With the re-imposition of the second set of United States (US) sanctions against Iran looming in November 2018, companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are very concerned about unwittingly breaching the US sanctions regime and incurring penalties for doing business with Iran. This is according to a survey of participants conducted at seminars in Abu Dhabi and Dubai hosted by global law firm Baker McKenzie in October 2018.

The UAE seminars were part of Baker McKenzie’s global Sanctions Roadshow, which is being conducted in cities around the world, focusing on the implications of US and European Union (EU) sanctions on the Middle East.

The interactive discussions were led by senior Baker McKenzie lawyers from the US and UAE and centred around how companies operating in the UAE and Middle East can navigate the complexities of these sanctions regimes and mitigate their compliance risks in the context of their overall business model in relation to Iran and the US. Nearly 200 executives from leading corporates, financial institutions and government entities joined in discussions.

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Author

Borys Dackiw is the Head of Compliance practice in the Gulf based in the Firm's Abu Dhabi office. A partner of Baker McKenzie since 1995, Borys regularly advises clients across various industries on their compliance and anti-bribery policies and programs and has participated in whistleblower interviews relating to allegations of bribery and other bribery-related investigations. He also advises on mergers & acquisitions (including privatizations), private equity and general corporate and commercial law.

Author

Kerry Contini is a partner in Baker McKenzie's International Trade practice, based in Washington, D.C., and is co-chair of the Export Controls and Sanctions Section of the Association of Women in International Trade. Kerry focuses her practice on export controls, trade sanctions (particularly in relation to Iran), and anti-boycott laws, advising US and multinational companies on trade compliance programs, risk assessments, licensing, review of proposed transactions and enforcement matters.

Author

Inessa Owens is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie’s Washington, D.C. office, focused on international trade compliance. She advises clients on US export controls and international trade sanctions, including those targeting Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Russia. Inessa also provides sanctions compliance advice in the context of cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, financings, and distribution agreements.

Author

Matthew Shanahan is a partner in Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla's UAE Banking & Finance practice, based in Dubai. He has over twenty years of experience of financial services regulators and financial services regulatory regimes in the UK and Middle East. Matthew advises on all aspects of financial services regulation, including fintech, financial markets, anti-money laundering, investigations and data protection, and has full rights of audience in the DIFC Courts.

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