The UK is one of many countries which have introduced extensive sanctions against Russia, its individuals and entities in light of the military action in Ukraine which began on 24 February 2022. The application of the sanctions is generally limited to the territory of the UK and the conduct of UK persons (as defined) inside or outside the UK, but their practical effect is nevertheless wide-ranging.
An area where the UK sanctions regime may have significant impact, but which is not often discussed, is the effect on proceedings in the English court involving sanctioned Russian parties. Whilst UK sanctions generally do not restrict court proceedings against Russian individuals or entities subject to sanctions, the effect of the overall sanctions regime means that pursuing such claims may involve practical difficulties, such as delays to the proceedings or issues with enforcement. Those who wish to pursue claims against sanctioned Russian persons in the English courts therefore need to understand how to navigate the relevant sanctions in order not to be caught off-guard by such difficulties.
For a background to the sanctions regime and potential difficulties arising from asset freeze restrictions, please see our Litigation Notes blog post.