Fountain Court members have been and continue to be involved in numerous sanctions-related cases spanning sectors such as aviation, banking, financial services, insurance and professional services, including advising on then impact of the imposition of sanctions on ongoing litigation.

Our work includes advising on the impact of sanctions on contractual obligations, such as in the context of projects which have failed or have been terminated due to the imposition of sanctions, as well as trade sanctions generally.

Members regularly advise on the criteria to consider in the context of ownership or control of entities which may be subject to sanctions, and the obligations of professionals – including in the legal sector – when dealing with potentially sanctioned entities.

Members also regularly advise and represent designated persons in relation to challenges to their designations, in the UK but also in the EU. Members have also advised on the impact of unlawful sanctions, including in the matter of Bank Mellat v HM Treasury, the first ever Commercial Court damages claim against the UK Government for breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights caused by unlawful sanctions. Members have also been involved in cases where there have been attempts to stay the coming into force of legislation implementing sanctions and, conversely, in relation to the enforcement of arbitral and/or court awards in a sanctions-related context. 

Members have extensive experience of advising and acting in matters connected with sanctions in the aviation sector, including those arising out of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Our work includes cases relating to:

  • AerCap Ireland v AIG Europe & Others: Acting for AIG Europe in an enormous dispute involving the world’s largest lessor of commercial aircraft and a claim against insurers following the lease of aircraft to Russian airlines and the subsequent misappropriation of the airliners.
  • Terra Services v NCA: Advising Terra Services and its solicitors in relation to liabilities and duties under the UK Russia Sanctions Regulations including with regards to Terra’s status following the designation of its previous owner, Oleg Deripaska, and current owner, Pavel Ezubov.
  • PJSC National Bank Trust v Mints: Appearing in a four-day hearing to address significant issues concerning the application of the Russian sanctions regime, including around ownership and control provisions, as well as the scope of the asset freeze restrictions as applied to two Russian state-owned banks.
  • LLC EuroChem v Société Générale & Others: Advising in relation to one of the first cases to consider concepts and applications of “ownership” and “control” in the context of the Russian sanctions regime. The matter relates to disruption to a project regarding a fertilizer plant in Russia, caused by the imposition of sanctions.
  • Celestial Aviation v UniCredit Bank AG [2023] EWHC 663 (Comm): Acting for the successful Claimants in a letter of credit dispute in which the confirming bank sought to excuse non-payment on the basis of UK, EU, and US Sanctions. The case resulted in a significant judgment on the interpretation of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.
  • Acting for a former Serbian minister and prominent businessman in a challenge to his designation under the EU’s Belarus sanctions regime, before the General Court of the European Union.
  • Appearing for the Financial Conduct Authority in resisting an urgent application by Rosneft to stay the coming into force of UK secondary legislation implementing EU sanctions on companies providing certain services in Russia.
  • Acting for Constitution Aircraft in a claim regarding payment under letters of credit entered into by non-Russian and non-sanctions entities, in connection with aircraft leased to a Russian airline, where the imposition of sanctions were used as a reason for non-payment.
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Sanctions Barristers

Michael McLaren QC

Michael McLaren KC

Call 1981 | Silk 2002

Timothy Howe QC

Timothy Howe KC

Call 1987 | Silk 2008

Akhil Shah QC

Akhil Shah KC

Call 1990 | Silk 2010

Clare Sibson KC

Call 1997 | Silk 2016

James Cutress QC

James Cutress KC

Call 2000 | Silk 2018

Nicholas Medcroft QC

Nicholas Medcroft KC

Call 1998 | Silk 2019

Robin Barclay QC

Robin Barclay KC

Call 1999 | Silk 2020

Robin Lööf

Robin Lööf

Call 2009

Leonora Sagan

Leonora Sagan

Call 2012

Simon Paul

Simon Paul

Call 2013

Jacob Turner

Jacob Turner

Call 2016

Laurentia de Bruyn

Laurentia de Bruyn

Call 2018

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