Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s formidable offerings in cross-border M&A and private equity translate into a thriving national security practice, which engages with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) across the full transaction lifecycle. Sources highlight the Washington DC-based team’s ‘exceptional relationship with the CFIUS administration’, with department co-chair Mario Mancuso standing out for his experience as a former senior CFIUS decision-maker in his previous role as Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security at the Department of Commerce (DOC). Mancuso recently teamed up with next-generation partner Lucille Hague to advise BDP International on the CFIUS aspects of its sale to Singapore-based PSA International. A ‘down-to-earth expert’, department co-chair Ivan Schlager is widely recognized as a market leader in CFIUS work, with particular experience in the private equity sphere on behalf of clients such as Blackstone, Bain Capital and Warburg Pincus. The group also draws on Nathan Mitchell, who has a focus on CFIUS and national security matters, and Daniel Gerkin, whose practice takes in a wide range of export controls and sanctions, customs and CFIUS-related issues.
CFIUS in United States
Mario Mancuso; Ivan Schlager
Other key lawyers:
Lucille Hague; Nathan Mitchell; Daniel Gerkin; Michelle Weinbaum
‘The team is very responsive, pragmatic and reassuring when there could be potential doubts or issues.’
‘We value the team’s availability, very quick comprehension of the business and high quality of help in making a decision.’
‘Exceptional relationship with CFIUS administration. Very pragmatic advice.’
‘The team possesses a massive amount of experience. Lawyers are able to provide practical guidance within a complex regulatory regime.’
‘Ivan Schlager is a down-to-earth expert whose advice is exceptionally reliable.’
‘Mario Mancuso and Lucille Hague are extremely commercial and impressive. We always appreciate their thoughtful advice.’
BDP International, Inc.
GLP Pte. Ltd.
Investor consortium comprised of BroadPeak Global and the Asia Green Fund
Leonardo DRS, Inc.
Nijhuis Saur Industries BV
Permira Advisers Ltd.
Stable Road Acquisition Corp.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s national security regulatory practice finds favor for its extensive transaction experience, particularly in ‘large private equity deals with foreign co-investment and a multitude of foreign direct investment filings’. Covering the waterfront on CFIUS matters, the team routinely advises on deals across a broad range of industries, including in sensitive spheres such as technology, infrastructure, telecoms and life sciences. The Washington DC-based group also stands out for its expertise in matters involving sovereign wealth funds and elaborate investment structures. Department head Malcolm Tuesley is held up as a ‘go-to CFIUS/FDI advisor’; he recently represented the Board of Directors of Twitter in connection with Elon Musk’s $44bn acquisition of the company. Mark Skerry, who was promoted the the partnership in January 2023, formerly served as an attorney within the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security and has a strong focus on national security law; he paired up with Tuesley to advise a consortium led by Blackstone, and including sovereign wealth funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC, in the $14.5bn acquisition of a majority stake in Emerson Electric’s climate technologies business.
Other key lawyers:
‘STB’s CFIUS team has provided us practical and strategic advice in our most complex deals. Their wealth of transaction experience – particularly for large private equity deals with foreign co-investment and a multitude of foreign direct investment filings – enable us to discern real risks from the theoretical.’
‘Lawyers are very responsive, fully dedicated and provide very sound advice. A tier 1 team.’
‘Malcolm Tuesley is our go-to CFIUS/FDI advisor. He understands our business and our risk tolerance and is always synched with his M&A colleagues such that any CFIUS/FDI risk is contextualized against the backdrop of the broader commercial transaction.’
‘Mark Skerry has expertly advised us on two of the most complicated PE deals in recent memory. In each case he has been instrumental in helping us manage the CFIUS/FDI regulatory process.’
Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
Global Infrastructure Partners
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Macquarie Group)
Hellman & Friedman
The Carlyle Group
The Board of Directors of Twitter, Inc.
- Advised the Board of Directors of Twitter in connection with Elon Musk’s $44bn acquisition of Twitter.
- Advised IFM Investors on the proposed $11bn take-private of data center network Switch.
