Yves Klein
Office:
Place du Molard 3
CH-1204
City:
Geneva
State:
Geneva
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 22 310 22 66
Fax:
+41 22 310 24 86

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders Global Elite

Yves Klein is an international asset recovery lawyer and a senior partner at Monfrini Bitton Klein, Geneva. His main activity for the past 20 years has consisted in litigating and coordinating transnational asset recovery proceedings before civil, criminal and bankruptcy courts on behalf of victims of economic crimes. Yves Klein is former chair of the IBA asset recovery subcommittee (anti-corruption committee) and is the Swiss representative of ICC FraudNet, the world’s leading asset recovery network.

Why did you decide to specialise in asset recovery?

From the start of my career, I was interested in working on behalf of victims of crime. Over the years, I increasingly focused on cross-border economic crimes. By chance, this period (the early 2000s) corresponded with the birth of the cross-border asset recovery practice.

What excites you the most about asset recovery cases?

The thrill of the chase. The creativity that each new case requires beating new money laundering techniques. The necessity of adopting innovative approaches towards existing legal provisions to give them the maximum effect for our clients. The pleasure of devising international asset recovery strategies and implementing them with an international team of competent and like-minded professionals.

How has your role changed since you started practising?

At the beginning of my career, I mostly dedicated myself to courtroom work. My role now is to devise and adapt the cross-border asset recovery strategy, and to set up and coordinate the international team.

What do clients look for in a top asset recovery specialist?

Someone who will find the solutions and obtain the results that others cannot, through experience, creativity, knowledge of the cross-border asset recovery toolbox and access to the best specialists around the world.

What aspect of recovering criminal proceeds is the most challenging?

Circulating information among team members and making sure that the defence cannot exploit contradictions between the various briefs that are filed. Navigating the various legal systems is not the challenge – it is where most of the fun comes from.

Which international search and recovery strategies do you think are most effective at returning assets?

Each case needs its own strategy. One common feature, though, is that the beginning of the case is crucial, as assets and evidence need to be secured to ensure a successful recovery. It is therefore essential to design a cross-border approach from the start and hit hardest at the beginning. While assets are important (and will help to obtain third-party funding, if necessary), the asset recovery strategy must also be devised in terms of claims, so as to achieve redress through the award of damages against facilitators.

As a partner, what are your priorities for the firm’s development over the next five years?

Developing the skills of the new generation, promoting a culture of permanent innovation and continuing to develop the international network of the firm.

Your career has been very distinguished so far. What would you like to achieve that you have
not already?

To live up to the reputation I may have.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Asset Recovery

Yves Klein is a founding partner of Monfrini Bitton Klein, a conflict-free litigation boutique based in Geneva. The firm focuses on asset recovery, business crime defence, anti-corruption investigations, offshore disputes, international judicial assistance, cross-border insolvency, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards, and the tracing of matrimonial and estate assets.

Mr Klein’s main activity is litigating and coordinating transnational asset recovery proceedings on behalf of victims of economic crimes, or parties seeking to enforce their claims against assets concealed in Switzerland or abroad.

He develops strategies for the international search for and recovery of assets, and coordinates cross-border proceedings. He represents his clients, be they states, liquidators of foreign bankruptcy estates, corporations or individuals, before civil, criminal and bankruptcy courts, in order to recover the proceeds of crimes and to obtain damages from perpetrators and facilitators.

Since 1999, Mr Klein has, together with his partner Enrico Monfrini, conducted groundbreaking corruption recovery proceedings in the case of Nigeria v Abacha, where more than US$2 billion have been recovered in 10 jurisdictions. For the past 20 years, Mr Klein has also been retained as Swiss counsel in several other corruption recovery cases, notably Brazil v Dos Santos NettoHaiti v DuvalierTunisia v Ben Ali and Guinea v Steinmetz.

As chair of the International Bar Association’s asset recovery subcommittee (anti-corruption committee), Mr Klein has established institutional relationships with the World Bank, the OECD Working Group on Bribery, and anti-corruption law enforcement officials in view of developing best practices regarding the use of civil asset recovery tools in parallel with criminal proceedings.

