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High-Risk Jurisdictions And Complex Environments

Proelium Law LLP | The UK’s foremost legal authority on high-risk jurisdictions and specialist risk services

We view our overseas markets as being either High-Risk Jurisdictions, or Complex Environments. We classify high-risk jurisdictions as those that have ongoing conflict (which could be full scale internal or external armed conflict), a significant insurgency or terrorist campaign, or countries around which piracy is prevalent.

High-Risk Jurisdictions 

Currently, the countries we class as high risk include Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Burundi as well as those countries or areas where piracy is an issue including the Malacca Straits, South China Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Guinea, Benin, Somalia, Indonesia, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Such classifications are of course subject to scrutiny and change so we acknowledge there will be differing opinions. Consequently, in line with our capabilities, we provide you legal profile reports on these places here, and we also outline below how we classify high-risk jurisdictions and complex environments which may help your understanding.


  • Ongoing, volatile conflict which could be full scale (internal or external) armed conflict
  • A significant insurgency or terrorist campaign
  • A country around the coast of which piracy is prevalent

Complex environments 

As a client, you should be aware of the different approaches you should adopt to complex environments vice high-risk jurisdictions. We see complex environments as very broad in scope, and our understanding of these areas leads us to define them as follows:


  • Medium to high levels of political violence or a significant risk of it occuring
  • Financial complexity such as being listed as one of the top corrupt counties on the Transparency International website
  • Recent history of human rights abuses
  • There is post conflict reconstruction efforts in place following a recent conflict in order to stabilise the country
  • Significant cultural complexities that make business difficult


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