Friday, June 10 2022

Covington & Burling offices in Washington, DC REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Firm to advise company owned by Ukraine’s richest man on possible Russian reparations
  • Rinat Akhmetov has already promised to sue the Russian for billions of dollars

(Reuters) – A company owned by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov has hired law firm Covington & Burling for U.S. advice and lobbying services in a bid to make Russia pay for the destruction caused by the invasion from Ukraine.

Covington last week signed a contract with SCM Consulting Limited, a subsidiary of an investment firm whose shareholder is Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, a new US Department of Justice. deposit shows.

Lawyers from Washington DC-based Covington will provide “strategic and policy advice” and lobbying services “in support of moves to hold Russia accountable for damages inflicted during its military operations underway on Ukrainian territory,” according to the documents. said.

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The disclosures included a letter from Covington stating that senior partners were now charging up to $2,500 per hour, which would exceed other billing rates published at U.S. law firms.

Covington’s website does not list anyone with the title of senior partner, and a spokesperson for the firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on who would qualify or how many attorneys charge that hourly rate.

Akhmetov, a former member of Ukraine’s parliament, has previously said he will sue Russia for billions of dollars in damages caused by the invasion. It has steelworks badly damaged during the bombardment of the besieged city of Mariupol. Ukrainian forces spent weeks locked in the Akhmetov steelworks in Azovstal before surrendering to Russian soldiers last month.

A Covington spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for more details about the company’s planned work for SCM.

Covington partner Jonathan Gimblett said in the disclosures he will lead the firm’s efforts, joined by senior international policy adviser Alan Larson and senior counsel Stephen Rademaker, and others from the company could be brought. Gimblett said his hourly rate is $1,115, while Larson’s rate is $1,500 and Rademaker charges $1,225 per hour.

Covington’s lawyers represented Ukraine in the International Court of Justice after the Russian invasion, directly obtaining a court order from Russia to end its military operations in Ukraine. Russia, which describes the war as a “special military operation” to “denazify” Ukraine, has not complied with this decision.

PR firm Qorvis last month registered to perform media relations work for SCM Consulting related to Akhmetov’s operations and humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and in opposition to the Russian invasion.

Read more:

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