Sanctions against Russia present a major dilemma for implicated commercial entities. Likewise for the courts that adjudicate the complex matrix of commercial relations connecting Russia with the West.
In response to this dilemma, common law courts have adopted a measured approach. Where principled justifications lie for limiting the scope of sanctions, as with cases requiring law firms to continue representing sanctioned clients, courts do not unduly expand the scope of sanctions.
By contrast, where cases raise issues that go to the heart of the sanctions regime (e.g. interrupting financial benefits to designated entities), common law courts tend broadly to construe the scope of sanctions. It remains to be seen whether the courts’ current measured approach survives the continued progress of the conflict.
Read more in the 2023 edition of the IFC Economic Report, put together by our managing partner Martin Kenney* and our barrister Jamie James.
*Martin also writes on the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the EU’s tax blacklist