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Sub practice

Trade, Commodities and Export Finance

Driven by volatile commodity prices, the growth of emerging markets and the economic downturn, the international trade, commodities and export markets have become exceptionally dynamic.

Increasingly complex finance documentation and security structures, as well as new and stricter regulation regimes, mean that a range of new legal challenges and risks have arisen.

Our trade, commodities and export finance team can translate complexity and the increased scrutiny of security structures into practical and efficient solutions. Our in-depth knowledge of the sector and track record in documenting trade, commodities and export financings and our litigators' experience of advising on a large number of disputes in the trade, commodities and export sector allow us to identify and solve any issues upfront, providing our clients with both practical and commercial advice.

Whether trading in physical commodities or commodity derivatives, using commodities to generate cash flows within shari’a-compliant financings, entering into a commodities financing or structuring a complex commodities arbitrage transaction, there are a plethora of diverse legal issues to consider – from documentation to credit mitigation and from regulatory approvals to reputational issues. At Allen & Overy, we bring our expertise in each legal discipline under one product umbrella to offer our clients a seamless solution.


News & insights

Publications: 10 FEBRUARY 2020

Liability for breaches of sanctions: financiers, lessors and charterers beware, OFAC settles claims against Apollo and Eagle Bulk

Two recent settlements in the United States have highlighted the risks for parties involved in aviation and shipping of incurring liabilities for a breach of sanctions.  

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Publications: 22 OCTOBER 2019

Sanctioned entity cannot claim interest for period when payment is prevented by financial sanctions

A sanctioned entity was not entitled to post-award interest on an arbitral award for the period that EU financial sanctions were imposed on that entity. The decision provides useful guidance on the interpretation of “no claims” and “non-liability” provisions, which are commonly found in sanctions legislation: Ministry of Defence & Support for Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran v International Military Services Ltd [2019] EWHC 1994 (Comm), as upheld on appeal :  [2020] EWCA Civ 145.

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Publications: 28 FEBRUARY 2019

No deal Brexit – trading on the basis of WTO rules

The protracted negotiations over the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU have brought into stark focus the prospects of a ‘hard’ Brexit.

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Publications: 27 FEBRUARY 2019

Podcast: International Trade and WTO Rules

At the heart of what Brexit will actually mean for business are the UK’s terms of trade with the EU27 and the rest of the world after it leaves the EU.

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Trade commodities and export finance brochure


With geopolitical tensions, a changing Chinese economy and price volatility, the commodities markets are going through turbulent changes. In addition, commodities finance documentation and security structures are becoming increasingly complex, whilst stricter regulatory regimes pose further challenges.