New year, new UK sanctions regime

Upon the end of the Brexit transition period at 11pm on 31 December 2020, the UK ceased to implement EU sanctions. UK sanctions are now in force under the UK’s domestic sanctions regime, the framework for which is contained in the Sanctions and Money Laundering Act 2018 (“SAMLA”). The UK has introduced regulations under SAMLA which implement UK versions of the EU sanctions regimes that were in force pre-Brexit, although the new UK sanctions are not identical to the EU sanctions in all respects. Read more

EU introduces global human rights sanctions regime

On 7 December 2020, the Council of the EU announced the introduction of a new global human rights sanctions regime, as part the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024. The new regime introduces a framework to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on individuals and entities identified as responsible for, involved in or associated with, serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide. Read more

Corporate Crime update – November 2020

Welcome to the November 2020 edition of our corporate crime update – our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. Read more

US Sanctions and the right of borrowers to withhold repayment: Commercial Court signals return to orthodoxy

The Commercial Court has granted summary judgment in favour of a bank seeking to recover payments under Credit Agreements entered into with the Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company, Petroleos De Venezuela SA (PDVSA), finding that the defaulting borrower had no real prospect of successfully defending the claims on the basis of certain US Sanctions imposed on Venezuela which post-dated the execution of the Credit Agreements. Read more

OFSI releases its third Annual Review for 2019-2020

On 9 October 2020, HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) published its latest Annual Review for the 2019-20 financial year. The publication marks the third report which OFSI have published and provides an overview of the work undertaken by OFSI in the financial year 2019-20 (April 2019 to March 2020). It also looks ahead to sanctions implementation in the future with a particular focus, this year, on how sanctions will be enforced at the end of the Brexit transition period. Points which may be of particular interest to readers are set out below. Read more

HSF Launches New Sanctions Blog

Herbert Smith Freehills' US Sanctions team has recently launched a new Sanctions blog. The blog will provide commentary on economic sanctions and export control issues, with a focus on US laws, and will be of particular interest to in-house counsel and compliance personnel in both US and non-US companies. Read more

Lisa Osofsky re-examines the priorities of the SFO at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime

On 7 September 2020, Lisa Osofsky, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), delivered a keynote address at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. In light of Covid-19, this year’s speech was delivered virtually, via YouTube. In her speech, Ms Osofsky re-examined the four key priorities that she outlined at her first address to the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime in 2018 and referred to a number of new developments which she said would affect the SFO’s future work. Read more

Third HSF webinar in Global CC&I Conference series: sanctions developments in a turbulent global environment

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”. Read more