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Professional woman in a meeting with two clients

Sanctions, International Trade and Investment Compliance

Sanctions and international trade rules, as well as national security-related and business compliance laws, can result in the imposition of onerous restrictions on businesses. Violations can lead to substantial risks, including transactions being unwound, criminal liability, fines, penalties, loss of business, reputational harm, and a variety of associated costs which can be difficult to quantify.

We have a thriving practice advising corporations, financial institutions and individuals on the economic, financial and trade sanctions regimes of the United Nations, European Union, United States, United Kingdom and many other jurisdictions. Our market-leading team provides integrated cross-jurisdictional advice and is well versed in the most complex and sensitive transactions in the market.

Our team assists clients in navigating the complex and sometimes competing requirements to which they may be subject.

International trade is a complex area, and the movement of goods and services between jurisdictions is increasingly affected by governmental actions. We provide expert advice on matters relating to international trade law (including WTO law, associated regulations and free trade agreements), trade related disputes, trade defences, customs rules and tariff applications, the interpretation of customs codes and export and import controls. A number of our expert lawyers have worked on trade and sanctions-related issues for OFAC, the European Commission and the UK’s Department of International Trade amongst other government agencies and have an in-depth understanding of how trade organisations and regulators work.

We have expert lawyers working on national security-related issues such as advising on the impact of the UK’s National Security and Investment Act 2021 and interactions with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Our team includes lawyers with experience working at the heart of the UK’s and the U.S’s national security-related infrastructures.

Our team also regularly advises clients on matters of business compliance, and offers strong anti-bribery and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing expertise. Our lawyers around the globe can advise on the rules and regulations in numerous jurisdictions.

For those facing investigation or prosecution, we have experienced litigators, including many former government litigators, in the EU, Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. who can defend them.

We provide the full range of support to clients including:

  • assessing potential risks associated with particular contracts, relationships or proposed business ventures, including in relation to sanctions, export controls, anti-corruption, and foreign direct investment
  • advising on mergers & acquisitions, lending, project finance and capital markets (debt and equity) transactions, and on dealings with agents, distributors and other third parties. This includes conducting due diligence, drafting and negotiating appropriate contractual protections, and setting in place operational, compliance and auditing protocols
  • advising on jurisdiction issues, for example, determining which sanctions apply to businesses or operations in other jurisdictions, to joint ventures, or to minority equity investments
  • drafting compliance policies and assisting clients with the implementation of these policies
  • managing compliance with conflicting sanctions obligations and blocking laws across multiple jurisdictions
  • providing sanctions, anti-bribery and AML compliance training to senior management, boards of directors, employees and agents
  • assisting clients faced with regulatory investigations or prosecutions concerning sanctions and other regulatory breaches, including approaching authorities and negotiating settlements
  • assisting clients to secure export, import and sanctions licences
  • advising on trade defence issues covering all aspects of anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguarding measures and related disputes
  • advising on the impact of free trade agreements and WTO law on the cross-border movement of goods and the provision services
  • providing customs advice including in relation to tariff classification, valuation, origin, labelling, trade agreements and preference programs
  • handling WTO, customs and other trade related disputes
  • advising on the European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directives, the United Kingdom Proceeds of Crime Act, interactions with the UK National Crime Agency, the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, U.S. money laundering laws, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other international guidance
  • advising on foreign investment in the U.S., including in particular in connection with contemplated transactions that may impact U.S. national security
  • evaluating transactions to determine if they necessitate a filing with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), developing strategies for approaching CFIUS, and assisting in the transaction review process which CFIUS may conduct
  • advising on the UK’s National Security and Investment Act 2021 and multiple European foreign direct investment regimes supporting clients get clearances for transactions where necessary
  • tracking regulatory developments 

News and insights

Various shades of purple light beams

Publications: 25 May 2023

A changing sanctions landscape – enhanced risks for global investors, banks and companies

Following the unprecedented sanctions imposed in the last 12 months, particularly on Russia, the focus of regulators and governments is now expanding to ensure that such measures are actively enforced…

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An illuminated curved road in Asia

Publications: 06 April 2023

Global sanctions outlook

Economic sanctions are becoming increasingly complex worldwide. This article provides an overview of the current global sanctions landscape and key issues companies face in ensuring compliance.

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Colourful office building windows

Publications: 16 February 2023

Sanctions in the spotlight: the High Court considers Russia sanctions implications

The High Court in London has issued a number of judgments in recent weeks that consider the implications of the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia in the last 12 months. In this article, we…

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Red pointed edge of a high rise building

Publications: 10 February 2023

Dispute resolution at the WTO: the wheels continue to turn

Dispute resolution in relation to international trade disputes continues to progress in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) system even in the absence of a functioning Appellate Body.

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Our sanctions and export controls expertise

cargo ship in sea

Sanctions compliance can result in the imposition of onerous restrictions on businesses, and violations can lead to substantial risks, including criminal liability, fines, penalties, loss of business, reputational harm and a variety of associated costs which can be difficult to quantify.

Our international trade expertise

Sanctions, birds eye view of a boat

International trade is a complex area, and the movement of goods between jurisdictions is increasingly subject to financial and trade restrictions. 

Our trade remedies experience


Trade remedies are a key part of the tool kit of measures used by States to protect their domestic industries against disruptive trade flows.

Russia Sanctions – Updates and analysis of developments

red brick buildings joined by glass ceiling

Russia's military invasion of Ukraine led to a series of new sanctions being imposed by the US, the UK and the EU.