Dechert faces US subpoena over human rights abuse allegations
Embattled American law firm Dechert must provide documents and testimony to the legal team of Karam Al Sadeq pertaining to the conduct of Dechert UK and three of their current and former lawyers, who are currently being sued in London for torture and human rights abuses carried out in the UAE.
Dechert's Neil Gerrard, Caroline Black and David Hughes face claims over the treatment of a prisoner in the UAE
A judge in New York has agreed that the legal team of imprisoned Jordanian national Karam Al Sadeq has a right to Dechert’s internal documents relating to the firm’s role in the arrest, interrogation, detention and prosecution of Al Sadeq in the UAE State of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), since 2014 on behalf of the RAK Investment Authority. Three Dechert lawyers, Neil Gerrard, Caroline Black, and David Hughes (now at Stewarts Law) are being sued in the UK for human rights violations allegedly committed during the investigation of a fraud case against Al Sadeq, including torture. Al Sadeq maintains that he was persecuted and falsely convicted on fabricated charges as part of a larger political agenda by RAK ruler Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi to purge RAKIA of staff loyal to his deposed brother.
Al Sadeq’s lawyers believe Dechert’s US offices may hold key documents and information about the activities of Gerrard, Black, and Hughes, and want to interview a member of the firm’s Policy Committee to whom Gerrard reported. “Disclosure of these documents will not only give a fuller understanding of Neil Gerrard’s remit acting on behalf of RAKIA, his conduct in Karam Al Sadeq’s case, and that of Caroline Black and David Hughes, but also the extent to which Dechert’s US board knew about that conduct,” said Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai and Due Process International, who represents Al Sadeq.
“The abuses Karam Al Sadeq and his family suffered, allegedly under the direction of Dechert partners and lawyers are egregious,” says Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai and Due Process International, who represents Al Sadeq, “A picture has developed from Karam’s testimony of partners in a global law firm behaving like RAK’s secret police, acting with impunity under the auspices of the ruler, in violation of not only professional standards of ethics, but of international human rights conventions. Just because a law firm works for a despotic foreign government that approves human rights abuse, does not absolve that firm of responsibility to abide by the law.”
Karam Al Sadeq, before his arrest in Ras Al Khaimah