Broadsheet asks for £ 1.2million in new case against NAB
- Broadsheet is asking for an additional £ 1.2million from the NAB and the Pakistani government in legal fees and disbursements.
- Fees demanded due to NAB’s “inaction and conduct” resulting in “a substantial amount of work” undertaken to enforce court orders: Broadsheet lawyers.
- So far, the Broadsheet case has cost Pakistan more than $ 65 million in total.
LONDON: After receiving £ 920,000 on August 17 through an order from the High Court in London and previously receiving around $ 30 million from Pakistan, Broadsheet LLC has a new claim asking the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Pakistani government to pay around £ 1.2million in legal fees and disbursements to seek court enforcement action against Pakistan and the NAB.
A source at United National Bank of London said he transferred £ 920,000 to Broadsheet on August 17, but now Broadsheet has written to NAB, seeking to “recover” £ 1,113,261.43 for legal fees and 61 £ 497.40 for disbursements.
This correspondent saw the latest letter sent by Broadsheet attorneys at Crowell & Moring to Broadsheet – through Pakistani attorneys for Allen and Overy – in which Pakistan was informed that these amounts are intended for “full credit. for legal fees and disbursements which have already been subjected to a summary assessment by the court and paid “and were” incurred in seeking to take coercive action “against the Pakistani authorities.
Broadsheet lawyers argue that the £ 1.2million amount is owed by Pakistan as a “consequence” of NAB failing first to comply with arbitral awards and then with orders from the High Court, because “considerable work” has been undertaken to enforce these orders – costs for which Broadsheet is now waiting for Pakistan to pay. Lawyers said the fee is being demanded due to the “inaction and conduct” of lawyers for the NAB and NAB.
The letter to the NAB, which was received in Islamabad at the NAB headquarters, indicates that these amounts were incurred as Broadsheet was required to explore a number of “alternative measures for law enforcement”.
The letter to NAB’s lawyer states: “Your clients were slow to respond, causing unnecessary delays and despite many assurances they would pay, they did not proceed with payment. This led our client to seek to enforce payment through third party debt orders, which your client also failed to engage with. Given the lack of response from your client, our client had no choice but to consider other means of execution and such action was completely justified when your client finally engaged with the third-party debt order (for the very first time at the hearing itself in December 2020) to oppose the request by claiming state immunity.
The letter says final quantum and cost allocations date back to 2019 and enforcement proceedings continued for just under two years, but NAB has not contacted Broadsheet’s attorneys and showed no interest in seeking an amicable resolution.
“It appears to our client that your client’s conduct is well below that expected by a sovereign state and that this conduct has significantly increased the costs our client has to bear,” the letter reads.
Broadsheet lawyers also held NAB London lawyers accountable for helping to increase Broadsheet costs.
Requesting £ 1.2million, Broadsheet wrote to lawyers for NAB: “You and your client’s conduct in failing to address the concerns raised by our client and to take or release instructions promptly has no doubt leads to a new correspondence between the parties. This increased the costs for our client.
Broadsheet CEO Kaveh Moussavi, when contacted, confirmed that the firm’s lawyers have invited the Pakistani government to discuss how this case can be resolved.
“If this is not resolved amicably, we will launch a case at the end of this month and there will be more costs on top of what Broadsheet is looking for,” he said.
Broadsheet LLC was hired by Pakistan over two decades ago to trace assets belonging to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family, as well as several other politicians and businessmen, including Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto.
Pakistan broke the contract in violation of the agreement it had signed and the case has so far cost Pakistan nearly $ 65 million in legal fees and damages after Moussavi, the beneficial owner of Broadsheet, brought the matter before the sole arbitrator Sir Anthony Evans QC under the rules. from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
The arbitration judge found that Pakistan had conspired to criminally defraud Broadsheet Isle of Man. Broadsheet’s lawyers convinced the High Court in London to seize Pakistan’s assets from United Bank Limited (UBL) in December 2020. Since then, Broadsheet has filed new claims for the remaining money, interest and costs.
So far, the Broadsheet case has cost Pakistan more than $ 65 million in total. Of that amount, Broadsheet received around £ 30million, while around $ 25million was paid to NAB’s London lawyers. The expenses of the NAB legal team on the Pakistan case amount to more than $ 5 million.