Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s London office is celebrating the release of Iran hostage Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after spending about six years advising on the case on a pro bono basis.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been detained in Iran since 2016, during which time she was tried and convicted twice during this time in Iran of unfounded charges. She was sentenced to five years in prison on unspecified charges relating to national security and receiving a further one-year sentence in 2021.
Gibson Dunn acted pro bono for Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, who has been lobbying the U.K. to grant her diplomatic protection since 2017.
She was released on March 16 after six years of arbitrary detention.
The team included Gibson Dunn disputes and international arbitration partner Penny Madden, associates Clementine Hollyer and Harriet Codd, and trainee Sarah Doré. Former Gibson Dunn associate and employment investigator at Facebook Sarika Rabheru was also on the team.
Other lawyers involved included Essex Court Chambers barrister Alison Macdonald and Doughty Street Chambers barristers Tatyana Eatwell and Tayyiba Bajwa.
The Gibson Dunn lawyers worked alongside: the Ratcliffe family; Monique Villa, who is the CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation – Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s employer; MP Tulip Siddiq; and human rights organisation Redress.
In a LinkedIn post, Dana Denis-Smith, CEO of Obelisk Support, said: “It’s great to see lawyers step in to help and stay with the fight for years – it brings out the best that the legal profession has to offer our society.
“But I was even more delighted to see the team – a power house of #womeninlaw.”
Rupert Skilbeck, director at Redress, said in a statement: “We are incredibly relieved that Nazanin will finally be reunited with her family in the U.K. after a horrific six-year ordeal. Nazanin has endured unimaginable suffering. Richard fought day and night for his wife to be allowed to return to the U.K. and Redress is honoured to have supported them in securing Nazanin’s freedom.”