CCC legislator Job Sikhala’s incoming lawyers Amsterdam & Partners LLP have immense experience with high profile, politically sensitive matters.
The firm’s founding partner, Robert Amsterdam, is a leader in international crisis law and has been defending and advising leading corporations and governments leaders for almost 40 years.
Amsterdam, dual UK/Canadian-qualified lawyer, says that his firm’s “guiding principle is to leave no stone unturned in the defence of our clients and we will not be intimidated by either the scope of the mandate nor the power of the opponent.”
A lawyer to presidents and billionaires, Robert Amsterdam has advised on some of the world’s leading disputes and advocacy cases.
Well-known clients have included Russian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Ugandan pop star turned opposition leader Bobi Wine.
Amsterdam & Partners LLP is currently providing crisis law and risk management counsel to corporations and high level decision makers in Nigeria, Zambia, Guinea, South Africa, Guatemala, Brazil, and Russia.
Below are some of the world-renowned politicians and political activists previously represented by Amsterdam and Partners LLP.
Dr. Georges Tadonki, UN Zimbabwe
In 2013, Amsterdam & Partners LLP was awarded the Global Pro Bono Dispute of the Year Award after winning a case on behalf of Dr. Georges Tadonki, who was wrongfully dismissed from the United Nations after blowing the whistle on United Nations’ complicity in atrocities in Zimbabwe.
Georges Tadonki, the former head of the Zimbabwe branch of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), was fired at the height of the cholera crisis in early January 2009 — because of the warnings he raised.
He appealed his termination, and his case opened before a U.N. dispute tribunal in Nairobi, Kenya, on 23 February 2010.
Between August 2008 and July 2009, about 98,600 people contracted cholera and more than 4,000 died. In April 2008, months before the initial outbreak exploded into a full-blown epidemic, Tadonki said he warned his superiors of the severe risk. But U.N. country director Agostinho Zacarias stifled that warning, Tadonki claimed.
Tadonki claimed that Zacarias forced him to significantly lower the initial prediction of cholera cases from 30,000 to 2,000 in the UN funding appeal launched in November 2008 “because the government did not accept that there was cholera, the United Nations was forced to align with that position.”
Amsterdam & Partners LLP won the case for him in 2013, when the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, among other findings, ruled that “humanitarian considerations played only second fiddle to political issues.”
The Dispute Tribunal awarded Tadonki $50,000 in moral damages.
Russia’s popular opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Past clients of Amsterdam & Partners LLP include Mikhail Khodorkovsky, one of Russia’s most famous former political prisoners and now a leading opposition figure and billionaire philanthropist.
Khodorkovksy, the founder of the YUKOS oil major and once one of Russia’s wealthiest and most powerful men , has been tried on money-laundering charges, fraud and tax evasion.
Many other cases
Another prominent pro bono cause is Amsterdam’s representation of Stephan Templ, a Jewish historian and activist who had been jailed by the Austrian government under highly controversial circumstances.
Amsterdam & Partners LLP also lead a high-stakes dispute with the Venezuelan government, and successfully freed their client from a political motivated incarceration.
In 2010, Amsterdam & Partners LLP was appointed by the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, to defend members of the Red Shirt pro-democracy movement, resulting in an appeal to the International Criminal Court concerning crimes against humanity committed by the Thai Army.
Amsterdam & Partners LLP has also served as counsel to prominent political leaders and activists such as Dr. Chee Soon Juan in Singapore and the former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda.
Shortly before the 2016 attempted coup d’état, the Republic of Turkey hired Robert Amsterdam and Amsterdam & Partners LLP team to investigate into the activities of the organization led by the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Pro bono for Job Sikhala
Announcing the Sikhala deal, Amsterdam & Partners LLP firm’s managing partner Andrew J. Durkovich said the legal representation was for free.
“This letter confirms that Job Sikhala (client) has engaged Amsterdam & Partners LLP, a district of Columbia Limited Liability Partnership (the firm), to provide legal and other professional services to the client,” reads the document.
“The firm is engaged to assist the client in connection with legal and political issues in Zimbabwe.
“This engagement shall commence as of the date of this letter and shall continue until such time as it is terminated by either party.
“The engagement is part of the firm’s pro bono program, and therefore no fees will be charged by the firm.” – HourlyHits.com