Dechert Ordered to Hand Over Documents in Torture Case

Law firm Dechert has been ordered to hand over documents relating to allegations of human rights abuses by their partners, while working in the UAE.

Corgarashu / Alamy Stock Photo
Corgarashu / Alamy Stock Photo
Bywire - Claim your free account nowBywire - Claim your free account now

LONDON (WithinTheLaw) - In the latest development in the ongoing case between global law firm Dechert and the RAK Investment Authorities, the law firm has been ordered to produce documents as part of a human rights claim on behalf of a current prisoner held in RAK. 

Karam Al Sadeq was jailed for fraud against RAKIA and is currently serving 11 years. However, he is now bringing a lawsuit in England and Wales against the firm, including three partners, which he accuses of violating his human rights on numerous occasions. 

According to the allegations from Al Sadeq, he was tortured by Dechert’s global co head of white collar crime, Neil Gerrard, as well as Caroline Black and a former Dechert partner David Hughes. He claims the lawyers were acting as RAKIA’s lawyers and that the British legal team pressured him to cooperate with their investigation by “making threats” including the imprisonment of his wife should he choose to not cooperate. 

Sadeq who maintains that he was kept in solitary confinement for 560 days and did not consent to being interrogated, has applied for documents relating to this ongoing investigation into alleged human rights abuses against him, and now the order has been granted Dechert will have to supply these documents and communications as well as having a representative of their policy committee testifying at the deposition. 

The application was lodged in the US after new evidence emerged about Gerrard in a recent RAK hacking trial, heard in London’s High Court. While being cross examined Gerrard revealed that a journalist had attempted to investigate human rights abuses at RAK in 2015 and that he had reported this to the main board at Dechert. 

Gerrard also recently filed a corrective witness statement in the same case, amending his initial statement which claimed he had only interviewed Sadeq on one occasion.  However, according to his corrective statement, Gerrard now states he carried out at least six interviews and other additional meetings with Sadeq and met with Sadeq’s wife. 

The Judge in the case remarked that “the corrected evidence cumulatively creates a materially different impression of the extent and nature of Mr Gerrard’s dealings with Mr Al Sadeq”. He continued, “Mr Gerrard should have refreshed his memory about the details of those dealings before his cross-examination by reviewing his and Dechert’s contemporaneous records.”

The judge even went so far as to remind Gerrard of the enhanced requirements for solicitors when giving evidence to the Court, stating that it is their “duty to be not only completely honest but also scrupulously accurate. I note that misleading the court, even inadvertently, is potentially a breach of paragraph 1.4 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct”.

Al Sadeq is currently being represented by human rights barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC of 4 Stones Buildings who also acts for Julian Assange, and John Brisby QC instructed by Stokoe Partnership.

Dechert denies all the allegations and claim they are ‘completely without foundation.


(Written by Tom Cropper, edited by Michael O'Sullivan)

Bywire will email you from time to time with news digests, stories & opportunities to get involved. Privacy

Bywire - Claim your free account nowBywire - Claim your free account now