December 2017 World Bank Global Forum on Asset Recovery

Baker de Kluiver Attend 2017 World Bank’s Global Forum on Asset Recovery of the Proceeds of Corruption

December 4 through 6, 2017 Stephen Baker and Jack de Kluiver participated in the World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative’s (StAR) Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR). StAR is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. The World Bank invited Baker de Kluiver and the Swiss firm of Monfrini, Bitton and Klein to participate in GFAR 2017. This is the first time private practice lawyers attended a GFAR conference. Ordinarily, GFAR events are reserved for law enforcement officials engaged in recovering stolen assets and officials from victim states seeking to have those assets repatriated.

Baker de Kluiver and their Swiss legal private practice colleagues conveyed an important message: other legal tools to recover stolen assets and the proceeds of corruption exist besides criminal justice tools. Criminal justice tools force victim states to don the straight-jacket of formal, antiquated and frustratingly slow international criminal assistance procedures.  The victim states should also consider civil remedies. Civil litigation remedies are more efficient, do not always require proof of criminal conduct and are even more cost effective, particularly when the stolen assets are located in more than one jurisdiction. Civil litigation to recover stolen assets should either be used in conjunction with or instead of the criminal process.

Baker de Kluiver can provide victim states with civil litigation advice to enhance stolen asset recovery efforts. Mr. de Kluiver’s extensive knowledge of the criminal justice tools used in many jurisdictions and the relative strengths and weaknesses of those procedures, makes him uniquely qualified to marry civil remedies with criminal justice asset recovery methods.