Monday, April 19, 2021


The law firm representing Lawrence Connell, formerly the designated Competent Person in the Pilatus Bank matter, has filed its"Surreply in Support of Mr. Connell's Opposition to the Amended Petition of Applicant Pilatus Bank PLC," which makes a strong case for dismissal on the merits.

The major arguments:

1. The Amended Petition fails to cure the defects in the original Petition. Remember, the Court dismissed the original petition, as fatally flawed.

2. Should Mr. Connell disclose the matters disclosed by Pilatus Bank, he will be in violation of Maltese Law, which is punishable by a 2-year prison sentence and €150,000 fine. What the Petition seeks is a backhanded way to obtain information that the bank is not allowed to obtain.

3. The MFSA had specifically directed Connell not to answer the questions posed by Pilatus, and the bank is seeking a way to evade Maltese Law by requesting the information in the United States.

4. The information Pilatus Bank sought is privileged and protected under Maltese Law. Those privileges and protections are held by the MFSA,  as well as the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), and they have not been withdrawn. The MFSA position, correcting Pilatus' allegations, appears at the bottom of the page.

5. Such request for information must satisfy specific statutory requirements under US Law, and the bank has the burden of proof, which it has failed to establish.

Question: is it improper for Pilatus Bank counsel to seek to obtain information that their client cannot legally request in Malta ? Is it a violation of ethics rules ? We cannot say, but we are anxiously awaiting the District court's decision, for Federal judges generally run a tight ship, and the defects in the Amended Petition are obvious to anyone  who has read the pleadings. Whether there will be sanctions remains an open question, but there is a bright line between zealous representation of a client, and being candid with the court.  




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