The London office of international law firm Dechert and its controversial former global co-head of white-collar crime, Neil Gerrard, have had a second High Court claim filed against them for allegedly abusing the human rights of another political prisoner detained in the UAE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK).
Sheikh Saud retained Dechert and Gerrard to conduct an investigation into alleged frauds committed by associates of Sheikh Faisal. These targets were rounded up and detained without charge or access to legal representation, and held in appalling conditions, where they were interrogated by Gerrard and his team from Dechert, and where they remain, six years later.
Jihad Quzmar is the second lawyer detained in the emirate to file a High Court claim accusing Dechert of human rights abuses as a result of this investigation. A former lawyer for the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, Karam Al Sadeq, is also suing Dechert, two of its partners and a former partner, over human rights abuses. Following the filing of Karam’s High Court claim, the Solicitors Regulation Authority started an investigation into Neil Gerrard. Shortly afterwards, Dechert announced his departure.
This new High Court claim contains further shocking allegations and alleges that Gerrard and Dechert orchestrated or were involved in “acts contrary to UAE and international human rights law”, including the “unlawful abduction and detention” of Mr Quzmar, “unlawful searches of his home and removal of his property, seeking to elicit false confessions through the making of improper threats, and exercising control over the conditions of his detention in circumstances where those conditions caused him to suffer serious harm and amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.”
Dechert lawyers face multiple lawsuits for human rights violations in the UAE
Suhad Quzmar with husband Jihad and son, before his detention.