OFSI defends licence refusal

The High Court has supported OFSI’s decision to refuse to grant licence requests relating to a Designated Person. Mikhail Fridman had filed the first claim under s38(2) of SAMLA (and also the first challenge to OFSI’s decision making under the Russian sanctions regulations). Mr Fridman said OFSI was wrong to refuse certain license requests, but the Court dismissed the claim on all areas of challenge. The Judge supported OFSI’s claim that it has residual discretion to refuse a licence even where the conditions for a licence are met. He said that OFSI’s decisions had been rational and within the bounds of this discretion. He also noted that it is right that the onus should be on the applicant to provide all relevant information in their application and said that OFSI should not be expected to act as an adviser to applicants and identify gaps in applications.

The Court also noted that evidence submitted after a review decision is irrelevant, as review proceedings cannot be used to pursue a “rolling application”.



Emma Radmore