OFSI publishes Annual Review 2022-23

On 14 December 2023, HM Treasury's Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation ("OFSI") published its Annual Review for the 2022-23 financial year (the "Annual Review"). As expected, the Annual Review predominantly focuses on the UK sanctions imposed against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, the publication also provides an overview of the other work OFSI has carried out in respect of other regimes during the 2022-23 financial year. Read more

High Court dismisses force majeure and trade sanctions defences in breach of contract claim, and considers “ownership and control” test under UK sanctions

The High Court has allowed a summary judgment application in relation to a breach of contract claim, finding that there was no realistic prospect of the defendants being able to rely on force majeure and change of trade sanctions provisions in the agreement: Litasco SA v Der Mond Oil and Gas Africa SA & Anor (Rev1) [2023] … Read more

Sanctions tracker: recent Russia sanctions developments

In this post, we provide a round-up of key recent Russia sanctions developments in the UK, including new and amended general licences, guidance from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation ("OFSI") and developments in respect of sanctions on gold and circumvention. Read more

Court takes a tough stance in challenge to sanctions decisions on judicial review principles

In R. (on the application of Mikhail Fridman) v HM Treasury [2023] EWHC 2657 (Admin) the High Court dismissed all grounds of challenge raised by an individual designated under the sanctions regime. In doing so the court made comments on the proper role of judicial review and evidence in such proceedings, in keeping with the recent trend of insisting on procedural rigour in public law cases. Read more

Court of Appeal confirms judgments can be entered in favour of Russian sanctioned parties but leaves uncertainty in relation to the “ownership and control” test

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that UK sanctions do not preclude the entry of judgments in favour of Russian sanctioned parties: Mints v PJSC National Bank Trust [2023] EWCA Civ 1132. The court also held that the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) is entitled to license a sanctioned party to pay an adverse costs order, security for costs or damages on a cross-undertaking in damages. It can also license payment of a costs order in favour of a sanctioned party. Read more