Global law firm HFW has hired a partner in London to help it cover the burgeoning field of sanctions law.

David Savage joined the UK-headquartered firm this month from Stewarts, where he was a partner and head of financial crime.

The lawyer acts for banks, insurers, commodity traders, private equity firms and others on sanctions and investigations matters, including on probes by regulatory and law enforcement authorities in the UK and US.

Savage has experience advising clients on international trade matters during stints earlier in his career at Reed Smith and Eversheds Sutherland. For two years, from April 2017, Savage was senior sanctions officer at private bank Kleinwort Hambros.

Daniel Martin, a sanctions partner at HFW, says of the appointment: “We have seen significant growth in our sanctions practice over the past 13 years, and we are very pleased to welcome David to the team. David is an outstanding sanctions lawyer, with a strong financial services background, and shares our ambition of building a market-leading sanctions practice globally.”

Previously a niche field, sanctions law has become acutely relevant for financial institutions over the last two decades as sanctions become an increasingly popular foreign policy tool and enforcement ramps up.

HFW has a long history of acting for clients in the trade finance and commodity trading sectors.