- Advised a consortium led by Blackstone, and including sovereign wealth funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC, in its $14.5bn acquisition of a majority stake in Emerson Electric’s climate technologies business.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
The CFIUS group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP stands out for its integration with the firm’s corporate practice, which sees national security specialists involved in deals from the early stages of transaction planning. With extensive experience in representing corporate, financial, private equity fund, and sovereign wealth clients in major reviews before CFIUS, among other national security agencies, the team’s expertise spans all key industry sectors, including technology, energy, critical infrastructure and defense. Head of the CFIUS and national security practice, and also of the cybersecurity group, Michael Leiter brings to bear a broad regulatory skill set that also spans government relations, and aerospace and defense. Leiter recently advised Boston Dynamics on the CFIUS aspects of Hyundai Motor Group’s acquisition of an 80% stake in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank. Brian Egan handles a range of national security matters with a focus on CFIUS work; he acted for Entegris on the CFIUS aspects of its $6.5bn acquisition of semiconductor consumable materials supplier CMC Materials. Counsel Brooks Allen, who is lead coordinator of the firm’s international trade practice, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Brian Egan; Brooks Allen; Katie Clarke
‘One of the clear market leaders in CFIUS’, White & Case LLP’s foreign direct investment reviews and national security practice forms a key part of the firm’s wider international trade offering. Covering the full range of industries, clients and transaction structures, the team’s ability to draw on lawyers with broad in-house government experience ensures it ‘brings a deeper understanding of the background underlying the regulations’. High-profile department head Farhad Jalinous is widely recognized for his ‘deep knowledge of the CFIUS process and stakeholders’; he recently advised UK-based Avast on CFIUS issues related to its approximately $8bn merger with US-based NortonLifeLock. Karalyn Mildorf is an up-and-coming CFIUS specialist with extensive experience in national security reviews before CFIUS as well as foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) mitigation matters. The Washington DC-based group also includes Keith Schomig, who specializes in advising on the CFIUS aspects of private-equity investments and large-scale M&A, and counsel Ryan Brady, who formerly served as Deputy General Counsel at the Department of the Treasury. In October 2022, the team was boosted by the arrival of Senior National Security Advisor David Jividen, who joined from the Department of Defense’s Foreign Investment Review office.
Other key lawyers:
Karalyn Mildorf; Keith Schomig; Ryan Brady; David Jividen
‘One of the clear market leaders in CFIUS, and the top firm when it comes to the intersection of CFIUS and DCSA mitigation. Farhad Jalinous offers excellent client service and terrific judgment with respect to handling CFIUS inquiries that is borne only out of years of experience.’
‘Highly competent and gets complicated case done. Cares about the details and success.’
‘We worked with Farhad Jalinous and Karalyn Mildorf and their team. Great communicators, providing immediate responses on questions and discussions. Every question gets answered instantaneously with clarity. They also help us on best solutions.’
‘Broad knowledge of the the CFIUS process. Farhad Jalinous is the best. He is pragmatic with deep knowledge of the CFIUS process and stakeholders. His advice is always on point and extremely valuable in managing internal expectations during what can be a very opaque process.’
‘The team is led by Farhad Jalinous, who is an exceptional attorney who can clearly and succinctly explain the complexities of the CFIUS rules.’
‘The team is comprised of attorneys who have previous experience working in the Commerce Dept, which brings a deeper understanding of the background underlying the regulations. They are used to working on transactions that operate under tight timelines, and they are very responsive at all hours.’
‘Farhad Jalinous is a great communicator and provides clear advice, whether by email or phone. He is also good at problem solving and helping parties come to agreement on terms without jeopardizing risk for the client.’
‘The team’s varied backgrounds and expertise provide a holistic and practical approach to effectively navigate the CFIUS process. Farhad Jalinous and his team, particularly Karalyn Mildorf, have been instrumental in supporting our US M&A efforts and were critical members of our acquisition planning team.’
SES Pte. Ltd.
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)
Faurecia Participations GmbH
Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
- Advised UK-based Avast on CFIUS issues related to its approximately $8bn merger with US-based NortonLifeLock.
- Advised Faurecia Participations on CFIUS and FDI matters in connection with its acquisition of at least 60% of the shares in Hella.
- Advised Oi, a Brazil-based telecoms operator, on the CFIUS and Team Telecom aspects of its investment in GlobeNet Cabos Submarinos America.
‘A strong specialist CFIUS team’, WilmerHale strikes the right note with its ‘clear domain knowledge of the CFIUS process and its intricacies’. The wider firm’s signature regulatory expertise and relationships comes into play in its national security practice, with many of its key partners bringing to bear strong government backgrounds and in-depth understanding of internal CFIUS procedures and culture. Most notably, go-to CFIUS expert Benjamin Powell served as general counsel to the first three Directors of National Intelligence; he was at the helm for several sensitive matters over the past year. Additionally, Jason Chipman’s practice leverages his significant experience in working on national security issues at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Chipman, who is ‘committed to building client relationships and getting results’, is advising Kansas City Southern Railway Company on CFIUS matters connected to its merger with Canadian Pacific Railway. Other key contacts in the Washington DC-based group include Stephen Preston, who heads the defense, national security and government contracts practice, and Robert Kimmitt, whose practice takes in national security law, international investment, regulation and governance.
David Ross; Benjamin Powell
Other key lawyers:
Jason Chipman; Stephen Preston; Robert Kimmitt
‘A strong specialist CFIUS team. Track record of accurate guidance on likely CFIUS issues and outcomes, provides high-quality guidance throughout process and responsiveness.’
‘They have excellent experience and do high quality work. Robert Kimmitt is excellent and Jason Chipman is very good.’
‘Jason Chipman is highly experienced and has consistently delivered accurate guidance on likely CFIUS issues and outcomes. Personable, responsive and committed to building client relationships and getting results.’
‘The WilmerHale team makes themselves available as needed and has in the past responded to critical time sensitive requests promptly, even while working across time zones. They display clear domain knowledge of the CFIUS process and its intricacies.’
‘Guidance has always been accurate and demonstrates experience from actual filings/relationships. Given our relationship and past filings, the team works at lightning pace and is able to provide guidance on who we should coordinate within our own firm – and often handles that coordination.’
‘The team we work with gives clear accurate guidance with thoughtful recommendations and a thorough view on likelihood, risk, reward etc. Jason Chipman has a better understanding of who needs to be looped in at our company than I do.’
GLP Capital Partners
Kansas City Southern Railway Company
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s premier corporate offering is reflected in its CFIUS roster, which demonstrates strong recent experience in handling national security filings on behalf of multinational corporations, sovereign wealth funds, private equity clients, and defense companies, among others. Former department chair John Reynolds stepped down to senior counsel in January 2023 but remains a go-to name for national security matters and economic sanctions. Over the past year, Reynolds advised on a string of CFIUS mandates in the technology and financial services sectors, including advising Amdocs on its $188m acquisition of MYCOM OSI from Inflexion Private Equity and others. Paul Marquardt now spearheads the group and handles a mix of CFIUS, economic sanctions, export controls and anti-corruption work; he advised Duddell Street Acquisition Corporation on the CFIUS aspects of its business combination with FiscalNote Holdings. The group also includes CFIUS-focused associate Joseph Kniaz.
Other key lawyers:
John Reynolds; Joseph Kniaz
Bridgepoint Advisers Ltd.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC)
Incline Aviation Fund
OriGene Technologies Inc.
Provident Acquisition Corp.
Public Investment Fund (PIF)
Relo Group, Inc.
Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd./Soraa, Inc.
Symphony Technology Group
- Advised Duddell Street Acquisition Corporation in connection with its business combination with FiscalNote Holdings.
- Advised Harvest Partners on its fundraise and related matters for Harvest Partners Structured Capital Fund III LP and Harvest Partners Structured Capital Fund III (Parallel) LP.
- Advised Raven Industries on CFIUS matters connected to its $2.1bn acquisition by CNH Industrial.
