McGrigors helps Iraqi government access development funds

McGrigors and Erskine Chambers have helped the Iraqi government recover millions of dollars tied up in a UK trust for nearly 20 years.

The $48m (£29.2m) fund was left over from the construction of an oil pipeline in the country that was completed in 1990.

But the UK arm of Iraqi bank Rafidain was put into liquidation following the start of the first Gulf War, and the remaining funds from the project have been disputed ever since.

In the latest round of legal action, McGrigors and Erskine Chambers barrister Nigel Dougherty were instructed by the Iraq Ministry of Oil to recover the money.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which has held Rafidain’s assets since it was tasked with the bank’s liquidation in 1991, turned to Norton Rose and 3-4 South Square barrister Felicity Toube.

The money has now been transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq.

McGrigors contentious construction partner Stuart Nash led the team for the Iraqi government.

He said: “The administration of those remaining funds has been contested for too long, so we’re delighted to see it back with the Development Fund for Iraq where it can be reinvested in the Iraqi economy.”

The firm won a place acting for the Iraqi government through its Aberdeen-based energy practice.

Ramco, an existing client, set up a joint venture with the Iraq Drilling Company called MPC.

A spokesman for McGrigors said the firm was hopeful of winning more mandates from Iraq, and confirmed that it had been asked to submit proposals to the Ministry of Oil on projects to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

Most negotiations involving Iraqi officials have so far been held in Turkey but the firm is hoping to send lawyers to Iraq in future.