Tuesday, February 18, 2014


A civil action*, recently filed by  Iran's Bank Mellat, against Her Majesty's Treasury, for monetary damages, after a court held that UK sanctions against the bank were unlawful, on both procedural and substantive grounds, may provide a hint of what is to come, sanctioned entities using the courts to remove sanctions, and then suing for damages for loss of business. I am frankly disturbed by its possible impact.

Whether or not you agree with the legal reasoning in the British court decision, it may serve as a green light to attorneys for other sanctioned entities, to seek legal redress. Could it actually happen in the United States ? For guidance, I examined the criminal and civil cases involving Richard Chichakli, who unsuccessfully sought to have his OFAC sanction examined, and challenged, and conclude that sanctioned entities, or individuals will have a much more difficult time in the American Federal Court system.

In any event, you will want to follow the progress of the Bank Mellat case in the UK, regardless of where you work in the world; We will be watching it here.
Bank Mellat vs. Her  Majesty's Treasury, Case No: HQ14X00525 ( High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench)

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