Understanding the financial sanctions regime—a guide for law firms [Archived]

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Understanding the financial sanctions regime—a guide for law firms [Archived]
  • What are sanctions and who imposes them?
  • How is the financial sanctions regime administered and enforced in the UK?
  • Sanctions and Brexit
  • Offences and penalties
  • Definitions
  • Key elements of the financial sanctions regime
  • Asset freezes
  • Lists
  • Licences
  • More...

Understanding the financial sanctions regime—a guide for law firms [Archived]

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For further reading, see Practice Note: Development of sanctions regime in the UK during the Brexit transition period [Archived].

The financial sanctions regime applies to all law firms.

This Practice Note explains:

  1. what financial sanctions are and who imposes them

  2. how the financial sanctions regime is administered and enforced in the UK

  3. briefly, the offences and penalties

  4. key elements of the financial sanctions regime, including asset freezes, lists and licences

  5. how the financial sanctions regime is different to the AML regime, and

  6. the consequences of getting it wrong

For practical guidance on how to comply see Practice Notes: The financial sanctions regime—managing compliance for law firms and Financial sanctions—systems and controls—law firms.

What are sanctions and who imposes them?

Sanctions are non-permanent international restrictions or prohibitions aimed at:

  1. encouraging a change in the behaviour of a particular country or regime

  2. applying pressure on particular countries or regimes to comply with certain objectives

  3. preventing and suppressing terrorist financing

They are also used as a last-resort enforcement tool when international peace and security has been threatened.

A designated person, entity or regime subject to sanctions that are effective in the UK is known as a target.

There are various different types

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