Media: Yanukovych demands compensation from Ukraine for lawyers’ fees

Former Ukrainian President Vitkor Yanukovych and his family are demanding that Ukraine reimburse them for their expenditure on defense attorneys in The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), DW reports.

“193,207 pounds and 50 pence: this was the account presented to Ukrainian tax-payers by Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, his eldest son Oleksandr, and the widow of his deceased youngest son Viktor,” the newspaper writes, noting that the court later reduced this amount to 10,500 euros plus interest.

These were the additional expenses which were incurred by the Ukrainian former president and his family due to Ukraine’s unsuccessful intervention in 2014 into the legal proceedings of the Yanukovyches’ case against the EU Council in the CJEU.
The case in question was an appeal against the first wave of EU sanctions placed on Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage for stealing state funds in March 2014.

“The thing is, in September 2014, the Ukrainian Justice Ministry initially filed an application with the CJEU for Ukraine to speak in court alongside Poland, as party to the process, in support of the EU Council’s position in the dispute with Yanukovych. However, in December that year Kyiv suddenly revoked its application and withdrew from the process,” DW writes.

“For these few months, the Yanukovyches’ British advocates from the London-based legal firm Joseph Hage Aaronson had extra work due to the Ukrainian application,” DW observes.

Citing the CJEU rulings database, the news outlet points out that the leading specialists from Joseph Hage Aaronson receive as much as 1500 pounds per hour for their work for Viktor Yanukovych and his relatives.

“Viktor Yanukovych’s legal team is headed by the experienced Tom Beasley, who had among his best-known clients last year the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska,” the article points out.

“And so, the former president and his family should be compensated from the Ukrainian budget for their expenditure on London attorneys. However, the judges recognized the appetites of the London attorneys as excessive, and ruled that Ukraine must compensate the Yanukovyches at a rate of 250 pounds per hour for attorney work. Furthermore, instead of almost 70 hours of the work of the attorneys and their assistants, the court recognized a more reasonable figure of 10 hours of work plus 4 hours for organizational expenses. Thus the CJEU ruled that Viktor Yanukovych, his son and daughter-in-law must each be paid 3500 pounds in compensation,” DW writes.

Thus, according to the ruling of the Luxembourg-based court, Ukraine must pay the Yanukovyches a total of 10,500 euros plus interest for the period of red tape.

The Ukrainian Justice Ministry did not say whether it had settled with the Yanukovyches.

The 193,000 pounds that the three claimed for attorneys’ expenses in their own calculations was roughly a third of the total cost for legal defense in the case against the 2014 sanctions.

Thus the Yanukovyches’ annual expenditure on the London attorneys was roughly 580,000 pounds.

  Yanukovych, Ukraine