Mr Klein has also been active in representing bankruptcy estates of foreign banks or publicly traded companies. He has recovered tens of millions of dollars for their depositors, investors and creditors, prominently in the context of Ponzi schemes. He notably represents in Switzerland the bank insolvencies of Stanford International Bank Ltd (Antigua), Banco Santos SA (Brazil) and Banco Turco Romana SA (Romania).

He has obtained the recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards for amounts in excess of US$100 million and has successfully recovered the assets that defendants concealed in Switzerland or abroad.

Mr Klein is the Swiss representative of ICC FraudNet, the leading global legal network for asset recovery, present in more than 70 countries. He has been recognised by Who’s Who Legal as one of the world’s "most highly regarded individuals" in asset recovery since 2013 and is recognised by Chambers for his asset recovery activity.

He has published on asset tracing and recovery, anti-corruption, and recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards since 1996, and regularly presents on these matters at international conferences.

Admitted to the Geneva Bar in 1995, Mr Klein holds a law degree from the University of Geneva (1989) and a diploma of higher studies in international law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies of Geneva (1993).

He speaks fluent French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, and some German.

WWL says: Yves Klein is the foremost asset recovery specialist in the Swiss market, who is “very well known” among peers as “an excellent strategist”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery: Lawyers

Yves Klein is a founding partner of Monfrini Bitton Klein, a conflict-free litigation boutique based in Geneva. The firm focuses on asset recovery, business crime defence, anti-corruption investigations, offshore disputes, international judicial assistance, cross-border insolvency, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards, and the tracing of matrimonial and estate assets.

Mr Klein’s main activity is litigating and coordinating transnational asset recovery proceedings on behalf of victims of economic crimes, or parties seeking to enforce their claims against assets concealed in Switzerland or abroad.

He develops strategies for the international search for and recovery of assets, and coordinates cross-border proceedings. He represents his clients – be they states, liquidators of foreign bankruptcy estates, corporations or individuals – before civil, criminal and bankruptcy courts, in order to recover the proceeds of crimes and to obtain damages from perpetrators and facilitators.

Since 1999, Mr Klein has, together with his partner Enrico Monfrini, conducted groundbreaking corruption recovery proceedings in the case of Nigeria v Abacha, where more than US$2 billion has been recovered in 10 jurisdictions. For the past 20 years, Mr Klein has also been retained as Swiss counsel in several other corruption recovery cases, notably Brazil v Dos Santos NettoHaiti v DuvalierTunisia v Ben Ali and Guinea v Steinmetz.

As chair of the International Bar Association’s asset recovery subcommittee (anti-corruption committee), Mr Klein has established institutional relationships with the World Bank, the OECD Working Group on Bribery, and anti-corruption law enforcement officials in view of developing best practices regarding the use of civil asset recovery tools in parallel with criminal proceedings.

Mr Klein has also been active in representing bankruptcy estates of foreign banks or publicly traded companies. He has recovered tens of millions of dollars for their depositors, investors and creditors, prominently in the context of Ponzi schemes. He notably represents in Switzerland the bank insolvencies of Stanford International Bank Ltd (Antigua), Banco Santos SA (Brazil) and Banco Turco Romana SA (Romania).

He has obtained the recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards for amounts in excess of US$100 million and has successfully recovered the assets that defendants concealed in Switzerland or abroad.

Mr Klein is the Swiss representative of ICC FraudNet, the leading global legal network for asset recovery, present in more than 70 countries. Since 2013 he has been recognised by WWL as one of the world’s most highly regarded individuals in asset recovery, and is recognised by Chambers for his asset recovery activity.

He has published on asset tracing and recovery, anti-corruption, and recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards since 1996, and regularly presents on these matters at international conferences.

Admitted to the Geneva Bar in 1995, Mr Klein holds a law degree from the University of Geneva (1989) and a diploma of higher studies in international law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies of Geneva (1993).

He speaks fluent French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, and some German.

WWL says: Yves Klein is “a thought leader in the sphere of asset recovery”, an area in which “he demonstrates creativity and exemplary technical expertise”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Asset Recovery which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Litigation: Lawyers

Yves Klein is a founding partner of Monfrini Bitton Klein, a conflict-free litigation boutique based in Geneva. The firm focuses on asset recovery, business crime defence, anti-corruption investigations, offshore disputes, international judicial assistance, cross-border insolvency, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards, and the tracing of matrimonial and estate assets.

