Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Seventh Annual Corporate Crime & Investigations (“CC&I”) Conference is being held as a Global Conference Series of webinars over the upcoming months. The first webinar took place on 18 June 2020 and covered the topic of “CC&I in the time of Covid-19”. The second took place on 16 July 2020 and covered the topic of “2020 Developments in Anti-Bribery and Corruption and Deferred Prosecution Agreements”. The third took place on 20 August 2020 and covered the topic of “Sanctions developments in a turbulent global environment”.

Speakers from the firm’s CC&I practices in London, New York and Moscow joined this third session to review notable recent sanctions developments in the US, UK and EU, particularly: the new US sanctions with respect to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Huawei; and, the new UK ‘Magnitsky’-style sanctions, post-Brexit arrangements and the new EU cyber-related sanctions regime. The webinar also covered a case study which considered the legal and practical issues arising for companies having to navigate a path through US, EU and Russian sanctions.

The HSF sanctions experts also fielded audience questions on issues as diverse as the impact of the US presidential election on US sanctions policy, so-called “deceptive practices” in the context of US secondary sanctions, and reliance on force majeure provisions when sanctions events arise in the performance of a contract.

The webinar sought the audience’s participation on a number of poll questions; in particular the audience identified their greatest sanctions-related concern for their organisation:

Greatest sanctions-related concern for their organisation Result of Poll
Managing different sanctions regimes in multiple jurisdictions 48.5%
Keeping up with regulatory change 27.3%
Limiting business impact 15.2%
Managing internal stakeholder expectations 9.1%
Associated costs from increased compliance burden 0.0%

The response to this poll question indicates that, perhaps predictably, companies are finding the plethora of international sanctions regimes, which can be in opposition with each other and also require an understanding of complex and technical jurisdiction-specific requirements, is having the greatest impact on their businesses. The second greatest concern was keeping up with the pace of sanctions changes around the world, which is unsurprising given the current rapidly changing sanctions landscape. These challenges are unfortunately likely to continue, as the impacts of geo-political events such as Brexit and the US election (among others) have the potential to produce sanctions consequences across a range of regimes.

It was interesting, but nevertheless promising, that none of our clients found the costs associated with the ever-increasing sanctions compliance burden as their current greatest concern.

The next webinar in the Global Conference Series will take place on Thursday, 17 September 2020 at 9 am. This webinar will focus on whistleblowing regimes from a multi-jurisdictional perspective, and will feature speakers from the firm’s London, Madrid and Brisbane offices. Please click here to register


Daniel Hudson
Daniel Hudson
+44 20 7466 2470
Elizabeth Head
Elizabeth Head
Senior Associate
+44 20 7466 6443
Sergei Eremin
Sergei Eremin
Senior Associate (Russia)
+7 495 363 6887
Jonathan Cross
Jonathan Cross
+1 917 542 7824