On 24 February 2022, Russian president Vladamir Putin sent shock waves around the globe by launching a military attack against Ukraine. In the ruled-based world order with the end of the cold war, a full-blown military conflict was unthinkable in Europe, but Putin proved the assumption wrong.
Military combat is going on for months now, and the innocent citizens of Ukraine are facing the brunt of the crisis. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are forced to flee from their homes and take refuge in neighboring countries to ensure the security of their lives.
In response to the attack, the Western alliance has imposed sanctions on Russian banks, Oligarchs, and Russian business entities. Due to this, billions of Russian assets have been frozen in the western economies. In this context, lawyers led by McCue Jury & Partners and Mishcon de Reya LLP are seeking funding from third-party litigation finance companies and hedge funds to file a lawsuit against these sanctioned Russian individuals and companies.
The group of lawyers leading this initiative called themselves “the Ukraine Justice Alliance”. They are approaching Hedge funds, family offices, and litigation finance firms to seek funding to file legal claims against the sanctioned Russians. They intend to use the proceeds of the lawsuit to compensate Ukrainians for the losses incurred in the war, and the investors will receive a share of any successful claims. The initiative has the potential to release as much as 1 trillion dollars, but it will be a very complex and lengthy process.
The initiative is also unprecedented, due to which many investors are reluctant to provide these loans and undertake the extremely high risk. Around 20 sanctioned Russians have approached the European court to overturn government sanctions adding complexity to the matter.
The lawyers associated with Ukraine Justice Alliance have identified $200 billion in assets to go after, and they are optimistic about the outcome. McCue Jury and Partners claim that the initiative is for ordinary people and to help the Ukrainians affected by the war. Filling a civil claim to secure financial compensation for these victims is not without precedent.
The coalition of lawyers pursuing this case is adopting different means to collect funds. After approaching litigation funding firms and hedge funds, they are also working on a crowdfunding platform to raise capital from individuals who could receive a return if the claims are successful.
However, their primary target is still litigation funding companies, and they are hopeful of receiving funding from these lenders to pursue claims against the sanctioned Russian individuals and companies.