5SAH sanctions barristers can provide expert advice and representation in all aspects of Sanctions management, compliance and litigation. 

Who we act for 

  • We act for individuals where they have been wrongfully listed.
  • We advise NGOs and Civil Society Organisations in relation to obtaining sanctions, these can be against individuals or entities.
  • We advise individuals and companies on risks and compliance, including applications for licences.
  • We advise on legal routes for the removal from sanctions schemes and for working with designated persons. 

The Sanctions Regime  

The sanctions regime imposes serious and extensive restrictions on dealing with people who are listed. 

Sanctions are a powerful tool used by governments to influence the behaviour of other countries, entities or individuals. Non-compliance with sanctions can result in severe consequences, including significant fines, reputational damage, and even criminal liability. Sanctions can restrict trade, transactions, and even travel. 

We can assist clients in relation to International Sanctions, from the EU to International Sanctions including Turkey, the USA, and further afield.  

UK Sanctions Regime & Law 

The UK has its own Sanctions regime, following Brexit on 31 December 2020, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA) was passed to allow the UK to impose economic and other sanctions, and money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. 

Some sanctions measures apply through other legislation, such as the Immigration Act 1971, the Export Control Order 2008 and the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010. 

These regulations give the UK government power to impose sanctions on countries, entities, and individuals that pose a threat to national security or violate human rights. The UK regime covers financial sanctions, trade sanctions, and immigration sanctions. 

Under SALMA, broad powers have been conferred on the Secretary of State and the Treasury to impose sanctions regulations that are considered appropriate for compliance with a UN obligation, for compliance with any other international obligation. 

We advise clients on the scope and application of the UK sanctions regime, as well as on the requirements for compliance. 

The Purpose of SAMLA  

  • To enable the UK to create its own sanctions framework whereby it can issue its own sanctions rather than adopting EU or UN models, and 
  • Make provision for the purposes of the detection, investigation, and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, and to implement standards published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rather than adopting EU directives. 

The types of sanctions available 

  • Financial sanctions 
  • Trade sanctions 
  • Immigration sanctions 
  • Aircraft sanctions 
  • Shipping sanctions 
  • Sanctions to aid the meeting of UN obligations 

Our Expertise includes: 

  • UN Security Council 
  • EU 
  • United States 
  • Magnitsky 
  • World Bank Sanctions 

The United Nations Security Council can impose sanctions in response to a threat to international peace and security. Security Council sanctions take a number of different forms, in pursuit of a variety of goals. The measures range from comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, and financial or commodity restrictions. The Security Council has applied sanctions to support peaceful transitions, deter non-constitutional changes, constrain terrorism, protect human rights and promote non-proliferation. 

There are 14 UN Security Council sanctions regimes that focus on supporting political settlement of conflicts, nuclear non-proliferation, and counter-terrorism. UN member states are responsible for implementing sanctions at a national level and are required to adopt national implementation measures and ensure compliance by their citizens and within their jurisdiction. 

The United States has one of the most extensive and complex sanctions regimes in the world, with a range of different laws and regulations governing different types of sanctions. The primary laws governing US sanctions are the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA). 

We have extensive experience advising clients on compliance with US sanctions, including the requirements of Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations. We can provide advice on the scope and application of US sanctions, as well as on compliance with licensing and reporting requirements. 

The European Union has a comprehensive sanctions regime, which is implemented through a series of regulations and decisions issued by the Council of the European Union. The EU sanctions regime includes financial sanctions, trade sanctions, and immigration sanctions. 

We can advise you, along with European lawyers on the specific requirements for compliance with the EU sanctions regime. We can assist you in navigating the complex web of EU regulations, as well as in obtaining licenses and exemptions to enable you to carry out legitimate activities in sanctioned countries. 

Magnitsky Sanctions target those responsible for human rights violations or corruption and are intended to apply pressure on regimes while maintaining diplomatic channels of communication by targeting individuals and related entities as opposed to sanctioning an entire regime. 

The name derives from the case of Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian accountant to Bill Browder, once Russia’s largest foreign investor. In 2007 Magnitsky uncovered a $230 million fraud committed by tax officials in the Russian Interior Ministry. He was jailed in Russia in 2008 on charges of tax evasion and died in prison in 2009, having suffered human rights violations while in detention. 

We have extensive experience of applying for Magnitsky sanctions on behalf of individual victims and working with NGO and civil society actors. 

The World Bank imposes sanctions against firms and individuals in order to tackle corruption fraud, coercion, collusion, or obstruction in connection with World Bank-financed projects. There are five administrative sanctions available to the World Bank: Debarment, Debarment with Conditional Release, Conditional Non-Debarment, Public Letter of Reprimand, and Restitution. 

Any allegation that a firm or individual has engaged in a sanctionable practice is investigated by the World Bank Group's Integrity Vice Presidency.  If they believe there is sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations, the case is referred to the Office of Suspension and Debarment —the first tier of the Bank's two-tier administrative sanctions process. A respondent can choose not to contest the allegations or sanction, in which case the sanction is imposed. If the firm or individual contests the allegations or sanction, the case is referred to the World Bank Group Sanctions Board—the second tier of the Bank's two-tier administrative sanctions process. 


We advise on compliance requirements, assisting companies, organisations and individuals to operate safely within the parameters of complex, and often inconsistently applied, international sanctions regimes. 

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 

We also advise and represent clients in relation to Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (AML), which falls under Part 2 of SALMA.  

Our Team

You can view our team of Sanctions barristers here.

Instructing 5SAH

To schedule a consultation about your case, please contact our experienced clerks at 5SAH.

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