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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 / Export Control

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 to punish individuals, private entities and countries for conduct deemed politically unacceptable. Sanctions work indirectly by imposing restrictions on how 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 on compliance with British, American, and European export controls and sanctions laws. We also represent clients who have made the decision to self-report a sanctions violation or who have been accused of trade control breaches by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) or the UK Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU). 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 US and UK-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.

Representative matters:

  • Representation of a UK-based cybersecurity company seeking sanctions compliance advice in relations to a multi-million-dollar investment by an American venture capital firm. 
  • 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.
  • Representation of several individuals in connection with a DOJ and OFAC investigation into possible violations of the Iranian sanctions regime.
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Joshua L. Ray


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Joshua Ray represents individuals and corporates in complex investigations, prosecutions and regulatory actions regarding market manipulation and multijurisdictional matters involving fraud, bribery and money laundering.

The extent and jurisdictional reach of the practice make it close to unique.
The Legal 500

Legal Articles

Key Takeaways from Oleg Deripaska’s Lost Battle With OFAC
Joshua Ray of Rahman Ravelli details the Russian oligarch’s unsuccessful attempt to have US sanctions against him removed

5 min read - Published Aug 2021
The FATF and Proliferation Financing Risk
Niall Hearty of Rahman Ravelli outlines the Financial Action Task Force’s proliferation financing guidance

3 min read - Published Jul 2021
Cannabis: France cannot restrict the import and sale of CBD products legally produced in the EU
Salomé Lemasson of Rahman Ravelli details a French Supreme Court decision that means France cannot restrict the import and sale of cannabidiol (CBD) products legally produced in the EU.

2 min read - Published Jul 2021