Dutch court cites with notary’s refusal to refuse services to a Russian UBO

A notary in the Netherlands found that a notary had justifiable grounds to refuse to cooperate in a transaction to sever the ties between a shipyard and its Russian UBO (ultimate beneficial owner). The plaintiff operates a shipyard that specializes in designing and building luxury yachts. At the time of the proposed transaction, the Russian UBO was not on the EU sanctions list; however, he had already been sanctioned by the UK and Australia. Therefore there is a real possibility that he will soon be added to the EU sanctions list. The notary reasonably suspected that the transaction was designed to avoid the effects of possible EU sanctions against the  Russian UBO. The shipyard argued that the proposed transaction would help save the employment of hundreds of employees in the transaction. Still, the court found that the notary’s duty superseded the alleged impact on employment.  This is the first case I have seen so far, and there is likely more to come.

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