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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 partner and Co-Global Head of Eversheds Sutherland’s Corporate Crime and Investigations group and a specialist in International Sanctions, AML and ABC. Ranked in Legal 500 he advises on all aspects of corporate and financial crime compliance and was previously the global head of Sanctions at Barclays. Zia is a current FCA approved ‘Skilled Person’ for Financial Crime.  

Recent experience includes:

  • Leading a team of 70 lawyers and investigators reviewing over 1m payments and 20000 customers on behalf of a UK bank investigating historic sanctions violations, reporting to OFAC, the FCA and OFSI.
  • project managing a large scale (14m 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.

Zia is a regular speaker at UK Finance, AFB, AMLP and ACAMS. Zia has also 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 also a contributing author to GIR’s ‘Guide to Sanctions’ as well as  ‘Anti-money Laundering Compliance for Law Firms’ published by ARK Group.

Zia is a committee member of the Fraud Lawyers’ Association and is also co-chair of UK Finance’s Associate Member’s Sanctions Panel.