Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Bar association head denies representing developer in north

cyprus bar association chairman christos clerides
File photo: Former Cyprus Bar Association chairman Christos Clerides

The law firm co-founded by Cyprus Bar Association chairman Christos Clerides firmly denied on Wednesday a report claiming the firm took up the legal representation of a businessman involved with construction projects in the north.

Responding to a front-page piece in daily Politis which named Phoebus, Christos Clerides & Associates as the law firm aiding businessman Afik Yaacov, CEO of Afik Group, the law firm rubbished the piece claiming its contents were false.

Afik Group describes itself as an international development and construction company, which has over 8,000 property units for sale in the north, across Famagusta, Karpasia and Kyrenia. The firm operates in Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Germany and Greece. It has offices in the north, Turkey and Germany.

But as shown in the company registrar, Yaacov, the firm’s CEO, in 2020, registered a company named Danilen Ltd with the Republic with himself as both director and secretary.

The company’s registered address in Nicosia appears to be the same as that of the Phoebus, Christos Clerides & Associates firm, on the third floor of Stasinos Court, on Stasinos Avenue and Ayias Elenis 2.

According to Politis, the alleged link between the law firm and Yaacov emerged as part of the bar association’s obligation to oversee all lawyers and their compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

Neither Clerides nor the law firm were immediately available to respond to a Cyprus Mail request for comment.

A source from the bar association told the Cyprus Mail the investigation is routine and was not specific to Clerides, but something all law firms are subject to.

The law firm in a statement said reports of assisting people and facilitating where it comes to matters related to the north, or any connection of the firm with illegal activities “are false and a result of sinister and ulterior motives”.

In statements to Politis, Clerides suggested the allegations were an attempt to smear him ahead of upcoming elections for the bar association’s leadership.

Nonetheless the law firm said it had moved legally against the newspaper and “all involved parties”.

Phoebus, Christos Clerides & Associates has consistently rejected “and will continue to reject clients that approach our firm related to services in the north”.

This includes applications to represent individuals in the immovable property commission in the north, the firm added.

 

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