Mr Klein’s main activity is litigating and coordinating transnational asset recovery proceedings on behalf of victims of economic crimes, or parties seeking to enforce their claims against assets concealed in Switzerland or abroad.

He develops strategies for the international search for and recovery of assets, and coordinates cross-border proceedings. He represents his clients – be they states, liquidators of foreign bankruptcy estates, corporations or individuals – before civil, criminal and bankruptcy courts, in order to recover the proceeds of crimes and to obtain damages from perpetrators and facilitators.

As chair of the International Bar Association’s asset recovery subcommittee (anti-corruption committee), Mr Klein has established institutional relationships with the World Bank, the OECD Working Group on Bribery, and anti-corruption law enforcement officials in view of developing best practices regarding the use of civil asset recovery tools in parallel with criminal proceedings.

Mr Klein is the Swiss representative of ICC FraudNet, the leading global legal network for asset recovery, present in more than 70 countries. Since 2013 he has been recognised by WWL as one of the world’s most highly regarded individuals in asset recovery, and is recognised by Chambers for his asset recovery activity.

He has published on asset tracing and recovery, anti-corruption, and recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards since 1996, and regularly presents on these matters at international conferences.

WWL says: With more than 20 years' experience, Yves Klein is well recognised for his excellent work in international asset recovery matters.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Litigation which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Litigation

Yves Klein is a founding partner of Monfrini Bitton Klein, a conflict-free litigation boutique based in Geneva. The firm focuses on asset recovery, business crime defence, anti-corruption investigations, offshore disputes, international judicial assistance, cross-border insolvency, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards, and the tracing of matrimonial and estate assets.

Mr Klein’s main activity is litigating and coordinating transnational asset recovery proceedings on behalf of victims of economic crimes, or parties seeking to enforce their claims against assets concealed in Switzerland or abroad.

He develops strategies for the international search for and recovery of assets, and coordinates cross-border proceedings. He represents his clients, be they states, liquidators of foreign bankruptcy estates, corporations or individuals, before civil, criminal and bankruptcy courts, in order to recover the proceeds of crimes and to obtain damages from perpetrators and facilitators.

Since 1999, Mr Klein has, together with his partner Enrico Monfrini, conducted groundbreaking corruption recovery proceedings in the case of Nigeria v Abacha, where more than US$2 billion has been recovered in 10 jurisdictions. For the past 20 years, Mr Klein has also been retained as Swiss counsel in several other corruption recovery cases, notably Brazil v Dos Santos NettoHaiti v DuvalierTunisia v Ben Ali and Guinea v Steinmetz.

As chair of the International Bar Association’s asset recovery subcommittee (anti-corruption committee), Mr Klein has established institutional relationships with the World Bank, the OECD Working Group on Bribery, and anti-corruption law enforcement officials in view of developing best practices regarding the use of civil asset recovery tools in parallel with criminal proceedings.

Mr Klein has also been active in representing bankruptcy estates of foreign banks or publicly traded companies. He has recovered tens of millions of dollars for their depositors, investors and creditors, prominently in the context of Ponzi schemes. He notably represents in Switzerland the bank insolvencies of Stanford International Bank Ltd (Antigua), Banco Santos SA (Brazil) and Banco Turco Romana SA (Romania).

He has obtained the recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards for amounts in excess of US$100 million and has successfully recovered the assets that defendants concealed in Switzerland or abroad.

Mr Klein is the Swiss representative of ICC FraudNet, the leading global legal network for asset recovery, present in more than 70 countries. He has been recognised by Who’s Who Legal as one of the world’s "most highly regarded individuals" in asset recovery since 2013 and is recognised by Chambers for his asset recovery activity.

He has published on asset tracing and recovery, anti-corruption, and recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards since 1996, and regularly presents on these matters at international conferences.

Admitted to the Geneva Bar in 1995, Mr Klein holds a law degree from the University of Geneva (1989) and a diploma of higher studies in international law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies of Geneva (1993).

He speaks fluent French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, and some German.

WWL says: Yves Klein is a superb litigator who is highly recommended by market sources for his exceptional expertise handling a range of corporate and economic crime disputes.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

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