Sanctions: Assets Seizure

Part of Justice – in the House of Commons on 22nd March 2022.

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Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) , Assistant Whip

As I set out very recently in my written answer to the hon. Gentleman, the rule of law means that everyone has a right to access legal representation. Legal advice is often necessary to ensure that those who are subject to sanctions fully understand and comply with the restrictions, but as I said to him, lawyers are required to follow strict procedures when transacting with sanctioned individuals. Those individuals are required to obtain a licence from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation to make payments for legal services, and lawyers should carefully consider whether their advice is helping the client to comply with the sanctions or is participating or facilitating a breach of those sanctions. To be clear, there are severe penalties for breaches, including fines and potential imprisonment.