Exclusive: London law firm used by Wagner boss Yevgeniy Prigozhin has folded

London-based law firm Discreet Law - used by the Wagner boss - has ceased its practice after it was under investigation for allegedly breaching rules to protect free speech

London-based law firm Discreet Law has ceased its practice after it was under investigation earlier this year for allegedly breaching rules to protect free speech.

The firm had a well know client, Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch known as “Putin’s chef” and famously the leader of Wagner Group private military company. Prigozhin used the firm to take libel action against journalists, including a lawsuit against Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat.

The High Court struck out the case last year but the case was pointed out as the time as an obvious case of strategic litigation against public participation, known as SLAPPS.

These cases are characterised as an abuse of the legal process as they are used to threaten legal action against journalists or whistleblowers.

According to openDemocracy, the UK Treasury, then under Rishi Sunak’s control, granted licences for Discreet Law to work on the case against the Bellingcat journalist. Prigozhin was under sanctions at the time so the the UK government gave permission for the lawyers to fly to St Petersburg to meet him.

Discreet Law was headed by Roger Gherson and last year its website showed that in total it has five lawyers, but Gherson has another firm, Gherson LLP, which specialises in immigration law.

The firm was reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the legal regulator, to investigate its use of SLAPP litigation.

The SRA now reported that the firm is closing under Discreet Law profile, while the firm’s website states that it has ceased practice and is no longer authorised by the SRA. City AM understands that the firm has folded today.

Prigozhin was centre of the news during the summer as he launched a rebellion against the Russian, through his private military group.

The rebellion was called off soon after and he was to relocate his forces to Belarus, but he died after an airplane crash on 23 August.

The SRA have been contacted for comment.

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