Lithuanian lawyers: Lawyers are not cheap, it is all very expensive

111018 Luka6uk Peftiev.mp3

Belarusian businessman Ulazdimir Peftsiyeu is trying to dispute the sanctions imposed on him and his companies by the European Union. The Council of the EU decided to impose sanctions on Uladzimir Peftsiyeu’s companies “Beltechexport”, “BT Telecommunications” and “Sport-Pari” to strengthen the financial pressure exercised on the Belarusian authorities to make them stop repressions directed against the opposition.

Peftsiyeu’s four suits lodged against the Council of the EU will be presented by a competent Lithuanian legal firm LAWIN. Euroradio has phoned the Lithuanian lawyers’ office and found out that lawyer Vilija Vaitkutė Pavan will defend the “black listed” Belarusian businessman. However, according to her assistant, she cannot talk to journalists now.

Paralegal assistant: I do not think that she will be able to answer any questions in this case.

Euroradio: Won’t she answer general questions either?

Paralegal assistant: I would not like to lead you by the nose and tell you that she is away or something else - she would not like to answer any questions at the moment. It is beyond her competence now.

Euroradio: Then I would like to ask you one question: if I appeared on the EU’s list of personae non gratae and decided to ask you for help to dispute the European Union’s decision – how much would it cost me?

Paralegal assistant: You probably know very well that I cannot answer this question – it is very individual. Every client is different and a contract is signed with every client. However, lawyers are not cheap. And we cannot tell you how much it would cost. But it will certainly cost a lot.

Euroradio: Is the job of protecting the rights of a person “blacklisted by the European Union” new to you?

Paralegal assistant: Every case is new. It is a new client and another dispute. Everything is new!

Euroradio: However, you do not have the opportunity to defend a blacklisted person every day, do you?!

Paralegal assistant: We don’t. But I can only guess. I cannot reply for the whole firm – it is very big.

Euroradio: Can you tell us please, will the lawyer have to prove that the person should not be on the list or will representatives of the European structures have to prove that the person is blacklisted on a legal basis?

Paralegal assistant: When a lawyer defends his or her client – they present their interests in everything. They must defend the client and prove that the sanctions are illegal. These are regular legal norms. Lawyers are hired for it – they appear for the client.

Euroradio: Aren’t employees of your firm afraid of the fact that the case of a blacklisted Belarusian businessman may spoil the firm’s image?

Paralegal assistant: I have not heard anything of the kind. We respect every client and their interests. Speaking about the reality… the apprehension … I do not think that it is important. Everyone does their job and they do not think about it.

Photo from the website of the LAWIN firm