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At the front of the pack: Outer Temple's Sanctions Team instructed in the most high-profile and cutting-edge cases in the UK’s new sanctions framework

At the front of the pack: Outer Temple’s Sanctions Team instructed in leading cases in the UK’s new sanctions framework

Outer Temple Chambers’ Sanctions Team is instructed in the most high-profile and cutting-edge cases in the UK’s new sanctions framework.

The Sanctions Team has unrivalled expertise in challenges to UK sanctions designations and High Court applications relating to, and arising from, the UK’s sanctions framework.

This experience – twinned with instructions to act for and advise the UK Government and with ongoing high-profile sanctions advisory services – has put the team at the forefront of sanctions law and practice in the UK and its overseas territories.

Comprised of seven specialist barristers; John McKendrick KC, Oliver Powell, Alex Haines, Sophie O’Sullivan, Josh Hitchens, Jeremy Scott-Joynt and Henry Reid, supported by members of the wider Business Crime and Regulation and Commercial teams with cross-over expertise in international law, fraud, AML and financial services, OTC’s Sanctions Team includes multilingual barristers called to the New York, Irish and Eastern Caribbean Bars.

The team comprises counsel ranked for Sanctions in the legal directories and members of the AG’s Civil Panel, as well as a Deputy High Court Judge. Amongst the team’s members are Oliver Powell, who edits the Sanctions chapter in Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime; and Alex Haines, who co-wrote the chapter on Economic Sanctions in Smith, Owen, and Bodnar on Asset Recovery.

Sections 23 & 38 SAMLA and other challenges to UK sanctions designations (2022/2023)

  • Alex Haines and Sophie O’Sullivan acted for the Claimant in the first ever s.38 SAMLA challenge to a UK sanctions designation (company, Belarus Regime) in the Administrative Court (Synesis v Secretary of State for FCDA [2023] EWHC 541 (Admin)).
  • John McKendrick KC and Alex Haines instructed in a challenge to a UK sanctions designation on behalf of an ultra-high net worth British citizen (individual, Russia Regime).
  • Josh Hitchens instructed as sole counsel in a challenge under s.38 SAMLA on behalf of the first ever single-nationality British citizen to be made subject to an asset freeze. Proceedings are ongoing in the Administrative Court.
  • Alex Haines instructed in three challenges to a UK sanctions designation (company, Myanmar Regime; individual, Russia Regime; and company, Russia Regime).
  • John McKendrick KC instructed to challenge OFSI’s failure to grant a licence within a reasonable time.

Acting for and advising UK Government (HMT(OFSI) and FCDO) (2022/2023)

  • Sophie O’Sullivan instructed by HMT (OFSI) on the application of its statutory framework and financial sanctions policy to intermediary banking transactions involving a designated entity. 
  • Sophie O’Sullivan instructed by HMT (OFSI) in respect of contemplated criminal and regulatory proceedings for breaches of the UK’s sanctions against Russia, arising from correspondent banking transactions involving a designated financial institution.
  • Alex Haines instructed by the UK Government in the first two challenges to OFSI and its alleged delay in issuing licences before the Administrative Court.
  • Alex Haines instructed by HMT and the FCDO to advise on the sale of Chelsea FC following Roman Abramovich’s designation under Russian sanctions.

Crown Dependencies (2022)

  • John McKendrick KC, Alex Haines and Henry Reid instructed by the Attorney-General of a Crown Dependency on a multibillion-dollar sanctions matter.
  • Josh Hitchens advised the Government of Jersey on a number of high profile, high value sanctions matters, including the sale of Chelsea FC.

OFSI Civil Penalty Regime (2022/2023)

  • Oliver Powell retained by a large international corporate in relation to an investigation by OFSI.
  • Henry Reid instructed to advise a UK entity in respect of apparent breaches of the Ukraine Regulations, including advice on engagement with OFSI and reporting.
  • Henry Reid instructed to prepare representations to OFSI and an appeal for Ministerial Review under s.147 Police and Crime Act 2017 by an entity facing monetary penalties for breaches of UK and EU financial sanctions.

High-profile advisory work (2022/2023)

All seven members of the team advise on the full range of sanctions issues. 2022/2023 highlights include:

  • Advice to financial services firms in the UK and overseas on the application of UK sanctions regimes to their activities, both in the context of UK financial services regulation and of their operations more broadly.
  • Advice to large corporates on financing facility agreements, M&A deals, wind-downs and other complex cross-border transactions, as well as on the effect of sanctions legislation on their corporate structures.
  • Advising a private individual, the daughter of a high net worth designated individual, on the effect of sanctions legislation on her and her family.
  • Advising a Europe-based trust holding high-value assets across multiple jurisdictions on access to its assets amid sanctions restrictions.
  • Acting as experts on UK sanctions law in a $125m arbitration in Russia.

Find out more

John McKendrick KC practises in all areas of public and commercial law and is a leading Court of Protection practitioner. He acts as an arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator.

Oliver Powell undertakes instructions that involve the regulation of business activity and commerce. His practice encompasses: asset forfeiture & civil recovery; business crime; civil fraud; corporate investigations; financial services; health, safety & environment; maritime regulatory law; and sanctions & export controls.

Alex Haines is a specialist in international law, with particular expertise in the extensive field of international organisations law. He was appointed as a Sanctions Officer at the Caribbean Development Bank in 2020 and is on the AG’s London B Panel of Counsel to the Crown since 2019. He is admitted to both the New York and Irish Bars in addition to the Bar of England and Wales.

Sophie O’Sullivan is a specialist in business crime and professional regulation. Her core practice areas are: sanctionsbusiness crime; commercial fraud; asset forfeiturefinancial regulation and complianceprofessional discipline; and health and safety.

Joshua Hitchens is a specialist in public law, including international administrative law, and commercial law. He is regularly instructed in high profile international litigation.

Jeremy Scott-Joynt specialises primarily in commercial and regulatory matters, as well as those with an international dimension. He has particular expertise in financial regulation, financial crime and investigations, having served two large international banks in senior anti-corruption, compliance and investigative roles before being admitted to the Bar of England and Wales.

Henry Reid’s practice covers a wide array of commercial, corporate and financial services matters with an emphasis on commercial litigation, contentious and non-contentious financial services, regulatory investigations, fintech, sanctions and banking law.

To find out more about any of the Sanctions Team, please contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669 or Colin Bunyan on +44 (0)207 427 4886.

News 20 Jun, 2023


John McKendrick KC

Call: 1999 Silk: 2016

Oliver Powell

Call: 2006 (England & Wales); 2010 (Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI))

Alex Haines

Call: 2007 (England & Wales); 2019 (New York); 2020 (Ireland); and 2024 (District of Columbia)

Sophie O’Sullivan

Call: 2011

Joshua Hitchens

Call: 2018

Jeremy Scott-Joynt

Call: 2018

Henry Reid

Henry Reid

Call: 2018

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