PRN: Huntsman Lewis Pulls Out of Uzbekistan Over Akbar Abdullaev Case
Huntsman Lewis Pulls Out of Uzbekistan Over Akbar Abdullaev Case
LONDON and TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Huntsman Lewis are sad to announce we will have to close our Tashkent office.
Because of the perceived threats to Western interests in Tashkent, our three lawyers specialising in the region will in future convene meetings on Uzbek-related matters on 'neutral soil' in London. We will continue to advise clients in the telecoms, property, textile, banking and oil sectors.
Paul Lewis, the partner who heads the firm's Uzbek team, said:
"We are proud of the work we have done in Uzbekistan, in particular representing the plaintiffs in fraud charges brought against Akbar Abdullaev. However, in the wake of that case, we have received several serious threats to our persons, and those of our staff."
"As such, we have taken the decision to have no one physically on the ground as it is perceived to be too dangerous to be working there. We have decided to put our expansion strategy on hold until Mr. Abdullaev is brought to justice."
"However, we are pressing ahead with more investment in the region and will hire another lawyer with experience of Central Asia in the next few weeks."
The investment reflects the volume of work H&L is handling through meetings with clients in the region, but outside Uzbekistan. This has included acting working on trademark applications, obtaining land rights and oil concessions, and arranging for leases on properties for news agencies and security agencies.