Risk Update

International Conflicts Cleared — Swiss (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) + Ukrainian (Watchdog)

Credit Suisse Loses Bid to Kick Lead Investigator Off Spy Probe” —

  • “Credit Suisse Group AG lost a bid to remove the lawyer leading a Swiss regulatory probe into a spy scandal because of a potential conflict of interest, according to a person familiar with the situation.”
  • “Thomas Werlen is independent despite the fact his law firm has opposed Credit Suisse in some cases, Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court said in a ruling released late Tuesday. Werlen, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, had been appointed to lead financial regulator Finma’s probe in March.”
  • “The decision didn’t identify the bank or the law firm, as is typical in Switzerland, but it related to Credit Suisse and Werlen, according to the person, who asked not to be named because of the confidential nature of the ruling.”
  • “Credit Suisse continues to be dogged by the scandal that erupted after it spied on star banker Iqbal Khan who was leaving for rival UBS Group AG. Before the end of 2019, the bank acknowledged that human resources chief Peter Goerke had also been monitored, and a former U.S. executive also alleged she had been followed.”

Anti-graft agency lets Yanukovych’s ex-lawyer work at bureau investigating him” —

  • “The National Agency for Preventing Corruption (NAPC) believes that Oleksandr Babikov, the former lawyer of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, has a legal right to work at the State Investigation Bureau and currently has no conflict of interest, according to documents released by the agency. Meanwhile, the bureau is pursuing cases against Babikov’s former client Yanukovych.”
  • “But the NAPC, which is legally entitled to identify conflicts of interest, concluded that Babikov, the first deputy head of the bureau, would only have a conflict of interest were he to become the acting head of the State Investigation Bureau.”
  • “Babikov previously denied having represented Yanukovych. However, this claim contradicts the official court cases register. The NAPC has also refuted Babikov’s claim.”
  • “Yanukovych is charged with the murder of protesters during the EuroMaidan Revolution, which ultimately drove the former president from power in February 2014, as well as with corruption during his presidency.”
  • “But the bureau’s second department, which is directly subordinate to Babikov, is investigating a usurpation of power case against Yanukovych. Babikov was a defense lawyer in this case, Sergii Gorbatuk, the former top investigator for EuroMaidan cases, and Vitaly Tytych, a lawyer for the families of the EuroMaidan protesters, told the Kyiv Post. Gorbatuk argued that this constitutes a conflict of interest for Babikov.”
  • “Tytych also said that Babikov is legally banned from holding his job at the State Investigation Bureau by Ukraine’s law on defense lawyers. The law states that lawyers cannot switch sides in a criminal case because that would constitute a conflict of interest. The law also says that everything possible must be done to prevent defense lawyers from violating attorney-client prvilege and revealing their clients’ secrets, which can happen when they switch sides.”