Lawyers in Hogan Lovells US LLP’s full-service international trade team stand out for their ‘very good relationships with, and knowledge of, the different government agencies’. Unlike many firms in this field, it houses a standalone CFIUS practice that is routinely engaged to advise on the security review aspects of transactions for which it did not undertake the corporate work. The team is also is distinguished by its strong record both in negotiating CFIUS mitigation agreements, but also in obtaining CFIUS approval for the termination of such agreements. Anne Salladin is a key contact for CFIUS matters and is valued by sources for her ‘unique perspective from having served on the general counsel staff at CFIUS for many years’; she successfully achieved CFIUS clearance for US nuclear power generation company, NuScale, in connection with a $40m equity investment from a Japanese engineering company. Brian Curran is also sought after for his strong combination of CFIUS and export controls expertise.
Other key lawyers:
Anne Salladin; Brian Curran; Zachary Alvarez; Patrick Miller
‘Anne Salladin has a unique perspective from having served on the general counsel staff at CFIUS for many years, and while this experience predated the current law and regulations, she still offers valuable insights with respect to interpreting rules that are often unclear.’
‘Hogan Lovells has an excellent international trade team. Its strengths are its highly technical knowledge, the efficiency and speed with which it attends to each inquiry, and its ability to identify the specific needs of clients.’
‘Lawyers have very good relationships with, and knowledge of, the different government agencies, which facilitates communication channels.’
NuScale Power, LLC
Daher Technologies S.A.
DD Global Holdings Limited
ADVA Optical Networking SE
ASC3 LMB Holding
- Advised Firefly Aerospace, an early stage space launch services company, on an array of CFIUS-related issues.
- Obtained CFIUS clearance for Spain-based Grifols in connection with the acquisition of a $1bn minority interest in its subsidiary, Biomat USA, by Epsom Investment, an investment vehicle managed by GIC.
- Assisted DD Global in fulfilling its obligations under a CFIUS-imposed National Security Agreement (NSA) and ultimately in terminating the NSA.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s prominent corporate practice is a significant driver of its national security work and its CFIUS group frequently works alongside transactional teams to plan and develop mitigation plans. The group has established a particularly strong record on behalf of clients in the energy, technology, telecoms, life sciences and and transport industries, but it possesses experience in representing both US and foreign investors across the full range of economic sectors. Les P. Carnegie co-heads the CFIUS and national security practice, as well as the export controls, economic sanctions and customs practice; in a recent example of his work in the former sphere he represented Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation in obtaining CFIUS clearance in connection with their planned investments in IonQ. Damara Chambers co-heads the CFIUS department has advised a raft of private equity funds in CFIUS reviews over the past year. James Barker, who co-chairs the connectivity industry group, is also recommended for CFIUS work.
Les P. Carnegie; Damara Chambers; James Barker
Other key lawyers:
International Olympic Committee
Hyundai Motor Company
Morrison Foerster’s team is comprised of ‘personnel with expert knowledge of the CFIUS process’, including specialist partners as well as senior non-lawyers, who act as advisers on complex national security matters. Consistently utilizing the wider firm’s close relationships with major technology companies and government contractor clients, the interdisciplinary practice has an impressive pedigree for representing both US and foreign investors in high-stakes, often political, CFIUS reviews. Department co-chair Brandon Van Grack is noted for his significant government side experience, earned during a two-year stint as Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit. Van Grack recently teamed up with prominent partner Charles Capito (‘a strong technical lawyer’) to represent Japan-based SoftBank on the CFIUS aspects of a series of acquisitions and investments. Of counsel James Brower is also a key contact in the Washington DC-based team. Nicholas Spiliotes has left the firm.
Brandon Van Grack
Other key lawyers:
‘Dedication to serving its clients; able to provide feedback on tight deadlines. Charles Capito has sound judgment and is a strong technical lawyer.’
‘The teams brings a wealth of knowledge to the area making suggestions around technologies and techniques to employ to achieve compliance in this complicated area.’
‘Charles Capito and senior advisor Joseph Benkert are both stand-out specialists in achieving compliance in this area. They provide guidance not just on what we design as a compliance measure, but they also make suggestions that are invaluable to creating an overall compliance program.’
‘Personnel with expert knowledge of the CFIUS process that helped guide a foreign company and us to a successful outcome. Lawyers are efficient, precise, and cost effective.’
‘Domain expertise on government agency processes and assessment criteria are exceptional.’
- Represented SoftBank and its affiliates on CFIUS and national security-related aspects of SoftBank’s acquisitions of, and investments in, companies in a wide range of industry sectors.
- Represented VariQ in its sale to Capgemini Government Solutions, a French-owned defense contractor.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton houses a highly capable foreign investment and national security practice, which is frequently appointed to handle CFIUS reviews concerning an array of industries and jurisdictions. Leveraging its ability to team up with the wider M&A team, the group is well versed in advising on the full chain of security issues, from pre-transaction risks through to second-stage investigations and the implementation of mitigation agreements. Washington DC-based Chase Kaniecki steers the group and maintains a broad trade practice, with experience in CFIUS, economic sanctions, export controls, customs, and trade remedies. Kaniecki recently represented Open Text Corporation in securing clearance from CFIUS in connection with its acquisition of Zix Corporation. Talented associate Pete Young brings to bear significant government-side experience from his former role as a policy adviser for CFIUS at the US Department of the Treasury.
Other key lawyers:
Hanwha Impact Co., Ltd.
Veolia Environnement S.A
- Represented Open Text Corporation in securing clearance from CFIUS in connection with its acquisition of Zix Corporation.
- Represented France-based Veolia Environnement in securing clearance from CFIUS in connection with its public tender offer for Suez.
- Secured CFIUS clearance for Hanwha General Chemical in its acquisition of PSM, a gas turbine services provider based in Florida, from Ansaldo Energia.
With growing scrutiny levelled at deals in the technology sector, Cooley LLP’s signature technology and life sciences expertise marks it as an increasingly prominent player in the CFIUS sphere. In particular, due to the firm’s dominant venture capital and emerging market practice, it handles numerous venture capital transactions with potential CFIUS implications. Christopher Kimball fronts the Washington DC-based group and ‘brings a steady hand and level head to CFIUS complexities’; his recent work includes advising US and foreign investors across a range of sensitive industry transactions. Export controls and sanctions head Kevin King also has a significant CFIUS dimension to his practice. Other key contacts include special counsels Dillon Martinson, who is a former senior policy advisor at the Department of the Treasury, and Bridget Reineking, who is a former lead counsel for the Office of Investment Security.
Christopher Kimball; Kevin King
Other key lawyers:
Dillon Martinson; Bridget Reineking; Rebecca Ross; Karen Tsai
‘Cooley’s CFIUS practice is one of the top-notch practices in the world for several reasons: the expertise of its CFIUS practitioners; exposure to a wide-range of transactions raising CFIUS issues; built-in export control expertise within the CFIUS practice; and a strong, yet pragmatic approach.’
‘In particular, Cooley probably handles more venture capital transactions with potential CFIUS implications than all but a handful of firms. That experience benefits not only their clients, but the counterparties to transactions that raise tricky CFIUS issues.’
‘The people I work with at Cooley are great. Prompt replies, willingness to get into the details as necessary, correct prediction of CFIUS actions.’
Goodwin's lawyers ‘do not offer painkillers, but seek solutions that would solve issues permanently’. A popular choice for technology, venture capital and life sciences clients seeking advice on CFIUS issues, in line with its firm-wide sweet spots, the global trade practice maintains a dominant position in handling matters under the new CFIUS Critical Technologies Pilot Program. Richard Matheny spearheads the Washington DC-based department and is noted for his track record in advising technology companies and private equity funds on CFIUS reviews; he additionally brings to bear complementary expertise in export controls and sanctions. The team also includes Jacob Osborn, who handles a mix of export controls and CFIUS work, and newly promoted partner Amy Josselyn, who is a former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency analyst. In September 2022, government contracts specialist Liza Craig joined the global trade practice from Reed Smith LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Jacob Osborn; Amy Josselyn; Liza Craig; Justin Pierce
‘I admire the team’s approach as they do not offer painkillers, but seek solutions that would solve issues permanently. They are experts with a deep understanding of business and technology.’
