Lawyer defends ‘Tk 120m fees’ taken for settlement of Grameen Telecom cases

A lawyer for the employees of Grameen Telecom has denied allegations that he forced his clients to settle 110 cases against the company and its founder Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus in exchange for a questionable amount of fees.

Published : 3 July 2022, 02:13 PM
Updated : 3 July 2022, 02:30 PM

The lawyer, Yousuf Ali, talked to reporters at the Supreme Court on Sunday after discovering that Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit froze six of his and his associates’ bank accounts.

The employees of Grameen Telecom withdrew the cases over unpaid dividends after the company promised to pay Tk 4.37 billion in an out-of-court settlement in May.

After an online news outlet reported that Yousuf had taken Tk 120 million as fees from his clients for the settlement, the High Court last week ordered both sides to submit reports jointly on the transactions.

Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar said at the hearing they had heard that the lawyer for the Grameen Telecom employees had been “biased” and “forced” his clients to agree to the settlement.       

“There cannot be any irregularities by using the court. The matter must be looked into seriously if everything hasn’t been following the law.”

“Not only in Bangladesh, but there is also no lawyer in the subcontinent who can charge Tk 120 million fees in just one case.”

Speaking to the reporters, Yousuf declined to reveal how much he got from his clients.

“After hearing about the matter from my journalist friends, I discovered that all our bank accounts have been frozen – two of my own, two of my partner and one of my chamber,” he said.

Lawyer Yousuf claimed the transactions between him and his clients were done “transparently”. “I haven’t said anything about it and they [his clients] haven’t complained about anything. They wouldn’t complain.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher