What we do

  • A luminary of British and Russian law, [Robert] Brown has been instructed across a striking diversity of cases.

    Spear’s 500

  • [Robert Brown] is someone who understands not only law but how it works with business. You feel like you are in good hands and he has a phenomenal track record.

    Chambers UK 2016

  • Peter Binning is “very enthusiastic and clear-headed”, and an excellent negotiator. He has an incredible success rate representing Russian nationals facing extradition.

    Chambers UK 2010

  • 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

  • At Corker Binning, Andrew Smith ‘is a first-class lawyer, and very user friendly’.

    Legal 500 2015

  • At Corker Binning, department head Robert Brown ‘has the rare ability to nip potential prosecutions in the bud’. Known for its high-profile work, the firm has a specialism in extradition work, with the ‘very bright’ Andrew Smith recently acting in Shrien Dewani’s extradition proceedings.

    Legal 500 UK 2014

  • Experienced criminal lawyer David Corker earns praise for his strong credentials in this area of the law. Impressed clients commend his “good nose for how the client’s interests can be served early on.”

    Chambers UK 2012

  • 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

Financial sanctions

The law in the UK concerning sanctions falls into two main categories. The first category is sometimes called trade sanctions – this is a body of law which prohibits or restricts the cross-border movement of goods and services. For more detail about our experience in trade sanctions, please take a look at our page on export controls and trade controls. The second category is sometimes called financial sanctions – this is a body of law which prohibits or restricts the cross-border movement of money and other economic benefits.

Breaches of trade sanctions and economic sanctions frequently arise simultaneously in the same cases. At Corker Binning we have many years’ expertise in advising businesses and individuals about both categories of sanctions. We have particular expertise where a business learns that it has breached a sanction. This situation may arise where a business is contacted by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or HM Treasury (HMT), or because it has learned of the breach independently and is now considering whether it should be disclosed to the authorities.

The United Nations and European Union have, over the past 15 years, increasingly turned to the use of financial sanctions as a weapon to combat persons and organisations whose actions are considered to be politically unacceptable. These financial sanctions include asset freezes, targeted measures which restrict the provision of economic benefits and the requirement to notify or seek the consent of HMT before receiving money from certain countries, particularly Iran. Criminal liability arises under UK law if these UN or EU sanctions are breached by individuals or companies transacting with prohibited entities or receiving money without notifying or seeking authorisation from HMT.

Banks, insurance companies and other FCA regulated entities will often take sophisticated measures to stay abreast of the latest developments in financial sanctions. There are many law firms in the UK which provide compliance advice about these risks. What makes Corker Binning stand out from these firms is that we have practical experience of advising businesses which learn that they may have committed a criminal offence (either deliberately or inadvertently) by breaching a particular financial sanction. Whilst disclosing the breach voluntarily to HMT may often be the wisest course of action, such disclosures need to be handled very carefully so as to reduce the risk of prosecution. There is no positive obligation to disclose a breach and sometimes the less risky course of action is to restructure the commercial operations of a business (without making a disclosure to HMT) so as to become compliant in future. At Corker Binning we are familiar with the legal and practical issues that arise from this difficult decision.

We also have expertise where a business is notified by HMT and/or the police that it may have committed a “sanctions busting” criminal offence. We advise from the initial investigatory stage (including interviews under caution), to negotiating with the prosecutor to achieve a non-prosecution outcome, as well as defending charges in the criminal courts. Similarly, we are able to advise directors or senior employees who may be the subject of an internal investigation by a financial institution or company into suspected misconduct. We also have experience of assisting those who have been made the subject of sanctions or restrictive measures, including challenging a listing either in the domestic or European courts.

More

Our financial sanctions lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:

  • Advising a number of companies and individuals in various sectors on disclosures to HM Treasury concerning breaches of Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012 (as amended), particularly the requirements to notify and seek authorisation from HM Treasury before receiving money from Iran.
  • Advising a listed UK company and its Scandinavian subsidiaries on the viability of its commercial operations in Russia following the introduction of Council Regulation (EU) 833/2014.
  • Advising a UK-based family on how to deal with historic breaches of Council Regulation (EU) 204/2011 concerning monies received in the EU from Libya.
  • Advising a European manufacturing company and employees of a major UK bank on parallel developments in the US and EU Iran sanctions regimes.
  • Advising a number of individuals in the UN Oil for Food investigations.
  • Advising individuals on the merits of challenging their listings in the European Court of Justice (General Court).

For more information about how we might be able to help you, please call 0207 353 6000 and ask to speak to our partners Peter Binning or Andrew Smith.

Named as key individuals in the field of Financial Crime: Individuals by Chambers UK 2017:

chambers-2017
Top_tier_firms

David Corker – Band 1

Peter Binning – Band 1

Jessica Parker – Up and Coming

Andrew Smith – Band 3

  • Corker Binning is ranked in Band 1 of recommended firms for Financial Crime: Individuals by  Chambers 2017.
  • Corker Binning is ranked as a first tier firm for Fraud by Legal 500 2016 and David Corker and Peter Binning are named as leading individuals for Fraud.
  • Peter Binning and David Corker are the most highly regarded individuals in International Who’s Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers 2016.