‘I would love to mention Jacob Osborn and Amy Josselyn. It is a great pleasure working with them.’
‘I’m happy to refer Jacob and Amy for the following reasons: strategy, they dug deep to understand our business, seeking the optimal permanent solution; they understand technology, which is critical in working with tech companies and startups; fast and responsive; Amy and Jacob are nice people.’
‘Amazing team! Professional, responsive and overall the best.’
‘The practice area contains subject-matter experts with deep knowledge of the space. They have great relationships with other firms and regulators that help facilitate getting to positive outcomes efficiently.’
‘The team is exceptionally responsive and diligent in their work. Equally, if not more important, is that the team takes a very practical, business-minded approach and cares deeply about the needs of the business they are advising.’
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
National security matters are a key focus of O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s international trade and investment regulation practice, with many of its key partners possessing impressive government-side credentials. Seasoned of counsel Theodore Kassinger is a former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Commerce (DOC), and has established a premier track record in handling complex national security matters, with a focus on CFIUS reviews. National security chair Greta Lichtenbaum maintains a thriving economic sanctions and export controls practice but is also frequently engaged to advise on high-profile CFIUS matters. In a recent example, Lichtenbaum paired up with talented counsel David Ribner to secure CFIUS clearance on behalf of South Korean-based GS Energy Corporation in connection with its investment in US-based small modular reactor developer, NuScale Power. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC.
Other key lawyers:
Theodore Kassinger; David Ribner
‘David Ribner has meaningful experience and grew up under the tutelage of Theodore Kassinger, who is one of the most experienced CFIUS lawyers in town.’
‘Greta Lichtenbaum is very well known in the export control field, which is increasingly important in the CFIUS context as well.’
DL Chemical Co. Ltd.
GS Energy Corporation
- Secured CFIUS clearance on behalf of South Korean energy solutions company GS Energy Corporation in connection with its investment in small modular reactor developer, NuScale Power.
- Secured CFIUS clearance on behalf of South Korean petrochemical company, DL Chemical in connection with its acquisition of Kraton in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.5bn.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP’s work in this space straddles its national security regulation and investigations practice and also its global trade controls group. In terms of its jurisdictional expertise, the team particularly stands out for its recent record in achieving CFIUS clearance for China-related transactions, while its industry strong suits include technology, energy and life sciences. Washington DC office chair Scott Flicker leads the global trade controls practice and is noted for his ‘expertise in foreign investment reviews, including the impact of CFIUS on foreign investments’. Flicker represented Korea Southern Power Corporation and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation as investors in a consortium acquiring a combined gas turbine power generation facility in Ohio. Of counsel Randall Johnston, also in DC, specializes in national security and investment law and recently advised SJL Partners and SD Biosensor on the CFIUS aspects of their joint acquisition of Meridian Bioscience.
Scott Flicker; Randall Johnston
Other key lawyers:
‘The team’s experience and expertise were evident from day one. Lawyers did not miss a beat when it came to communication, legal advice, and strategy.’
‘We value the team and its specialist expertise.’
‘Scott Flicker has strong expertise in foreign investment reviews, including the impact of CFIUS on foreign investments, and export controls. Scott is always able to provide well-rounded tailored advice and is extremely responsive.’
Hon Hai Technology Group (“Foxconn”)
SJL Partners LLC
Dynapower Company LLC
Fujian Grand Chip
- Represented MoneyGram International in the sale of its outstanding shares to Madison Dearborn Partners.
- Represented SJL Partners and SD Biosensor in their joint acquisition of Meridian Bioscience, which required multiple cross-border national security reviews.
- Represented Korea Southern Power Corporation and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation as investors in a consortium acquiring a combined gas turbine power generation facility in Ohio.
