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Ex-City lawyer pleads guilty to making false statements to FBI during Trump-Russia probe

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Alex van der Zwaan was an associate at the London office of US giant Skadden

A former high-flying City associate has admitted making false statements to investigators examining links between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Until last year, Alex van der Zwaan was an associate at the London office of US law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. The 33-year-old — who studied law at King’s College London and graduated in 2006 — has now been charged in a Washington court after being accused of lying to FBI investigators about his communications with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates.

Belgium-born van der Zwaan was also accused of lying about a report he helped prepare during his time at Skadden into the trial of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, according to court papers. He also allegedly lied about his communications with an unknown individual, referred to in the papers as “Person A”, and deleted emails between him and “Person A”.

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Yesterday, van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to investigators and is due for sentencing on 3 April, according to US news reports. He faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (£180,000), however it is understood he is likely to receive a much lower sentence.

A spokesperson for Skadden — which offers ten City training contracts annually and pays its fresh-faced associates a whopping £118,000 upon qualification — said:

“The firm terminated its employment of Alex van der Zwaan in 2017 and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter.”

What else do we know about van der Zwaan? Well, according to his now defunct Skadden profile — recovered by Legal Cheek — he specialised in litigation, congressional investigations and government policy. He completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP Law School in 2007 and speaks four languages: Dutch, English, French and Russian. Van der Zwaan is married to art critic Eva Khan, the daughter of the Russian billionaire German Khan. She is currently pregnant.

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15 Comments

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“If you play with fire…”

(0)(0)

Anonymous

At least he has a fall back option… a billionaire father-in-law.

(17)(0)

PEPE

Ding ding

(1)(0)

Legna & Lived

Dont drop the soap!

(1)(3)

Skadd-ex

Used to work with the guy. This honestly couldn’t have happened to a nicer more down to earth bloke.

Hahaha.

(24)(1)

Skladden

Couldn’t agree more. His behaviour in the office was absolutely appalling- this is the epitome of karma.

(14)(1)

Anonymous

The American White-Shoe firms always get into such delicious trouble. Why can’t the Magic Circle firms be a little less dull? It’s as if they prefer to fight so hard to uphold the integrity of procedure, rather than fighting for the client’s best interests. Wouldn’t it be fun to hear about the “competition experts” at Freshfields bribing EU members, or a Slaughters partner fudging due diligence reports to protect a school-mate director in the fallout of a dodgy acquisition?

Or perhaps they’re just better at keeping greasy activities quiet?

Silly British lawyers, be more interesting (or at least more careless)! Won’t someone think of the gossiping bloggers?

(10)(0)

Anonymous

This guy was a junior Associate. There’s absolutely no way he would have done anything without a partner’s say so. They let him take the rap.

Outrageous.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

My thoughts exactly. And he was terminated last year. Says a lot.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

He was 8PQE so hardly junior…

(1)(0)

Anonymous

He wasn’t a partner though. At the Bar 8PQE is really junior. Maybe some people make partner or more likely senior associate at 8PQE, but he didn’t seemingly.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

lol if you are 8PQE at any firm and not a senior associate then something is wrong, this is not the bar…

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Let’s be honest, his legal career is over. If he was acting on partner instructions, which is almost guaranteed, he should go full scorched earth and start blowing the whistle.

This story is getting cold, something needs to pump some life back into it for these bloggers.

(0)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

He did nothing wrong. Assisting the Russians to undermine the Zog democracy of the United Snakes of America and it’s globohomo oligarchy is an act of patriotism to the human race.

#MakeAmericaGreatAgain

(2)(1)

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