Major US law firm cited in BNP US defence


By Neasa MacErlean

05 June 2014 at 05:42 BST


Facing a fine of US$10b for allegedly breaking a blacklist to trade with Sudan, French bank BNP is reported to have tried an 'advice of counsel' defence, referring to a leading US law firm.

French bank BNP is reported to have tried an 'advice of counsel' defence, referring to a leading US law firm Martin Good

The bank is reported to have shown the US prosecutors a memo from the practice which said that some transactions could be undertaken for Sudan if employees in New York were not involved. The New York Times says that the memo came from a ‘well-respected firm based in the United States’. However, the prosecutors are said to have rejected this defence, saying that advice-of-counsel argument works only over a short period, not for transactions which are carried out repeatedly over a longer period.

President Holland

The size of the fine is so large that French President Francois Holland has written to US President Barak Obama to say that the company should not be treated unfairly. Source: ABA

 
   
 
 
 

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