proper client checks and that ‘know your client’ systems were ‘non-existent’. He added: ‘Some actually have a list of people that they specifically do not do those checks on because they know that they are inherently corrupt and inherently criminal.’ [Law Society Gazette]
Indeed, Sarawak Report has documented how certain legal firms have funnelled payments to PR groups and private investigators. Likewise, whenever Sarawak Report has queried certain firms about what checks they have performed as to the origin of money (obviously stolen from 1MDB) with which they are being paid by their clients, we are invariably brushed aside.
Carter Ruck does not like to be named amongst such firms and in order to rebut the MP’s remarks made under parliamentary privilege they have issued their own statement, and in some cases it is rumoured threats, to news organsations which have chosen to report them. This is what they would like the world to understand:
In view of the confused reporting that is currently circulating on the subject of Russia and the Putin regime, Carter-Ruck confirms the following:
- Carter-Ruck is not working for any Russian individuals, companies or entities seeking to challenge, overturn, frustrate or minimise sanctions.
- Carter-Ruck has never acted for Russian individuals, companies or entities seeking to challenge sanctions.
- Carter-Ruck is not acting for, and will not be acting for, any individual, company or entity associated with the Putin regime. [Carter Ruck website]
However, particularly given this legal firm chooses to sell itself on its expertise in meaning, readers are entitled to better clarity. As their hired counsel could leap eloquently to explain, the above is plainly designed to give the impression that Carter Ruck does not and never has worked for any Putin friendly oligarchs or entities at all.
In fact, they are hoping to get away with a finer meaning that they have never worked for any entities that are presently identified as avoiding the sanctions just brought in against Russia…. (last week). And that they are not at this current time working for any entities associated with Putin.
Hmmmm. But, what about in the recent past or last few months for example?
A brief glance at some of Carter Ruck’s more lucrative clients in the past includes none other than the massive Russian government controlled energy giant Rosneft, whom they represented against the journalist Catherine Belton in a devastating case that settled late last year over her ground-breaking and hugely important book Putin’s People.
Last year Carter Ruck was also acting for Gennady Timchenko one of the billionaire oligarchs sanctioned by the EU and the US. A Washington Post article, showing how Timchenko and his billionaire business ally Kolbin (a childhood friend of Putin) appeared to be shifting their off-shore companies to avoid sanctions, appeared last October.
It was an allegation that Carter Ruck denied on behalf of their client, insisting that “our client’s unequivocal position is that he has always acted entirely lawfully throughout his career and business dealings.” So ought not Carter Ruck further clarify the finer meaning of their above statement to explain that they are basing their claims on what their clients have told them rather than what the authorities (including now in the UK) have decided?
Another fabled client of Carter Ruck was the ill-fated oligarch Boris Berezovsky (whose gruesome death has never been properly examined) whom the law firm represented in his numerous libel cases against other oligarchs after he fell out with the Putin regime. Doubtless Mr Berezovsky was able to inform Carter Ruck that all his funds had equally been obtained in a legal manner.
As this law firm specialises in making millions out of meaning and inference in their suits against journalists, perhaps they can therefore clarify their potentially misleading statement to acknowledge these and any other notorious Russian clients they have indeed represented if not right now then in the recent past?