Members of 4 Pump Court are regularly instructed on and have strong expertise in commercial matters relating to sanctions law. We advise in relation to direct and indirect consequences in relation to UK, European, American, Cayman, BVI, Bermuda, Canadian and Australian sanction regimes.

We often represent financial sector clients and private individuals in matters concerning challenges to sanctions and asset freezing.  We also act for overseas governments and agencies who are seeking to comply with international standards and the rule of law and are regularly consulted by NGOs and charitable organisations. Members are also instructed by individuals seeking removal from the UK sanctions regime.

We also have complementary experience in the impact of sanctions law on contracts including damage claims. This allows us to provide unparalleled expertise to companies and individuals on listing and relisting challenges, enforcement matters and related commercial litigation and arbitration.

Recent cases include:

– appearing in the Supreme Court for the shareholders of Bank Mellat in the bank’s successful claim that British government sanctions against the Iranian bank were irrational and therefore unlawful.

– instructed by an aircraft leasing company to recover possession of a passenger airliner when the impact of sanctions against Russia rendered its insurance by the lessee airline invalid. Consequently, the lease was terminated, and we acted for the lessor in successful injunctive proceedings in London’s Commercial Court to prevent unlawful removal of the airliner from a Middle Eastern country.- acting for Bank Mellat on its subsequent claim for damages under the Human Rights Act, which was the largest such claim ever to come before the English courts.

– acting as lead counsel in a substantial arbitration with associated part 8 Arbitration claims; 6 arbitrations and proceedings in Russia. Obtained a world-wide freezing injunction worth £225m for a Russian trading house against a Russian oil refinery involved.

– advising 35 entities and their trade insurers on US sanctions: sums at stake 6billion

– acting ; Iranian State under sanction and successfully procured 1.6 billion insurance cover via injunction and threat of specific performance against insurers and reinsurers-

– applying for the first ever Special Licence issued by the Governor of the Cayman Islands and OFSI in favour of sanctioned Russian entities engaged in Cayman Islands litigation, in the case of MaplesFS Limited v B&B Protector Services Limited, PJSC National Bank Trust and PJSC Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation, FSD 213 of 2021.

acting for  the successful parties in the high profile sanctions cases, Gravelor Shipping v GTLK [2023] EWHC 131 (Comm) and Havila v STLC Europe Twenty Three Leasing [2023] EWHC 444 (Comm).

SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd  v Prime Energy, a DIFC trial concerning the import of Iranian oil supplied by entities subject to UN sanctions.

– acting in three connected LCIA arbitrations concerning the supply of gas via gas pipelines (in contracts valued at over 7 billion GBP) which are the subject of EU sanctions, and claims by sanctioned Russian banks against individuals domiciled in the UAE. Laurence has previously advised on issues arising from dealings with individuals subject to EU and other sanctions linked to the war in Syria, and is currently advising clients on economic sanctions and visa measures arising from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

-acting for the successful shipowners in ten separate LMAA arbitrations against a state-owned oil producer, concerning the application of OFAC sanctions, allegations of frustration / illegality arising from an alleged inability to make payments in US dollars.

-advising on the impact of international (OFAC, UK, EU) sanctions on high-value claims involving Russian state-owned financial institutions in relation to securities repurchase transactions (SIAC arbitration).

– advising businesses on compliance with Russia-related sanctions since the start of the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War.

– acting in several cases under SAMLA and EU/US/UN  sanctions involving UK and international-based clients as well as associated trusts/company law matters in Switzerland, Italy, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

For further information, please contact our Practice Directors, Bill Griffiths, Paul Bloxham, Will Jackman, Richard Sumarno or our Practice Manager, James Tanner.

T: +44 (0)207 842 5555

E: [email protected] 

E: [email protected]

E: [email protected]

E: [email protected] 

E: [email protected]

New Commercial Court judgment clarifies the purpose and scope of the Russian Sanctions Regulations

In his recent judgment in the case of AerCap Ireland Ltd v AIG Europe SA & Ors [2024] EWHC 144 (Comm), Mr. Justice...

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