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

    Chambers HNW 2016

  • Andrew Smith is "very erudite and savvy".

    The Legal 500 UK 2017

  • Corker Binning’s ‘top niche practice’ is praised as being ‘on a different level’. David Corker ‘has the skill and tact to deal with difficult negotiations’, and Peter Binning is an ‘outstanding tactician’ with ‘excellent client skills and judgement’. ‘Rising star’ Andrew Smith represented a former company director in relation to Operation Tabernula. Robert Brown is also recommended, for his ‘wealth of experience’.

    Legal 500 2015

  • David Corker "has led some big shifts in thinking".

    Chambers UK 2018

  • Edward Grange is ‘fantastic with clients and meticulous in his preparation’.

    The Legal 500 UK 2017

  • They have got a fantastically strong team.

    Chambers UK 2016

  • Jessica Parker "is very cool and collected".

    Chambers UK 2018

  • Corker Binning has ‘huge expertise and experience in advising senior individuals in high-profile, complex and sensitive criminal investigations’.

    The Legal 500 UK 2017

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 Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU), which is part of the Department for International Trade, or the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), which is part of 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 OFSI 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 OFSI.

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 OFSI 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 OFSI) 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 have helped a number of businesses avoid prosecution, and we understand how the new civil penalty regime operated by OFSI, which was introduced in 2016, works in practice.

We also have expertise where a business is notified by OFSI and/or the National Crime Agency (NCA)/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.

More

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

  • A UK based medical business which made a voluntary disclosure to HMT/OFSI concerning its breaches of Iranian financial sanctions concerning transfers of money from Iran to the UK.
  • An expatriate family who made a voluntary disclosure to HMT/OFSI concerning its breaches of Iranian financial sanctions concerning transfers of money from Iran to UK.
  • Two directors of a manufacturing business who were interviewed under caution by the NCA concerning alleged breaches of financial sanctions.
  • A Scandinavian business and its directors, who produced military and dual use goods which received money from customers based in Russia and other former Soviet states.
  • A household name Japanese business on the changing EU/UK laws concerning export controls and financial sanctions specific to the oil and gas industry in Iran.

Named as key individuals in the field of Financial Crime: Individuals by Chambers UK 2018:

chambers-2017
Top_tier_firms

David Corker – Band 1

Peter Binning – Band 1

Jessica Parker – Band 4

Andrew Smith – Band 3

  • Corker Binning is ranked in Band 1 of recommended firms for Financial Crime: Individuals by Chambers 2018.
  • Corker Binning is ranked as a first tier firm for Fraud by The Legal 500 2017 and David Corker and Peter Binning are named as leading individuals for Fraud.
  • Peter Binning, David Corker, Jessica Parker and Robert Brown are recognised as leading lawyers in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2018.

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