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November 01, 2022 | News November 2022 | Extension of European sanctions against Russia to include a ban on the provision of certain legal services

By its decision of October 6, 2022, the Council of the European Union has extended the sanctions imposed against the Russian Federation to include, among other things, a ban on the provision, direct or indirect, of legal advisory services to:

a) the Government of Russia, and

b) legal persons, entities or bodies established in Russia.

Legal advisory services cover: the provision of legal advice to clients in non-contentious matters, including commercial transactions, involving the application or interpretation of law; participation with or on behalf of clients in commercial transactions, negotiations and other dealings with third parties; and preparation, execution and verification of legal documents.

However, legal advisory services do not include:

any representation, advice, preparation of documents or verification of documents in the context of legal representation services, namely in matters or proceedings before administrative agencies, courts or other duly constituted official tribunals, or in arbitral or mediation proceedings.

The mentioned ban does not apply, among other things, to:

  • the provision of services that are strictly necessary for the exercise of the right of defense in judicial proceedings and the right to an effective legal remedy;
  • the provision of services which are strictly necessary to ensure access to judicial, administrative or arbitral proceedings in an EU Member State, or for the recognition or enforcement of a judgment or an arbitration award rendered in an EU Member State;
  • the provision of services intended for the exclusive use of legal persons, entities or bodies established in Russia that are owned by, or solely or jointly controlled by, a legal person, entity or body which is incorporated or constituted under the law of an EU Member State, a country member of the European Economic Area, Switzerland or a partner country (i.e., U.S., Japan, UK, South Korea);
  • the provision of services that are strictly necessary for the termination by 8 January 2023 of contracts which are not compliant with this ban concluded before 7 October 2022, or of ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts.