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Colonel Gaddafi’s regime, the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, has instructed Ilford firm Edwards Duthie to help it regain control of Libya’s embassy and frozen assets in the UK.
The news, first reported in The Times, comes after foreign secretary William Hague recognised Libya’s rebel government, the National Transitional Council (NTC), as the sole governmental authority in the country on 27 July.
Fourteen-partner high street firm Edwards Duthie has so far filed two claims in the High Court on behalf of the Gaddafi regime.
Meanwhile, the NTC has instructed Hogan Lovells in the UK to block the Gaddafi regime’s attempts to deny it access to Libya’s frozen embassy and assets. Partner Mohamed Shaban of Holborn firm MS-Legal has been instructed by the NTC’s ambassador to the UK Mahmud Nacua.
The NTC is also looking at doing the same in jurisdictions across the world where Libya has assets.
In a statement, an NTC executive committee spokesperson said: “The UK Government recognises the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya.
“We’re seeking to build a free and democratic society based upon the principles of political democracy and the rule of law. As such we use these principles in practice to help us secure the property that belongs to the Libyan people and will oppose attempts to prevent us from doing so. We have the resources and will to do this, and will take all steps that are required to protect the interests of the Libyan people.”
Earlier this year, the NTC instructed Washington DC lobbying firm Patton Boggs as it sought to gain recognition in the US as Libya’s legitimate government.
Edwards Duthie did not respond to calls for comment.