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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539
Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

Sanctions and Export Controls

Sanctions are used by governments to punish individuals, organisations and countries around the world. Anyone involved in cross-border business needs to proactively assess the potential impact of sanctions on their trading.

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Sanctions are an economic weapon used by governments or intergovernmental organizations to punish individuals, private entities and countries for conduct deemed politically unacceptable. Sanctions work directly by restricting the activities of sanctioned individuals and entities.

They can also work indirectly, by imposing restrictions on how individuals and businesses may interact with a sanctioned party. Because violators can be liable for large monetary penalties and criminal prosecution, it is important for anyone engaging in cross-border transactions to proactively consider and address their potential sanctions exposure before a breach occurs.         

Rahman Ravelli advises individuals, start-ups, joint ventures and corporates of various nationalities on compliance with British, American and European export controls and sanctions laws. We assess the impact of sanctions on our clients’ business activities and when necessary, we draft and submit licence applications on behalf of clients to obtain authorisation for otherwise prohibited activities.

We also represent clients who have made the decision to proactively self-report a sanctions violation or who have been accused of trade control breaches by the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) the UK Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) or European national competent authorities (NCAs). We have particular expertise in situations where there is a risk of criminal charges or where a criminal investigation has already started.

Because different countries’ trade control laws intersect and overlap, the same conduct can be simultaneously subject to differing (and even contradictory) restrictions from multiple jurisdictions.

Our experienced and qualified team, in conjunction with our network of trusted partner law firms around the world, is capable of helping clients with multinational operations navigate their way through the regularly-shifting thicket of international sanctions rules and regulations.

As with all our advisory services, our sanctions and export controls practice group strives to provide our clients with highly practical, targeted and cost-efficient advice.

Rahman Ravelli has an in-depth guide to sanctions that answers many questions relating to them.

Representative Matters

Alongside the individuals and corporates seeking advice on their exposure to sanctions of different natures (UN, EU, OFSI) in relation to various jurisdictions, such as Iran, Myanmar or the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rahman Ravelli has seen a sharp increase in representative matters following Russia’s military activities in Ukraine in 2022.

These activities led to a raft of new legislation that sought to persuade Russia to cease actions that may destabilise Ukraine. Following the introduction of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, the UK has tightened its grip on sanctions processes and strengthened the enforcement of sanctions-related offences.

Rahman Ravelli helps clients navigate the complex sanctions landscape, not only in the UK but also in the EU and US. We provide timely and targeted advice and representation to clients regarding their sanctions exposure to Russia.



  • ASSISTED a major raw materials industrial group in assessing the impact of UK and EU sanctions regimes on its business activities and preparing a licence application for the Department of International Trade (“DIT”).
  • ADVISED a South Sudan consulting company on UN sanctions and delisting process.
  • ASSISTED a major Russian based pharmaceutical company in assessing its exposure to the UK sanctions regime.
  • REPRESENTED a major raw materials manufacturing company in its interactions with the UK and EU regulators in connection with restrictive measures impacting its business activities.
  • ASSISTED a leading global energy trader in assessing the impact of UK and EU sanctions regimes on its business activities. 
  • ADVISING a privately owned Museum in relation to valuable cultural artefacts in relation to UK sanctions compliance and export advice.
  • ADVISING an offshore corporate service provider in relation to its clients and the impact of UK sanctions relating to Russia.
  • ADVISED a major EU consulting company with respect to UN arms embargo and international sanctions.
  • REPRESENTATION of a British petroleum products company regarding how EU sanctions against Russia may affect its trading in Eastern Europe.
  • ADVISED a major Cyprus-based law firm regarding the provision of legal and trust-related services following the imposition of EU sanctions against Russia.
  • ADVISED an EU investment firm assess the impact of sanctions against Russia on its activities.
  • REPRESENTATION of one of the largest private banks in Southeast Asia in connection with a global assessment of its sanctions exposure and related compliance policies and procedures.
  • REPRESENTATION of a large power engineering company headquartered in Russia. Advising on the imposition of international sanctions and the performance of a contract valued at c$787 million USD.
  • REPRESENTATION of a UK-based cybersecurity company seeking sanctions compliance advice in relation to a multi-million-dollar investment by an American venture capital firm.
  • PREPARED a licence application to OFSI for a public joint-stock company, in relation to a $500 million USD corporate bond and coupon payment due to noteholders following finance agreements.
  • REPRESENTATION of a large EU nanotechnology company with respect to sanctions on Russia and related issues.
  • ADVISED a chemicals company headquartered in Switzerland on the structure and application of the UK sanctions regime, and on its corporate restructuring of its subsidiaries.
  • REPRESENTATION of a publicly traded oil and gas firm along with a Kazakh joint venture with respect to international sanctions on Russia.
  • REPRESENTATION of a major EU-based chemical company with respect to sanctions on Russia and related litigation regarding interest payments on corporate bonds.
  • REPRESENTATION of a major conglomerate which floated on the London Stock Exchange. Advising on complex capital restructuring and compliance following the imposition of sanctions on Russia.
  • ADVISED a major oil producer on both the risks of breaching trade sanctions and compliance with UK sanctions law.
  • ADVICE to a Dubai-based cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) art dealer on compliance with US and UK money-laundering and sanction laws.
  • REPRESENTATION of ultra-high net worth individual in connection with sanctions issues related to assets located in Russia.
  • ADVICE to a UK-based philanthropic organisation and two of its directors regarding the propriety of awarding a $1 million fellowship to an individual subject to US sanctions.
  • ADVISED a corporate entity in the digital risks sector on the application of UK sanctions and contemplated restructuring of foreign UK subsidiaries.

Specialist Team

Azizur Rahman C 09369 Azizur Rahman
Senior Partner
+44 (0)203 911 9339
Syedur Rahman C 09551 Syedur Rahman
+44 (0)203 910 4566
angelika 08780r lores Dr. Angelika Hellweger
Legal Director
+44 (0)203 597 9783
zulfi 08593 lores Zulfi Meerza
Senior Associate Solicito...
+44 (0)203 597 9784
ellen 08880 lores Dr. Ellen Sanchenko
Associate Solicitor
+44 (0)203 910 4569

Legal Articles

Court of Appeal confirms broad interpretation of sanctions against Russia
The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in Celestial Aviation Services Limited v UniCredit Bank GmbH, London Branch[1]on 11 June 2024. 

2 min read - Published Jun 2024
The new OFSI General Licence (Legal fees)
Syed Rahman details the main points of the new legal services general licence.

2 min read - Published May 2024
Syed Rahman summarises the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation’s latest form of guidance.

< 1 min read - Published May 2024