Sanctioned shipping firm loses urgent application for interim relief

27 Mar 2024

Public Law and Judicial Review

On Friday 22 March 2024, Mr Justice Johnson refused an urgent application for interim relief by Fractal Marine DMCC, a Dubai-based shipping firm, following UK financial sanctions imposed on 22 February 2024 “targeting individuals and businesses sustaining Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.”

The firm had sought an urgent review of its designation, arguing that it “would be forced into liquidation unless the measures were lifted.”

The High Court dismissed the application, ruling that the right to seek court review under section 38 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 had not yet arisen as no ministerial review had yet taken place; consequently, there was no ‘serious issue to be tried’ in the claim. Permission to appeal was refused and the government was awarded its costs.

Richard Hanstock represented the Foreign Secretary with Emmanuel Sheppard of 3VB, instructed by the Government Legal Department. Maya Lester KC and Malcolm Birdling of Brick Court Chambers appeared for Fractal Marine, instructed by King & Spalding International LLP.