Hogan Lovells obtains significant victory for Democratic Republic of Congo

Press releases | 02 June 2022

New York, 24 May 2022 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells has secured a significant victory in a case in which the Southern District of New York authorized the release of frozen bank accounts for our client, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Plaintiff FG Hemisphere Associates, LLC, a creditor of the DRC, sought and was granted an ex parte application seeking authorization to deliver writs of execution against the Permanent Mission of the DRC to the United Nations, and several of its current and former employees and diplomats, alleging that the accounts had been used in an embezzlement scheme.

We filed a motion seeking to overturn the Court’s order and release all frozen accounts, arguing that not only are the accounts protected by diplomatic immunity, but also that the plaintiff failed to provide evidence that any of the relevant individuals were involved in the alleged embezzlement scheme.

The United States also filed a Statement of Interest, asserting that the accounts were protected by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Immunity.

After oral argument, Judge Paul Oetken of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted our motion in full, releasing all relevant accounts.

“We’re gratified that the assets of the Permanent Mission of the DRC to the United Nations, and its employees and diplomats, have been released and that the important protections of the Vienna Convention have been recognized,” stated Hogan Lovells partner Dennis Tracey.

In addition to Tracey, associate Irina Goga (both New York), represented the DRC in the case.