The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has been granted a general licence to process sub-sanctioned payments. This will seriously facilitate proceedings between Russian businesses and Western counterparties. Previously, the court had to obtain a special licence from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) to process each arbitration fee from sanctioned Russian and Belarusian companies.
OFSI was therefore overburdened, said Egor Chilikov, a partner at Petrol Chilikov. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that the statute of limitations in many cases is only considered to be met if arbitration is initiated on time, and arbitration is only considered to be initiated after the first arbitration fee is paid, he adds. In other words, the need to obtain a licence at this stage could have been fatal for some claims, not to mention a significant delay in the already less-than-prompt arbitration procedure, the expert specifies.
This licence, however, does not obviate the need for lawyers representing sub-sanctioned persons and for arbitrators accepting appointments in such cases to apply for individual licences, Chilikov said.
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