We have market-leading expertise in advising our clients on sanctions. We provide businesses impacted by sanctions with commercially focused advice and support, often in difficult circumstances.

We also represent major commercial companies and businessmen in challenging sanctions in national and EU courts.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

Financial and trade sanctions are an increasingly common and powerful foreign policy tool. Their implementation exposes businesses and individuals to huge financial, criminal, reputational, political and regulatory risk. Our sanctions team offers an international outlook on the legal and practical implications of sanctions.

As well as advising generally on sanctions interpretation and compliance, we advise on the licensing regimes and have dealt with competent authorities in a number of jurisdictions within EU member states and offshore jurisdictions.

We have also acted for sanctioned entities and individuals in more than 20 cases challenging sanctions in national and EU courts. These cases often involve novel issues of law in a fast-moving and politically charged environment. Several are cited by others in interpreting EU sanctions regimes.

Our experience acting for those targeted by sanctions as well as businesses otherwise impacted enables us to provide our clients with a complete legal and commercial picture when interpreting a sanctions regime.

"A terrific team involved in some of the most cutting-edge work in the public law arena. The level of service rivals the magic circle city firms, and expertise in this area is second-to-none."

The Legal 500 UK 2020

Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG

Representing our client in its legal challenge to sanctions in the General Court and Court of Justice of the EU, resulting in the UK Government changing its licensing policy.

Sanctions challenges in EU courts

Representing various other commercial companies (including National Iranian Tanker Company, Bank Saderat Iran and Persia International Bank Plc), related individuals and other businessmen challenging Iranian and Syrian sanctions in the General Court and Court of Justice.

EU subsidiary of an Iranian bank

Representing our client in a claim for compensation of more than €130 million in relation to EU sanctions against Iran.

Managing director and a former director of a British-Iranian bank

Advising these individuals on their legal challenges to sanctions in national and EU courts. As well as securing the swift lifting of the sanctions, we obtained formal apologies from the EU member state that proposed them.

Russian owned banks

Advising our clients on the effects of EU sanctions in relation to Ukraine.

Iranian, European and Asian banks

Advising our clients on the interpretation of EU and UK sanctions against Iran in relation to existing and proposed finance transactions, including restructuring and acceleration of loan facilities and enforcement.

Iranian, European and Asian shipping companies

Advising our clients on the effect of US, EU and UK sanctions against Iran on their ongoing business operations and sanctions policies and procedures.

International trade union

Advising our client on the potential impact of Iranian and Syrian sanctions on agreements and transactions entered into with various counterparties.

US equipment finance and leasing company

Advising in respect of the sanctions related wording to be contained in various commercial contracts within certain of their joint venture arrangements.

UK hedge fund and Libyan owned UK bank

Advising our clients on complex international issues involving UN, EU, UK, Dutch, Swiss and offshore sanctions against Libya.


Rovine Chandrasekera Partner

T:  +44 7825 943 076 +971 55 899 3951
M:  Email Rovine | Vcard Office:  Dubai, London


Sue Millar Partner

T:  + 44 20 7809 2329
M:  + 44 7825 625 898 Email Sue | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

06 Apr 2020

From Insights

OFSI sharpens its teeth

As we explained in a previous briefing, in April 2017, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) was given powers to impose monetary penalties for brea..


14 Feb 2019

From Insights

UK sanctions post-Brexit

On 23 May 2018, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act (the "Sanctions Act") received Royal Assent. The Act is intended to give the UK the power to control its sa..


20 Dec 2018

From Insights

Economic sanctions: foreign policy tool or signal?

We have in recent years lived through a period of unprecedented growth in the use of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool. Read our recent article for the 'A Wo..


12 Jan 2018

From Insights

Sanctions update - 2017 roundup

To say that 2017 has been an eventful year in the political sphere would be something of an understatement. We are still experiencing the aftershock resulting from sev..


01 Aug 2017

From Insights

New reporting requirements for certain businesses and professions

On 8 August 2017, the European Union Financial Sanctions (Amendment of Information Provisions) Regulations 2017 (the "Regulations") will come into force


13 Apr 2017

From Insights

New monetary penalties for breaches of financial sanctions

When the OFSI was established on 31 March 2016, the Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, signalled the UK Government's intention to introduce civil pena..


26 Sep 2016

From Insights

Joint Myanmar bulletin from Inle Advisory, Kroll and Stephenson Harwood

In a joint briefing with Washington-based sanctions experts, Inle Advisory and Kroll, our leading Myanmar practice assesses the impact of the future lifting of US sanc..


19 Jan 2016

From Insights

Iranian sanctions lifted: challenges and opportunities

On 14 July 2015, Iran, together with China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US (with the facilitation of the High Representative of the EU) agreed a Joint Comp..


01 Dec 2015

From Insights

Iran Petroleum Contract

The Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) was revealed (in part) at a conference in Tehran 28/29 November 2015. The IPC will draw to an end nearly two decades of a buyback sys..


13 Sep 2015

From Insights

Iranian oil and gas contracts

Iran is highly interested in attracting foreign investors to renovate its oil and gas industries, as well as increasing its production and oil and gas exports. Western..


23 Feb 2015

From News

Stephenson Harwood event discusses impact of new Russian CFC rules

Stephenson Harwood LLP hosted a roundtable event focusing on how Russia is introducing fundamental changes to its tax legislation.


20 Jan 2015

From Insights

Stamping on cancellation schemes in takeovers

We look at the government's recently published draft legislation prohibiting the use of cancellation schemes of arrangement in takeovers.


21 Jan 2014

From Insights

Ten trends for 2014

We predict the top 10 competition trends for 2014, alongside the election of the new EU Competition Commissioner and the entry into force of the CMA.


11 Nov 2013

From Insights

The EU’s highest court decides two appeals concerning EU sanctions against Iran

We examine the CJEU's judgment in two appeals by the Council of the EU against judgments of the GC annulling asset freezes on two Iranian companies.


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.