UK Law Firms Hit Back At MP Over Russia Allegations Under Parliamentary Privilege

Legal Cheek reports

Lawyers of Twitter have hit back at an MP who called out law firms over their alleged links to Russia.

Last night in the House of Commons Conservative MP Bob Seely used parliamentary privilege to launch an extraordinary attack on a number of lawyers and law firms who, he claimed, worked on behalf of Russian clients to “silence their rivals”.

Seely, a former soldier, named media lawyers from CMS, Carter-Ruck and Harbottle & Lewis, as well as a barrister from Matrix Chambers.

Seely said:

“Oligarchs, Putin’s henchmen… teaming up with amoral lawyers. 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,” he added. “But they are abusing it very badly in our society at the moment.”

Legal Twitter was quick to call out the MP’s “cheap and tawdry” attack, saying that it’s a right for everyone, including Russian Oligarchs, to have access to legal advice and representation.

Barrister Vishal Misra of Great James Street Chambers said naming the lawyers and their law firms in this way was “reprehensible behaviour”. He continued: “Lawyers are not the people that they represent. You wouldn’t name a dictator’s doctor and start claiming that by providing medical services to a patient they are immoral…”

“For what it is worth — there is nothing this MP says here in ‘naming and shaming’ lawyers that could not be found by a quick search of public domain sources such as the lawyers’ websites and case reports,” said lawyer and legal affairs commentator David Allen Green, adding: “It really is a red herring. The law is to blame more than the lawyers.”

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Legal Twitter defends law firms called out by MP over alleged Russian links