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New Russia sanctions target legal services

By Michael Cross >>

(29 June 2023)

Individuals and businesses linked to the Russian regime will be further restricted from accessing UK legal expertise under sanctions introduced by statutory instrument this week. The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2023 will extend existing regulations on Russian entities using UK legal professionals and could block legal professionals from advising international companies dealing with Russian businesses.

According to the government, before sanctions were imposed the UK exported legal services worth £56 million to Russian businesses every year.

Announcing the new measures, Alex Chalk, the lord chancellor, said: ‘The UK legal system underpins many international contracts and businesses, and we will no longer allow Russia to benefit from our knowledge and expertise. The Russian regime must be held to account for its violation of international law, and these sanctions are increasing the economic pressure to further isolate the Russian government from the rest of the world.’ 

The restrictions on legal services do not include legal representation for Russian nationals in the UK, the government said. 

Law Society president Lubna Shuja said: ‘We are supportive of all strong and effective measures which respond to Russia’s violation of international law, provided they protect the fundamental rights of access to justice and the rule of law.

‘The government has taken a firm and principled stance with our international allies and partners. We will be providing continued support to the profession as it navigates the implementation of the SI.’

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)