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Zia Ullah, Partner

Zia Ullah


Head of Corporate Crime and Investigations



Practice areas

  • Crypto assets
  • Financial services
  • Financial services and markets regulation
  • Financial services disputes and investigations
  • Fraud and financial crime
  • Industrials
  • Litigation and dispute management
  • Sanctions

Practice notes

Zia is a Financial Crime Partner and Co-Global Head of the firm's Corporate Crime and Investigations group.

Based in London and Manchester, Zia has worked on financial crime matters both from a legal and compliance perspective since 2006 and on criminal law matters since he qualified in 1999. Since 2020 Zia and his team have supported over 50 of the world's largest financial institutions on complex international sanctions projects in addition to matters relating to Anti-money laundering and Anti-bribery and corruption. Zia was previously the Global Head of Sanctions at Barclays. Zia is a current UK FCA approved "Skilled Person" for Financial Crime.

Zia is a regular speaker at UK Finance, the Association of Foreign Banks, the Anti-money laundering professionals forum and the Association of chartered Anti-money laundering specialists. He has written numerous articles for publications such as Complinet and Thomson Reuters Accelus and has also appeared on BBC radio and TV.

Zia created and is editor of Eversheds Sutherland’s Global Sanctions Guide, a comprehensive guide to sanctions compliance in 72 jurisdictions, and is a contributing author to GIR’s Guide to Sanctions as well as Anti-money Laundering Compliance for Law Firms published by ARK Group.

Qualifications and education

  • Legal Practice Course, College of Law, London, 1996-1997
  • Common Professional Examination, College of Law, London, 1995-1996
  • BSc (Hons) in Chemistry, UCL, 1991-1995

Awards and rankings

  • Ranked in The Legal 500
  • Listed in Who's Who Legal for International Sanctions
  • Acritas Star lawyer

Professional activities

  • Committee member of The Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Co-chair of the UK Finance Sanctions Panel


  • Buy Side Sanctions Screening, February 10, 2022, The Investment Association
  • IP Geo-Blocking: Friend or Foe to the Compliance Professional?, February 2, 2022, ACAMS, Global Sanctions Space Summit
  • Financial and trade sanctions for the insurance sector, December 21, 2021, Thomson Reuters Practical Law Guide
  • The Guide to Sanctions, Second Edition, October 20, 2021, Global Investigations Review
  • Eversheds Sutherland Global Sanctions Guide

Zia's recent experience includes:

  • leading a team of 70 lawyers and investigators reviewing over 1 million payments and 20,000 customers on behalf of a UK bank investigating historic sanctions violations, reporting to OFAC, the FCA and OFSI
  • project managing a large-scale (14 million transactions) look-back of historic OFAC sanctions compliance at the world’s largest Insurance sector-specific outsourcing company and leading the investigation and resulting voluntary disclosure to OFAC/OFSI
  • acting on behalf of Barclays in the reported case of Elaine Hmicho v. Barclays Bank PLC [2015] EWHC 1757 (QB), the leading UK decision on ownership and control in relation to EU and UK sanctions
  • FCA-approved Skilled Person on a large-scale s.166 review of AML and sanctions compliance at the London HQ of an international bank
  • providing sanctions advice/training to over 50 international financial institutions