Our Export Controls lawyers have worked with regulators over the years to influence the development of the current export control regime, and we have been vigorous and successful advocates for our clients’ interests in the ongoing Export Control Reform Initiative. We excel in this area because we often know the backstory behind a particular export control regulation, and we understand how to approach the government with effective strategies for proposing new changes. We also have a deep understanding of regulated products and technologies across many industries, such as defense, semiconductors, chemicals, sensors, telecom, encryption, aviation and many more. This enables us to think proactively in developing compliance strategies that maximize our clients’ business opportunities.
The team includes a former assistant secretary of commerce for export enforcement, a former commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), a former deputy assistant director for policy in the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, a former lawyer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), as well as several other lawyers with backgrounds in government service and decades of experience in export controls. We are completely fluent in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), nuclear controls administered by the NRC and the Energy Department, the Census Bureau’s export reporting requirements and other laws and regulations that touch on export controls.
We frequently handle complicated export classification matters, and we also help clients streamline their internal self-classification procedures for more routine matters. We have a strong record with commodity jurisdiction (CJ) rulings from the State Department and commodity classification (CCATS) rulings from the Commerce Department, including successful ruling reversals in contentious cases. The key to our success is working collaboratively with our clients and immersing ourselves in their products, drawing on in-house technical and business capabilities in presenting the best case to the regulators.
We also regularly advise on export license applications and the use of export license exceptions, which can be highly technical. Obtaining approvals can be a challenge, especially where cutting-edge technologies and sensitive destinations are concerned. We work closely with our clients’ commercial teams to build the strongest case possible for approval and to develop alternate solutions as needed to keep our clients both compliant and competitive in the global market.
We also assist our clients with audits, both those that are self-initiated and those that are required by government regulators.
Our trade team has decades of collective experience in responding to administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement proceedings. Our team has earned the trust and respect of regulators. Our credibility with those responsible for enforcement enables us to obtain the best-possible outcomes for our clients.
We offer a full range of services in responding to enforcement proceedings. We can assist with setting the foundation of a successful defense by developing a comprehensive strategy to narrow the issues and highlight our clients’ strongest defenses. We routinely handle voluntary disclosures, directed disclosures, penalty proceedings and consent agreements. Our relationships with government regulators position us well to negotiate on behalf of our clients.
We have extensive experience responding to subpoena requests and conducting discovery in an efficient and cost-effective manner, where possible relying on a client’s internal resources. Our deep bench of seasoned litigators can respond quickly and persuasively to advocate for our clients at all stages of the proceedings, from pleadings to motions to trials to sentencing. We also have experience serving as an independent compliance monitor following enforcement proceedings and understand the sensitivities surrounding such engagements.
We have dealt with many sensitive matters in the news and that are the subject of congressional inquiry. We handle debarment issues, Specially Designated National listings and denial orders.
Economic sanctions are a complex aspect of trade controls due to the constantly evolving nature of these political tools. We are highly knowledgeable in the Office of Foreign Assets Control country-specific regulatory regimes (including Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, Sudan and North Korea). With a strong presence on the ground in Washington, D.C., we effectively stay abreast of new developments and maintain ongoing contact with the government. Our trade lawyers are well-seasoned in the practice of sanctions and maintain a high profile with regulators. For example, our practice group chair is a member of the State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy: Sanctions Subcommittee. We also work seamlessly with a network of foreign law firm relationships to navigate the global web of sanctions for our clients.
Our trade group is fluent in the arcane and highly technical language surrounding what is and is not permissible under the Commerce and Treasury Departments’ anti-boycott rules. We work with clients to develop anti-boycott compliance measures, and we advise on how to fix contractual terms to eliminate potential boycott concerns. We can obtain real-time guidance from regulators when issues are unclear, and if there is a violation, we can assist clients in evaluating voluntary disclosure options and in preparing disclosures. We also help clients determine what is and is not reportable to each of the agencies, and we assist in preparing their quarterly and annual anti-boycott reports.
We represent both U.S. businesses and foreign buyers in regulatory proceedings involving national security matters. Specifically, we handle the following proceedings:
Our team advises companies in the defense industry and in the commercial sector with sensitive technologies, on regulatory filing requirements and in determining when to proceed with voluntary notifications. We also work proactively with clients to identify potential national security concerns, and to develop mitigation strategies that are business friendly and acceptable to the regulators.
The increased focus on mandated reporting and other requirements relating to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues has presented new challenges to clients.
We have assisted clients in connection with a number of such CSR requirements, including: conflict minerals SEC reports and anti-trafficking requirements—both for government contracting purposes and for the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010.
In addition to advising clients on the reporting and regulatory requirements, we assist clients with a spectrum of compliance issues ranging from gathering information from supply chains, developing appropriate compliance programs and monitoring such programs.
For more information about the Export Controls & Economic Sanctions team, please contact:
F. Amanda DeBusk
F. Amanda DeBusk
Melissa L. Duffy
Edward J.M. Little
Matthew R. Nicely
Joanne E. Osendarp
Eric S. Parnes
Dean A. Pinkert
William R. Stein
John F. Wood
Lynn G. Kamarck
Sean C. Kane
Alan G. Kashdan
Michael A. Grant
Ravi D. Soopramanien