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On 13/03/2024, the Grand Chamber of the EU Court of General Jurisdiction held a hearing on the application of lawyer Lupicinio Rodriguez, managing director of the panther International law firm Lupicinio – LILF, as well as the French Association of Corporate Lawyers, together with the Geneva, Paris, Brussels Bar Association and the German Federal Chamber of Lawyers. In April 2023, European lawyers filed a lawsuit against the EU Council and the European Commission in the EU Court of Justice, demanding the lifting of the illegal ban on providing legal assistance to Russian clients.


During more than ten hours of the hearing, the participants in the trial defended the freedom to carry out the professional activities of lawyers and challenged the restrictions imposed by the so-called “eighth package of EU sanctions” in October 2022. Please be advised that the contested EU Council Regulation 833/2014 of July 31, 2014 (as amended on October 7, 2022) prohibited European lawyers from providing legal assistance to Russian persons, except for representation in disputes and administrative procedures.


Lupicinio Rodriguez and his team of lawyers, with whom L&P has many years of business and friendship, insist that restrictive measures against European lawyers infringe on the rights and freedoms protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. At the hearing, the plaintiffs presented convincing evidence of violations of a number of norms of substantive and procedural EU law, which obviously indicates the illegality and unreasonableness of the restrictions imposed by the “eighth package” of EU sanctions. In addition, during the hearing, specific facts of violations by EU institutions of the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the fundamental acts of the European Union and the legislation of the EU member States, including attorney-client privilege and confidentiality, the right to protection and access to justice, as well as the freedom of professional activity of lawyers, were considered.


The hearing became a significant event for the cause of the struggle for the observance of the professional rights of European lawyers and the protection of the legitimate interests of their clients. The court’s decision in this case may have a significant impact on the further formation of legal regulation and law enforcement practice in the field of restrictive measures (sanctions) both within and outside the EU.


Throughout the long and difficult preparation for the hearing, LINNIKOV & PARTNERS lawyers provided their colleagues in the EU with comprehensive support in developing a legal position to consistently defend the rights and freedoms of European lawyers and our common Russian and foreign clients, including such universal values as the rule of law, unrestricted access to qualified legal assistance and freedom of exercise professional activity.
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