The international trade group at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP impresses with its ability to provide ‘detailed guidance on complex CFIUS considerations in an easily digestible format’. Among its other key attributes, the group stands out for its ability to draw on the wider firm’s technology and public policy expertise, while its strong China practice marks it as a popular choice to handle China-related security filings. Indeed, one source commends CFIUS expert Nancy Fischer as being especially sensitive to the ‘complex dynamics and CIFUS-filing implications of US-China cross-border transactions’. Fischer, who heads the global regulatory practice, recently obtained CFIUS clearance on behalf of Perpetual Capital Partners regarding the sale of Politico and Politico Europe to Axel Springer. The group also fields an impressive second line of up-and-coming CFIUS specialists, with newly promoted partner Matthew Rabinowitz recommended as ‘highly technical and commercial’, while senior associate Zachary Rozen is ‘very responsive and hands on’.
Stephan Becker; Nancy Fischer
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Rabinowitz; Zachary Rozen; Christopher Wall; Aaron Hutman
‘Pillsbury provides a well-unified, collaborative team that leverages each lawyers’ knowledge base to demonstrate “big picture” understanding as well as specialized advice within categories of issues.’
‘Pillsbury is recognized as a leading cost-effective, value-adding firm for CFIUS guidance. This is especially critical during the pre-deal diligence phase, where we can rely on Pillsbury to provide comprehensive risk assessments of potential foreign investors.’
‘Nancy Fischer and Matthew Rabinowitz provided timely, responsive, and detailed guidance on complex CFIUS considerations in an easily digestible format.’
‘Nancy Fischer stood out as extraordinarily well-versed on current trends impacting CFIUS; she is a go-to source where there are challenging issues about recent transactions, regulatory, or legislative developments. Her answers provided valuable insight to navigate issues with advantage.’
‘Nancy Fischer and associate Zachary Rozen are very responsive and hands on. They deliver high-quality, pragmatic and commercially focused advice in complex situations. They provide that advice at a very competitive price too.’
‘Pillsbury has a great balance of CFIUS knowledge, pragmatism and commercial experience in working with technology companies. Nancy Fischer is a known CFIUS expert and works very well with technology companies large and small.’
‘Matthew Rabinowitz is highly technical and commercial at the same time, solving regulatory issues with a great understanding of the impact on the transaction. He explains highly technical issues with clarity which is extremely valuable for foreign investors navigating their way through CFIUS processes.’
‘Nancy Fisher is especially sensitive to the complex dynamics and CIFUS-filing implications of US-China cross-border transactions.’
Perpetual Capital (owner of Politico)
Ultisat (formerly Speedcast Government)
Celesta Capital (formerly Walden International)
Chevron Technology Ventures
Atlantic Coastal Acquisition Corp.
- Obtained CIFIUS clearance on behalf of Perpetual Capital Partners in relation to the sale of Politico and Politico Europe to global publishing group, Axel Springer.
- Advised Atlantic Coastal Acquisition Corp on CFIUS matters related to a business combination with Essentium.
- Acted as CFIUS counsel to a venture capital player specializing in technology-based investments.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s CFIUS offering sits within its wider international trade, compliance and investment department, providing clients with access to a broad mix of trade and national security specialists. Acting for both US and international companies, the team’s sector expertise spans technology, defense, financial services and mining, among others, and it handles the full range of security review processes, including CFIUS, FOCI and Team Telecom. Stewart Baker, a former Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, is the key contact in the Washington DC-based team. Baker is noted for his prominent reputation in technology-related matters; he has also recently advised on CFIUS issues for clients in the energy, financial services and manufacturing spheres. Brian Fleming, who recently joined from Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Alan Cohn and highly active associate Evan Abrams are also well versed in CFIUS issues.
Stewart Baker; Brian Fleming
Other key lawyers:
Alan Cohn; Evan Abrams
Noted for its ‘superior knowledge of the CFIUS process’, Akin represents US and foreign investors on highly sensitive transactions. As an increasingly important segment in a dominant international trade offering, the CFIUS practice additionally stands out for its ability to plug into complementary practices with the wider firm, including government relations, defense, infrastructure and energy. Christian Davis spearheads the group and has significant expertise in transactions within the technology, energy, aerospace, defense and investment sectors. The Washington DC-based team also includes counsel Katherine Padgett and senior counsel Laura Black, who recently joined the team from the Department of the Treasury, where she served as Director of Policy and International Relations for CFIUS.
