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  • Jessica Parker is praised as "clever, efficient and very good at looking after the client's emotional wellbeing."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Andrew Smith "is very responsive and very energetic in the way he approaches a problem".

    Chambers UK 2018

  • A heavy-hitting firm for extradition. They are a private client firm that carry over standards to legal aid work.

    Chambers UK 2016

  • 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

  • "They're admirable for being prepared to say 'we don't do everything, but we are completely expert in the things that we do.'"

    Chambers HNW 2016

  • Corker Binning is "one of the pre-eminent firms in this area at the moment."

    Chambers HNW 2017

  • The ‘exceptionally strong’ and ‘straightforward’ practice at Corker Binning continues to act for corporate and individual clients in the financial sector, with strengths in regulatory litigation, criminal fraud, and corporate crime.

    The Legal 500 UK 2017

  • [Robert Brown is] a Rolls-Royce solicitor, providing Rolls-Royce services.

    Spear’s 500

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 investigations. 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 many of the landmark export control and trade control prosecutions listed on the website of the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU), which is now part of the Department for International Trade. We have also had considerable success in advising companies and individuals on the merits of making voluntary disclosures to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with the aim of avoiding a criminal prosecution and negotiating a civil settlement (sometimes called a “compound penalty”) instead.

We have dealt with investigations and prosecutions relating to a huge variety of military goods (including body armour, fighter jet and tank components, weapons and ammunition) and dual-use goods (including cryptographic software, aviation parts, cleaning components and chemicals) exported to a large number of destinations (including across the EU, as well as more sensitive destinations such as 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), including SPIRE
  • seizures of goods carried out at the UK’s borders by HMRC and UK Border Force (UKBF)
  • raids of a company’s premises carried out by HMRC and/or the UK Border Force (UKBF)
  • 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.

For a detailed overview of these issues and the offences that are typically investigated, see our blog here. 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.

 

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.
  • Two listed UK companies in the aviation sector seeking advice on whether their export business was being conducted in compliance with UK/EU law.
  • Two multinational law firms which made voluntary disclosures concerning their unlicensed export of cryptographic software to sensitive destinations including China.
  • An individual who successfully negotiated a £5,000 compound penalty as an alternative to bring prosecuted for brokering ammunition from Bosnia to Saudi Arabia.
  • 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.

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