Update: In a statement to TheBlaze, Clare Locke LLP indicated that the firm's business relationship with the Russian oligarchs "has concluded."
In the immediate aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Western nations and institutions moved to cripple the Russian economy through the swift implementation of thoroughgoing sanctions.
In late February, the European Commission — the executive branch of the European Union — along with leadership from France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a joint statement declaring their intention to prevent Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT communications network.
In doing so, Western leaders effectively made it impossible for Russia to participate in international trade using the necessary financial infrastructure established by the SWIFT network. Western leaders also took it upon themselves to sanction “the people and entities who facilitate the war in Ukraine” and to “limit the sale of citizenship … that let wealthy Russians connected to the government become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems.”
Western governments locked arms and declared their opposition to Russia’s invasion, and Western companies began to divest and terminate their dealings within the Russian marketplace. These sanctions and divestments led Russian oligarchs to seek refuge outside of Russia and its new Western rivals’ borders so that they might not have their wealth drained by them.
However, these oligarchs are not without any allies in the West.
The well-known US-based law firm Clare Locke LLP has maintained its relationship with Russian oligarchs Mikhail Friedman, Petr Aven, and German Khan.
The oligarchs repped by Clare Locke have been sanctioned by both the European Union and the United Kingdom for their close ties to Putin and are “locked in litigation against D.C.-based research firm Fusion GPS over allegations in the infamous Steele dossier,” reported the Daily Beast.
Aside from alleged allies of Putin, the Daily Beast also reported that former clients of Clare Locke include “60 Minutes” Executive Producer Jeff Fager, who hired the firm to “effectively neuter” a Washington Post investigation into him; former “Today” show host Matt Lauer; and New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush.
The firm consists of a husband-and-wife duo who established themselves by providing legal defense for men accused of misconduct during the #MeToo era and aggressively pursuing suits against media institutions.
Clare Locke’s website proudly proclaims that the firm’s client list also includes, “Fortune 100 companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, professional sports teams, CEOs, journalists, and other prominent individuals who – by virtue of their success, public profile, and nationally recognized brands – are unfairly targeted by the media.”