Enforcer of US sanctions against Russia joins law firm White & Case


May 28 (Reuters) – A government lawyer who helped enforce U.S. sanctions against Russia has joined White & Case, a U.S.-founded international law firm that counted Russia as a prominent client before the Ukraine invasion.

David Lim, who co-directed the U.S. Department of Justice’s Task Force KleptoCapture, joined White & Case as a partner in Washington, the firm said Wednesday.

The task force, formed after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, has captured nearly $700 million in assets and charged more than 70 people with violating international sanctions and export controls, the Justice Department said in February.

Lim was appointed to co-lead the unit in July 2023. Earlier he helped secure $3.9 billion in penalty payments by Airbus over global bribery allegations.

Lim also co-led the long-running criminal case against Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies for alleged trade secrets theft and violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. Huawei has pleaded not guilty.

“I knew I wanted to keep working on export controls and sanctions. It’s genuinely what I’m passionate in,” Lim told Reuters. He said he wanted to join a law firm like White & Case with a strong international presence.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New York-founded White & Case for many years defended Russia in a lawsuit brought by shareholders of the defunct Yukos oil company, who sued in the United States to enforce a $50 billion arbitration award issued against Russia by a Hague tribunal.

The firm tried to exit the Yukos litigation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Russia opposed its withdrawal and the firm said in July 2022 that it could not withdraw without breaching client ethics obligations.

The Yukos case is now proceeding before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, after a Washington judge allowed the investors’ case to move forward. Russia is represented by another firm in the appeal, according to court records and a White & Case spokesperson.

Lim declined to comment on the firm’s Russia work.

White & Case closed its Moscow office after the Ukraine invasion set off waves of Western sanctions. The firm also stopped representing state-owned Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, in U.S. litigation.

Home / News / Enforcer of US sanctions against Russia joins law firm White & Case