24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Sanctions Compliance Lawyers

Sanctions Compliance Lawyers: Navigating Complex International Regulations

Sanctions compliance has become an increasingly important focus for multinational companies and banks operating globally. Violations of international sanctions regulations carry severe penalties, including massive fines, damaged reputation, and disrupted access to international markets. Sanctions compliance lawyers play a crucial role in advising clients on how to navigate this complex legal landscape and avoid missteps.

What Do Sanctions Compliance Lawyers Do?

Sanctions compliance lawyers help organizations comply with restrictions and prohibitions imposed on dealings with certain sanctioned countries, entities, and individuals. Their key duties include:

  • Advising on sanctions regulations and their application to the client’s business activities and transactions. This requires extensive knowledge of broad sanctions programs imposed by bodies like the United Nations, United States, and European Union.
  • Screening customers, vendors, transactions, and flows of funds/goods to check for any nexus with sanctioned nations like Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Russia or designated entities and persons. This includes investigating red flags.
  • Conducting due diligence to verify identities and relationships of parties to international deals.
  • Drafting and updating internal sanctions compliance policies and procedures.
  • Designing and implementing controls to prevent sanctions violations. This can involve compliance software systems.
  • Training personnel on sanctions issues and the company’s compliance program.
  • Performing periodic audits to identify and remedy gaps in sanctions compliance processes.
  • Investigating possible sanctions breaches and disclosing violations to enforcement agencies when warranted.

Why Is Sanctions Compliance Important for Global Businesses?

Given the complex web of international sanctions rules and frequent changes in restricted party lists, sanctions compliance has become crucial for multinational organizations. Violations can inflict severe consequences, including:

  • Civil and criminal penalties up to millions of dollars per violation.
  • Being blacklisted from global financial systems.
  • Losing export/import privileges.
  • Reputational harm and loss of investor confidence.
  • Employee liability for sanctions breaches.
  • Disrupted access to sanctioned countries’ markets.

A sound sanctions compliance program helps avoid these damaging outcomes by detecting and preventing improper transactions and activities.

What Sanctions Programs Do Compliance Lawyers Monitor?

Sanctions compliance lawyers must monitor and advise on a myriad of sanctions regimes imposed by various countries and international bodies. Key programs include:

United Nations Sanctions

  • UN Security Council – Imposes sanctions related to threats to international peace like nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and human rights abuses. All UN member states must implement these sanctions.
  • UN sectoral sanctions – Sanctions on specific industries like arms, diamonds, timber imposed by UN General Assembly committees.

U.S. Sanctions Regimes

  • OFAC regulations – Extensive sanctions on countries like Cuba, Iran, North Korea administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
  • Export controls – State Department and Commerce Department restrictions on exports and re-exports to embargoed countries and sanctioned entities.

European Union and UK Sanctions

  • EU Common Foreign and Security Policy – EU sanctions focused on counter-terrorism, nuclear proliferation, human rights.
  • UK Sanctions List – Since Brexit, the UK maintains its own sanctions list that overlaps with but differs from the EU.

Navigating Overlapping International Sanctions Rules

One major challenge for sanctions compliance lawyers is navigating the overlapping and sometimes conflicting sanctions imposed by various authorities. For example:

  • The U.S. has imposed extensive sanctions on Iran beyond those required by UN Security Council resolutions endorsed by the EU.
  • The U.K. maintains sanctions on Russia that no longer align with the EU’s sanctions since Brexit.
  • Even within the U.S., OFAC sanctions may differ from State Department export control restrictions on a country.

Sanctions compliance experts must closely track sanctions rule changes and prohibitions specific to each regime. Compliance steps mandated by U.S. sanctions may not satisfy EU or UN sanctions, complicating compliance for multinationals.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Due Diligence: Screening Parties to International Transactions

A core sanctions compliance duty is screening all parties to proposed international business deals or transactions to identify any prohibited relationships with sanctioned entities or jurisdictions. This typically involves:

  • Know your customer – Gathering details on ownership structure, principals, nature of business, locations, etc.
  • Transaction screening – Checking goods, services, funds flows against sanctioned country and party lists.
  • List screening – Running names of involved entities and individuals through databases of restricted parties maintained by OFAC, the EU, UN, etc.
  • ID verification – Confirming identities through documents, certifications, site visits.
  • Ongoing monitoring – Periodically re-screening parties and transactions against updated sanctioned party lists.

Sanctions compliance experts use screening software and services but also conduct in-depth manual verification of red flags. Even minor oversights can lead to violations.

Sanctions Compliance Policies and Internal Controls

Sound sanctions compliance requires detailed policies and internal controls tailored to the company’s operations. Lawyers help craft key program components like:Sanctions compliance manual – Comprehensive policies and procedures for screening transactions, investigating red flags, handling potential issues, disclosing violations, training employees, and updating compliance.Transaction monitoring – Ongoing monitoring of transactions and testing against sanctions lists, verifying goods/services provided match documentation.Training – Regular employee training on sanctions laws and the organization’s compliance program. Training helps maintain sanctions awareness.Hotline for reporting issues – Anonymous employee hotline for reporting potential sanctions concerns or violations.Recordkeeping and audits – Maintaining records of compliance efforts and conducting internal and external audits of the sanctions compliance program.Documenting diligent compliance efforts is crucial in case regulators later investigate potential violations.

How Are Sanctions Violations Investigated and Disclosed?

When potential sanctions violations surface internally or regulators come knocking, sanctions compliance lawyers take the lead in investigating allegations and making required disclosures. Key investigation/disclosure steps include:

  • Conducting an objective internal investigation of how the apparent breach occurred and who was involved.
  • Preparing a detailed narrative of the violation events and timeline.
  • Identifying root causes like inadequate training or screening failures.
  • Reporting findings to management and recommending corrective actions.
  • Where warranted, making timely disclosure to regulators like OFAC, which may mitigate penalties.
  • Responding to regulatory inquiries and notices of violation.
  • Negotiating settlement agreements and potential penalties.

Thorough internal investigations and cooperation with regulators’ investigations are critical to resolving sanctions violations.

Schedule Your Consultation Now