International Law

Law Firm Founder Flees Russia, Says He Feared Suffering Same Fate as Dead Colleague

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A New York attorney who co-founded a Russian law firm in 1993 has fled the country, saying he fears he will suffer the same fate as a dead colleague if he continues practicing there.

Jamison Firestone, who went to the United Kingdom for a seeming Christmas vacation and never returned, is now looking for office space in London, reports Bloomberg reports. He tells the news agency he believes he was being targeted by Russian law enforcement officials in the same manner as his former Firestone Duncan colleague Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison last year at age 37, while being held for trial in what Firestone contends was a trumped-up case.

“Sooner or later they were going to do to me what they did to Sergei,” says the 44-year-old Firestone. “Everything is repeating itself. It’s the same technique.”

The co-founder of his law firm, Terry Duncan, was killed in 1993 when he was shot in the head. He had been helping to evacuate the wounded from Ostankino TV center during the country’s co-called constitutional crisis during the regime of President Boris Yeltsin, Bloomberg recounts.

Despite Firestone’s fears, the 20 lawyers and accountants who work at his firm plan to continue their Russian practice.

The news agency apparently wasn’t able to obtain substantive comment from Russian officials on Firestone’s allegations.

See these earlier posts for details of Magnitsky’s travails: “Russian Lawyer, 37, Dies in Prison After Pursuing Claimed Kremlin Fraud” “Kremlin Fires Prison Head, 19 Staff, After Death of Jailed Lawyer”

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