February 26, 2024

Tullio Corradini

Trusted Legal Source

Banks shun U.S. law firm trying to represent Russian lender VTB

Banks shun U.S. law firm trying to represent Russian lender VTB

The brand of VTB financial institution is noticed at the St. Petersburg Global Financial Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

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  • New York’s Brafman & Associates suggests it was presently turned down by a few banks and is inquiring other individuals to aid customer payments
  • The financial institution is fighting promises it served ship cash to Russian separatists that allegedly shot down a aircraft in 2014

(Reuters) – Attorneys who have agreed to signify Russia’s sanctioned VTB Lender in U.S. litigation say a 3rd bank has refused to work with them to take care of lawful cost payments, forcing them to request far more time to enter the circumstance.

Manhattan law organization Brafman & Associates has been attempting since early June to formally indicator on as defense counsel for VTB in a lawsuit saying the lender facilitated payments linked with the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight about eastern Ukraine.

Global regulation business Latham & Watkins stated in April that it intended to withdraw from symbolizing the sanctioned bank. The Brafman business has said it cannot enter the scenario till it is paid out.

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In a court docket filing Friday, Brafman law firm Marc Agnifilo claimed he and one more legal professional at the firm have “spoken repeatedly” with officers at the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office environment of International Assets Command, which oversees sanctions. He mentioned the company confirmed that payments to the organization for its representation of VTB would be legal, even with U.S. sanctions, due to the fact the bank is named in a federal lawsuit, in accordance to courtroom papers.

Nevertheless, two U.S. financial institutions have outright declined to course of action a payment from Russia, Agnifilo explained. A different bank said the legislation organization was as well compact to consider on as a consumer, and the lawyers are waiting around to listen to back from a fourth financial institution. The firm has contacted two more banking companies about accepting VTB’s payment, in accordance to Agnifilo.

OFAC officials explained to one of the financial institutions that the payment from Russia would be authorized, but the financial institution would continue to not settle for it “due to its personal internal ‘risk framework,’” Agnifilo claimed.

The filings do not name the banking companies involved, and Agnifilo declined to identify them to Reuters.

“VTB justifies lawful representation, the plaintiff warrants to have the claim resolved and the court docket justifies to have the circumstance shift ahead, and we will keep on to lookup for a answer,” he said in an electronic mail.

A justice of the peace judge in Manhattan has now supplied VTB right up until Aug. 4 to have new legal professionals enter the circumstance.

Law firm Jenner & Block, representing the relations of American Quinn Schansman who was killed in the Malaysia Airlines flight, opposed the request for much more time, in accordance to a letter submitted with the courtroom. The Jenner attorneys argued that the “continued hold off prejudices the Schansman family’s means to well timed pursue vital discovery from VTB.”

A Jenner spokesperson did not promptly return a request for comment.

Many worldwide legislation corporations stopped representing sanctioned Russian purchasers next the invasion of Ukraine. A different sanctioned Russian loan company in the exact same situation, Sberbank, also saw its attorneys with the worldwide regulation companies White & Case and Debevoise & Plimpton exit the litigation.

They have been changed with legal professionals at Wilk Auslander, another tiny Manhattan regulation organization.

The two Russian banking companies are battling promises they facilitated funds transfers to Russian separatists that allegedly shot down the airplane.

Study much more:

Russia suggests U.S. law agency White & Circumstance can’t stroll away from Yukos scenario

Sanctioned Russian bank will get new U.S. lawyers in downed airliner scenario

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