On 16th October, the European Sanctions Blog posted a report about a decision of the Commercial Court in the UK: Mamancochet Mining Ltd v Aegis Managing Agency Ltd & Others. The court held that payment of a claim under a policy could be paid by the defendants, because payment would not “expose” the underwriters to EU or US sanctions on Iran if paid out before 4th November (when the latest US sanctions on Iran take effect) – and thus the “sanctions clause” in the policy did not apply. Crucially, the Court said that “exposure” to sanctions meant that the payment had to breach sanctions as opposed to exposing insurers to a real risk of breach. The court did not make a ruling on whether or not a refusal to pay such a claim might breach the EU Blocking Regulation (which seeks to prohibit compliance with the US sanctions and so protect EU businesses involved), but “saw force” in the argument that it would not – because the insurer was relying on the terms of the policy, and not merely complying with the sanctions requirement.
The court report is available at –