Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson presented his decision to the cabinet yesterday, made in consultancy with the Alþingi parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, to hire Tim Ward QC (pictured) as Iceland’s main legal representative in the Icesave case.
The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has filed charges against the Icelandic state before the EFTA Court because of Iceland’s alleged violation of the Deposit Guarantee Directive in failing to pay minimum compensation to the depositors of Landsbanki’s Icesave branches in the UK and the Netherlands when the bank collapsed in October 2008, thus discriminating against them.
Ward is a barrister at the law firm Monckton Chambers in London and is one of the best in the field of European law, a press release from the Icelandic Foreign Ministry states.
Ward was called to the bar in 1995 and was recently awarded Queen’s Counsel (QC) designation.
Ward has represented many known cases, 50 of which were heard before the European Court of Justice.
These cases concerned various matters, including the principle of equality and discrimination and damages states were obligated to pay due to negligence in adopting European Union directives.
Ward was nominated as the Barrister of the Year in the UK in 2008 and is considered to be one of the best lawyers in the world in the fields concerning Icesave.
While preparing the case a number of parties who have experience of such legal proceedings were consulted, both domestic and foreign, and Össur also met with representatives of movements who have fought against agreements on Icesave.
A team of specialists will be appointed to assist Ward on the case.
Iceland has until the end of February to submit a statement to the EFTA Court in response to the ESA’s subpoena delivered on December 20, 2011.