We advise companies which operate in areas that are potentially subject to sanctions. We analyse and support applications to derogate from sanctions and approve particular transactions.

International sanctions are an instrument to influence entities whose activities violate the principles and norms of international law and which pose a threat to regional or global peace and security.

Our advice respects these aims and ensure that our clients comply with any applicable restrictions.

Sanctions related to the war in Ukraine

  • Restricting imports of selected groups of goods from Russia and Belarus into the EU, and Russian fossil fuels into the USA;
  • Prohibiting exports of certain products and services to Russia and Belarus;
  • Restricting exports of products made with the help of US resources;
  • Individual sanctions on selected Russian and Belarusian entities and individuals (asset-freezing; preventing payments to related entities; temporary receivership to divest shares that may be used to support Russian aggression against Ukraine or human rights violations in Russia and Belarus);
  • Restricting investment in the Russian energy sector;
  • Restricting a significant part of Russia’s banking sector (freezing the funds of certain banks; prohibiting their clients from making transfers to the EU; exclusion from the SWIFT system; limiting the amount of permissible deposits kept in financial institutions within the EU);
  • Prohibiting certain financial/banking activities of the Central Banks of Russia and Belarus, the governments of Russia and Belarus, the National Fund of Russia and the Direct Investment Fund;
  • Prohibiting selected Russian and Belarusian companies from conducting equity or debt trading, and related prohibitions on lending funds to such companies;
  • Restricting currency trading;
  • Closing airspace and banning ships from berthing in ports (UK);
  • Imposing broadcasting bans on selected Russian media;
  • Geographical sanctions on Ukraine’s Donetsk (DNR) and Luhansk (LNR) regions.

What is the penalty for violation of the restrictions?

  • Imprisonment for not less than 3 years (Polish sanctions);
  • An administrative fine of up to PLN 20 mln (Polish and EU sanctions);
  • Forfeiture of goods constituting the object of the offence;
  • Fine or imprisonment for violation of the rationing;
  • Non-tariff penalties under the provisions of the Fiscal Penal Code;
  • Penalties and sanctions under the relevant foreign jurisdiction.

How can we help?

  • Implementing changes to internal processes and procedures required under AML legislation;
  • Advising financial market players on how sanctions affect the operation of the banking system, on structuring AML obligations and whistleblower reporting;
  • Advising on pre-litigation and litigation strategy in relation to claims arising from compliance with sanctions;
  • Assessing actions and recommending further actions to ensure that the client’s business complies with the restrictions regime;
  • Representing clients accused of breaching sanctions.

Selected projects

  • Preparing three legal opinions on sanctions for Energomedia (Orlen Group)
  • Preparing two legal opinions on sanctions for a large Polish industrial energy company which produces, distributes and sells energy utilities.
  • Advising a Polish company which imports, exports, re-exports, intermediates and distributes domestic and foreign raw materials and semi-finished products for the rubber industry, including by assessing how sanctions affected the client’s business and performance of existing contracts (with recommendations for further action), sanctions screening of key counterparties and their products (report and recommendations for further action)
  • Advising a European leader in upholstered furniture production, including by assessing the compliance of transactions with selected counterparties, including sanctions screening of key counterparties and their products (report and recommendations for further action)
  • Advising a leading chemicals manufacturer in Poland on whether its transactions comply with the sanctions regime, including sanctions screening of key counterparties and their products (report and recommendations for further actions)
  • Advising a Polish aluminium-profile manufacturer on sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (the division of the US administration responsible for sanctions) on a Russian counterparty in 2018. We assessed the scope of the restrictions and their practical impact on the client’s business, identified risks and recommended further actions. Our also advice covered practical aspects of applying sanctions exemptions to the relevant transactions, including drafting commercial agreements and implementing solutions and communications with the relevant banks, as well as monitoring the status of the relevant sanctions. We advised on this project for 2 years
  • Advising the clients of a Spanish credit insurance operator (a leader in domestic and export credit insurance) on the legality of transactions and agreements concluded with the clients’ counterparties
  • Advising the Polish Insurance Association on the interpretation of regulations governing the application of sanctions in the insurance market
  • Advising the Polish Banks Association on of AML and cross-border verification of beneficial owners with regard to financial market entities included on the sanction lists
  • Delivering workshops and Q&A sessions for insurance companies on practical aspects of the sanctions regime
  • Advising financial market entities on regulatory requirements, including AML and sanctions, in various distribution channels for financial products