What we do

  • Robert Brown “gives you an understanding of the wider picture and puts clients at their ease.”

    Chambers UK 2011

  • Peter Binning has a thriving criminal defence and regulatory practice, regularly providing counsel on complex corruption, revenue fraud and sanctions matters. Observers note: "He has exceptional judgement, particularly when defending individuals in big cases. He's an expert tactician and is very easy to work with."

    Chambers UK 2016

  • "In financial crime their partners are very, very highly regarded."

    Chambers HNW 2016

  • David Corker is highlighted in Chambers as "very personally interested in the law," as well as being "sensible, assured and thoughtful" when providing advice.

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Sources speak at length about up-and-coming partner Andrew Smith, particularly praising his “very good legal intellect.”

    Chambers UK 2014

  • Robert Brown has acted on a number of high-profile cases, including that of Charlie Gilmour. He is universally regarded as a brilliant lawyer, with one source calling him “a star – one of the most popular lawyers in London.” As vice chairman of the British Russian Law Association, Brown is also well placed to handle extradition cases.

    Chambers UK 2013

  • Andrew Smith frequently advises on white-collar crime and regulatory issues, including SFO, FCA and HMRC prosecutions. He has notable experience in representing individuals in complex extradition cases.

    Chambers UK 2015

  • [Jessica Parker] is very passionate about her cases, she is realistic, she understands the problems that arise and she is very talented.

    Chambers UK 2016

Export controls and trade controls

As part of Corker Binning’s fraud and regulatory practice, our export control lawyers have substantial experience of advising and representing companies and individuals on import/export and other trade control issues. We have particular expertise where there is a risk of criminal offences being committed or where a criminal investigation has already started. Our export control lawyers have acted in most of the landmark export control and trade control prosecutions listed on the website of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

We have dealt with prosecutions relating to a huge variety of goods (including body armour, electrical parts, fighter jet and tank components, weapons and ammunition) exported to a large number of destinations (including Iran, Iraq, Israel, Sri Lanka, Peru, Venezuela, Nigeria and Senegal). Our export control lawyers are well versed in the issues that typically arise in such prosecutions:

  • the technicalities of the UK’s licensing system and the operation of the Export Control Organisation (ECO)
  • seizures of goods carried out at the UK’s borders by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and UK Border Force (UKBF)
  • raids of a company’s premises carried out by HMRC and/or the UK Border Agency (UKBA)
  • the evidence that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) rely on to demonstrate an intention to evade the UK’s export control or trade control regimes.

Our export control and trade lawyers have strong links with experts in this field, including former managers from the Government’s export control department and independent consultants who assisted in drafting the relevant UK and EU law regulating the international trade in restricted goods. Expert evidence is often required in criminal cases where issues about the true nature of the goods arise, e.g. whether the goods are on the UK’s military list, whether they are dual-use, and the potential end uses for the goods. We are as familiar with the UK’s trade control regime (which restricts “brokering” the transfer of goods between two “third countries”) as we are with the UK’s domestic export control regime.

Our experience is not limited to export control and trade control cases governed by UK law. Any cross-border transfer of goods can trigger obligations under international law or EU law.

Working with law firms in the US and Europe, we have advised numerous companies and individuals on the combined effect of these laws and how businesses can make themselves compliant. We can advise companies on the merits of making voluntary disclosures to BIS and/or HMRC with the aim of avoiding a criminal prosecution and negotiating a civil settlement (sometimes called a “compound penalty”) instead.

More

Our export and trade controls lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:

  • A household name business regarding its obligations under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora and the associated EU legislation governing imports of restricted goods into the EU.
  • A UK company which successfully negotiated a £1,000 compound penalty as an alternative to being prosecuted for alleged breaches of Open General Export Licences arising from the sale of armoured vehicle components within the EU.
  • A European multi-national company engaged in the sale of machinery to Iran containing an element of US manufactured software triggering potential offences under US law.

All of the partners at Corker Binning have experience of trade control cases. For more information on how we can help you, call Peter Binning or Andrew Smith on 0207 353 6000. You can also read about recent cases and developments in export control, trade control and sanctions cases on the Corker Binning Blog.