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Shaban acted for Libya in reclaiming Gaddafi's London home
Who? Mohamed Shaban, 37, public and international law principal at City firm MS Legal.
Why is he in the news? Acted for the Libyan government - the National Transitional Council (NTC) - in reclaiming possession of a £10m London house bought by Saadi Gaddafi, son of the late dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The High Court in London ruled that the eight-bedroom property had been ‘wrongfully and unlawfully’ purchased with stolen funds.
The house, which has a swimming pool and suede-lined home cinema, was bought by Capitana Seas Limited, a British Virgin Islands company owned by Gaddafi. The now dormant company was ordered to pay £120,000 costs.
Thoughts on the case: ‘This ruling signals the end of the era of impunity for dictators and their families who loot state resources for their personal benefit. The NTC intends to pursue the recovery of all properties believed to be stolen, including other London properties, bank accounts in the UK and Switzerland, valuable paintings, yachts, company shares - even an ostrich farm.’
Route to the case: ‘The NTC contacted me when it took over the Libyan embassy in August 2011. The ambassador and I had actively supported the freedom struggle from the UK.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I have a passion for diplomacy and lawyers are diplomats without the constraints of having to toe the government line.’
Career high: ‘This case or a similar one, when I successfully applied to the High Court to unfreeze bank accounts upon which thousands of students and embassy workers depended, but which the Gaddafi regime had blocked.’
Career low: ‘I was trying for a traineeship at a top City firm when I spilt hot coffee over the interviewer. I wasn’t taken on.’