Oligarchs use London law firms to intimidate journalists, MPs say

Oligarchs use London law firms to intimidate journalists, MPs say

Law, Media

1/21/2022 8:49:00 PM

Oligarchs use London law firms to intimidate journalists, MPs say

Government urged to protect media from abusive legal action used to ‘intimidate and destroy’ reporters

Last modified on Fri 21 Jan 2022 17.24 GMTWealthy clients and oligarchs from autocratic countries are using prestigious London law firms to intimidate and silence journalists, MPs have said.A cross-party group of MPs called on ministers to introduce legislation to prevent deep-pocketed individuals and powerful corporations from misusing the legal system to “intimidate and destroy” reporters.

Speaking in a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday, the MPs urged the government to better protect the media and citizens from abusive legal action known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, or Slapps.Lawyers and campaigners describe Slapps as a form of legal harassment that exploits lengthy and expensive legal procedures to silence journalists, critics and watchdogs.

Read more: Guardian news »

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No shit sherlock, but they pay the premium fees for this, with uk law firms destroying the UK legal systems integrity for profit. (assuming it had any to start with) The government of any party fully complicit, the establishment and big business taking full advantage of this Corruption is one of the main issues that hold many developing countries back. Tragically it's back with a vengeance here again.

Lebdvey involved in this at all, as a middleman? The Russian who bought himself a peerage with donations to the Tory party, Johnson also enjoyed interesting party's at Lebdvey's 'fun' castle in Europe. All a bit to cosy but possibly complicated eh? BorisJohnson ToryCorruption I love that Russians are Oligarchs and Americans are Billionaires. It's a fairly xenophobic distinction considering what goes on in the US.

Haven't the rich always done this?

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Fri 21 Jan 2022 15.15 GMT Last modified on Fri 21 Jan 2022 17.24 GMT Wealthy clients and oligarchs from autocratic countries are using prestigious London law firms to intimidate and silence journalists, MPs have said. A cross-party group of MPs called on ministers to introduce legislation to prevent deep-pocketed individuals and powerful corporations from misusing the legal system to “intimidate and destroy” reporters. Speaking in a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday, the MPs urged the government to better protect the media and citizens from abusive legal action known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, or Slapps. Lawyers and campaigners describe Slapps as a form of legal harassment that exploits lengthy and expensive legal procedures to silence journalists, critics and watchdogs. David Davis, a Conservative MP and former cabinet minister, said “nefarious” actors were using the justice system “to threaten, intimidate and put the fear of God into British journalists, citizens, officials and media organisations.” Davis described such tactics as “lawfare” and cited recent examples where reporters had faced “reputational and financial ruin in defending themselves from these malevolent cases”. The MPs drew particular attention to the work of a series of elite English law firms that specialise in bringing cases against the media. Davis said: “It is very clear that some London-based law firms have found an incredibly profitable niche that they are willing to pursue without too much concern about the outcome. I think the professional bodies for those law firms should be looking very hard at them, as should the government.” Another Tory MP, Bob Seely, said the UK had a “cottage industry of lawfare”. He said: “If we allow the cancer of the selling of intimidation services by high-end legal firms, it will not do us any good in the long run, just as in the long run letting mafias launder money would also be bad for us.” He added: “We need to bring in anti-Slapp legislation, and we need to go after those lawyers – dare I call them slappers – who use such tactics.” The MPs highlighted recent cases brought against investigative journalists including the Financial Times reporter Tom Burgis, who is the subject of libel actions brought by the Kazakh mining company ENRC, and Catherine Belton, the author of a recent