Sanctions and export controls compliance is a complex and evolving concern for companies and individuals with international interests and commercial liabilities. Outer Temple’s Business Crime and Regulation team, with specialist practitioners in international organisations law, has extensive expertise in the field of commercial sanctions and export controls. With our global footprint, members of the team have experience in navigating the sensitive commercial and public policy considerations which are often engaged in this area of law to provide pragmatic advice to our clients on multi-jurisdictional matters.

We regularly represent and advise clients on sectoral sanctions risks relating to prospective commercial transactions, helping them navigate the interaction between UN Security Council resolutions and EU and US law, the EU Blocking Regulation, and the US secondary sanctions regime, as well as the scope and effect of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and the post-Brexit statutory framework of the UK sanctions regimes.

Members of the team are often retained to advise and act for corporate entities faced with sanction and compliance investigations by governments including the Office of Financial Sanctions Institutions (“OFSI”) in the UK and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) in the US. They also frequently represent corporates in substantive challenges against US, EU and UK designations.

The team also has broad experience in dealing with licensing authorities and government agencies in the UK and overseas. Members of the team are often engaged to advise companies which have been affected by sanctions and exports controls on the licences required to comply with the applicable regime, so that the commercial operations which have been disrupted can begin or resume.

Outer Temple’s Business Crime and Regulation team is frequently invited to hold sanctions and export controls workshops and speak at economic compliance seminars.

Members of the team have contributed to key practitioner texts focusing on economic sanctions, including Oxford University Press’s Smith, Owen, and Bodnar on Asset Recovery – Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery and Lexis Nexis’s Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption.

Sanctions & Export Controls Experience

Our work includes matters relating to:

  • Advising companies and individuals in respect of sectoral sanctions risks and regime compliance
  • Challenges to sanctions designations in the UK, US and EU
  • Advising companies and individuals on settlement negotiations with HMRC following breaches of the Export Control Order
  • 2008 and offences contrary to the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979
  • Advising on reporting obligations to global authorities
  • Negotiating with licencing authorities and government agencies to mitigate against compliance breaches
  • Conducting internal investigations and acting for clients under investigation in respect of sanctions and export controls breaches
  • Drafting and advice on corporate policies and compliance programmes

Members of our Business Crime and Regulation team have extensive experience in sanctions and export controls work including:

  • Advising on a class action against a global bank in respect of its implementation of US financial sanctions on client accounts
  • Advising a major global financial institution in respect of UK, EU and US sanctions compliance in relation to intended high-value asset purchase and subsidiary expansion
  • Advising a global bank in respect of the applicable sanctions regimes engaged in prospective financial transactions
  • Advising an international law firm in respect of licencing and designation challenges
  • Acting for a global technology company in its challenge against UK designation (post-Brexit framework)
  • Retained by a large corporate in relation to an OFSI investigation into compliance breaches
  • Acting for an international haulier in relation to multi-million export controls breaches
  • Advising multiple clients in respect of the applicable regimes in Iran and Russia in relation to financial transactions with the UK and US
  • Advising on the EU Blocking Statute and its interaction with US sanctions policy

Sanctions & Export Controls Barristers

Michael Bowes QC

Call: 1980 Silk: 2001

John McKendrick QC

Call: 1999 Silk: 2016

Oliver Powell

Call: 2006

Alex Haines

Call: 2007 (England & Wales); 2019 (New York); and 2020 (Ireland)

Sophie O’Sullivan

Call: 2011

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