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Josh Hitchens instructed in one of the first ever Russian Sanctions Designation Challenge

Josh Hitchens instructed in one of the first ever Russian Sanctions Designation Challenge

Josh Hitchens has been instructed in a claim by the first ever mono-British citizen to be made subject to an asset freeze under the UK Sanctions regime.

The claim brought under s.38 Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (“SAMLA”) alleges that the decision to sanction the Claimant, a British video journalist operating from the Donbas region was:

(a) Unlawful on the ground of illegality as neither SAMLA nor the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 authorise designation in response to lawful political speech by a UK national;
(b) That in the alternative, that Regulation 6(3)(a) of the Russia Regulations is Ultra Vires and stands to be quashed; and
(c) That the designation decision was a breach of Article 10 and Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This is one of the first ever designation challenges following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Alex Haines and Sophie O’Sullivan acted for the Claimant in the only reported challenge, LLC Synesis v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs [2023] EWHC 541 (Admin).

Find out more

Joshua Hitchens is a leading public law and commercial barrister, with particular expertise in sanctions law. He was on secondment at the Bank of England when Russia invaded Ukraine and as such gained extensive experience in the imposition of sanctions in the banking sector. He then undertook sanctions related work for the Government of Jersey, including advising on the sale of Chelsea Football club. More recently, he has advised individuals, transactional lawyers, banks, other financial institutions and foreign state entities on compliance with UK and EU sanctions regulations.

To find out more, contact Paul Barton on +44 (0)203 427 4907 or Ben Fitzgerald on +44 (0)203 758 4759 for a confidential discussion.

News 21 Jun, 2023


Joshua Hitchens

Call: 2018

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