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UK Court orders removal of company director for breaching Russia sanctions


In Garofalo v Crisp & Ors, the High Court ordered the removal of a company director at an interim stage after holding that there was a strong prima facia case that he knowingly breached the UK-Russia sanctions regulations by exporting luxury goods to Russia.

Mr Garofalo and Mr Crisp were directors and owners of companies selling luxury perfumes. 

Mr Garofalo accused Mr Crisp of knowingly breaching UK sanctions by supplying products to Russia (in April 2022, the UK regs were amended to prohibit the export of luxury goods, including perfumes, to Russia). 

He sought, via an interim application, the removal of Mr Crisp as a director.

Mr Crisp argued that the sanctions breach was an innocent mistake.

The court said that, on the evidence before it, there was a strong prima facie case that Mr Garafalo would succeed at trial in showing that Mr Crisp conducted the company's affairs in an unfair way that prejudiced the interests of the shareholders (within the meaning of s.994 of the Companies Act 2006). 

Given the severe reputational consequences to the companies of accusations of sanctions breach, unless they removed Mr Crisp as soon as a possible pending trial, the court ordered Mr Crisp's removal as a director (applying s.996 of the Companies Act 2006).



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