Following a long and somewhat sleepy existence on the margins of contractual interpretation case law, force majeure clauses (“FMCs”)  found themselves subject to a rude awakening with the global onset of COVID in 2020, and consequent interruptions to all manner of contracts relating to global supply chains, major sporting events, and many other facets of business. The judicial analysis of how and when FMCs are engaged in international commerce has continued post-COVID, with the introduction of wide-ranging Sanctions against Russia.Continue Reading Sanctions, Certainty and Pragmatism – the Contemporary Context for Analysing Force Majeure clauses

On 21 May 2024, the UK Government published updated guidance on the application of the National Security and Investment Act (NSIA).  This includes:Continue Reading UK Government Publishes Updated Guidance on the Application of the National Security and Investment Act

The English court took a mixed approach to judicial intervention in a number of cross-jurisdictional cases last year, although some further (welcome) clarity has recently been provided by the Court of Appeal. Perhaps the most salient and recent example of this has been the Court’s perceived willingness to grant Anti-Suit Injunctions (“ASIs”) to restrain foreign proceedings brought in breach of a foreign-seated arbitration clause. These recent cases have largely arisen following Russia’s 2020 amendment to Article 248 of the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Procedure Code (“2020 Amendment”), which itself was a direct policy response to Western sanctions against Russian companies and individuals following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Continue Reading Mixed-Interventionist Approach to Cross-Jurisdictional Issues arising from Sanctions

A key feature of the UK’s financial sanctions framework is that not only designated persons (listed on the UK’s Consolidated List) are subject to sanctions, but also entities that are ‘owned or controlled’ by designated persons, even if not themselves listed.Continue Reading The Control Test in the UK’s Sanctions Framework: Recent Developments

On 13 November 2023, the UK Government opened a consultation on proposed changes to the National Security and Investment (NSI) regime, less than two years after the regime came into force.

Oliver Dowden MP, the Deputy Prime Minister and formal decision-maker under the regime in his role as Cabinet Secretary, describes the consultation

In June 2019, PJSC National Bank Trust (the “First Claimant”) and PJSC Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation (the “Second Claimant”) commenced litigation in the English High Court, claiming substantial damages on basis of alleged conspiracies resulting in uncommercial transactions whereby loans were replaced with worthless or near worthless bonds.

Following the designation

On May 9, 2023, we wrote about Decree of the President of Russia No. 302 that created a framework for nationalization of Russian assets belonging to persons from “unfriendly” states (the “Decree”). At that time the only assets to which nationalization applied were the shares in strategic energy companies Unipro, controlled by the Government of

On 11 July 2023, the UK Government published its second Annual Report on the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (the “Act”).

The Annual Report begins with an introduction by Oliver Dowden MP, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is the formal decision-maker under the Act in his role as the Secretary of State in the Cabinet Office.  This introduction seeks to reassure investors that the Act is a “light-touch, proportionate regime that offers companies and investors the certainty they need to do business, while crucially protecting the UK’s national security in an increasingly volatile world.”Continue Reading UK National Security Regime: Annual Report 2023 and Observations on Recent Practice

On 19 May 2023, the UK expanded its list of Designated Persons under the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 by adding 86 new persons, comprising 42 individuals and 44 Russian legal entities. The newly Designated Persons are primarily involved with, or linked to, the defense, transportation, extraction, metallurgy, financial and agricultural sectors of the Russian economy. This expansion of sanctions appears to follow the G7 Leaders’ Statement on Ukraine, which was also issued on 19 May.Continue Reading UK Russian Sanctions Expanded Following G7 Summit