manhattan law

Banks shun U.S. law firm trying to represent Russian lender VTB

The logo of VTB bank is seen at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

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  • New York’s Brafman & Associates says it was already rejected by three banks and is asking others to facilitate client payments
  • The bank is fighting claims it helped send money to Russian separatists that allegedly shot down a plane in 2014

(Reuters) – Lawyers who have agreed to represent Russia’s sanctioned VTB Bank in U.S. litigation say a third bank has refused to work with them to handle legal fee payments, forcing them to request more time to enter the case.

Manhattan law firm Brafman & Associates has been trying since early June to formally sign on as defense counsel for VTB in a lawsuit claiming the bank facilitated payments connected with the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine.

International law firm Latham & Watkins said in April that it intended to withdraw from representing the sanctioned bank. The Brafman firm has said it cannot enter the case until it is paid.

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