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Cases & Deals

September 21, 2021

King & Spalding Obtains ECHR Victory for Marina Litvinenko Against Russia

King & Spalding represented Marina Litvinenko, the widow of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko who was murdered in a London hotel by poisoning, in her high-profile victory before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has ruled Russia is responsible for her husband’s killing.

The ECHR issued a ruling on 21 September 2021 (see here) that found that Mr Litvinenko, who had obtained political asylum in the UK, had been fatally poisoned on 1 November 2006 and that the Russian State was responsible for his death. Mrs Litvinenko launched legal proceedings in May 2007 against the Russian State to establish responsibility for her husband’s murder, which was confirmed by this week’s ruling.

King & Spalding represented Mrs Litvinenko in the proceedings on a pro bono basis, led by Ben Emmerson QC, partner and Global Head of Public International Law. Emmerson, who joined the firm in November 2020, has acted for Mrs Litvinenko since she initially launched the case.

“I want to thank my lawyer Ben Emmerson, for sticking by my side throughout the last 15 years, often without any payment, and I particularly want to thank the US law firm King & Spalding for taking on my case pro bono,” Mrs Litvinenko said.