Other key lawyers:
Katherine Padgett; Laura Black; Kevin Wolf
‘Akin has superior knowledge of the CFIUS process and the intricacies of the issues facing project developers and their upstream ownership. This allows Akin to anticipate and resolve issues prior to the initial filing – the care and attention put in out the outset pays off during the review process.’
‘Christian Davis and Katherine Padgett are each excellent. They combine incredible knowledge of the CFIUS process itself with a keen insight into how their clients and their projects are typically organized, owned, and financed.’
‘Kevin Wolf is the best. Truly the smartest mind in export controls and CFIUS.’
US Semiconductor Testing Company
US Defense Contractor
US Memory Chip/Device Manufacturer
Canadian Private Equity Fund
US Remote Sensing Satellite Company
US Software/Data Center Company
Private Equity Firm/Renewable Energy Company
US Satellite Manufacturer
- Represented a Japanese consortium, consisting of Bain Capital, Japan Industrial Solutions and Japan Industrial Partners, in its $7.5bn take-private transaction of Hitachi Metals.
- Advised a leading US-based memory chip and device manufacturer on the CFIUS implications and strategy related to an overseas joint venture transaction.
- Advised a US-based fabricator of integrated circuit test boards on the CFIUS aspects of a transaction.
Baker McKenzie’s unique global platform positions it as a key player in managing foreign investments worldwide, including the US. Benefitting from its ability to collaborate with an extensive network of global offices to advise on multi-jurisdictional security reviews, the team acts for an impressive roster of multinational clients on the full range of CFIUS matters, from filings, through to representation before CFIUS agencies, and mitigation agreements. Key contacts include trade and investment specialist Rod Hunter, who is a former Special Assistant to the President on National Security Affairs, and Sylwia Lis, who handles a range of economic sanctions, export controls and CFIUS work.
Other key lawyers:
Rod Hunter; Sylwia Lis
‘The partner in charge, Rod Hunter, is our go-to CFIUS counsel who is very familiar with our group’s current specific circumstances. The team is well versed with the very recent developments relating to the CFIUS/ US foreign direct investment climate.’
‘In the often opaque CFIUS process, B&M’s team provides great visibility about the entire process, which makes it easier for clients to plan.’
‘Sylwia Lis stands out for her ability to provide good predictions and transparency about the CFIUS process, and for her diligence to work with agencies and the counterparties’ counsels to the best of clients’ benefits.’
In 2022, King & Spalding LLP boosted its CFIUS credentials with the hire of Philip Ludvigson from the Department of the Treasury, where he led the office overseeing all CFIUS mitigation agreements. He joins an increasingly prominent team that has recently advised on filings in the defense, energy, infrastructure, and financial services sectors, among other industries. Next-generation partner Alexis Early maintains a thriving national security reviews practice, which takes in CFIUS, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), and FOCI-related matters. The Washington DC-based group also draws on senior trade controls and economic sanctions expert Christine Savage, whose practice has a significant CFIUS component.
Other key lawyers:
InstarAGF Asset Management
Roper Technologies, Inc.
- Represented Kraton Corporation in its acquisition by South Korea-based DL Chemical in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.5bn.
- Advised Santos on its merger with Oil Search, resulting in a global energy company with a market capitalization of approximately $16bn.
- Advised T&D Holdings on the acquisition by a Carlyle-managed fund and T&D of a 76.6% ownership interest in Fortitude Group Holdings from AIG.
Driven out of Washington DC, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s CFIUS offering sits within the firm’s wider trade and investment practice. Among its sweet spots, the team is particularly active in handling the CFIUS aspects of renewable energy transactions and technology company equity financings, while the manufacturing and financial services sectors are also significant sources of work. Harry Clark fronts the group and combines strength in foreign investment reviews, customs, and export controls and economic sanctions matters. Other key contacts include Jeanine McGuinness, who has a focus on cross-border trade and investment regulations including CFIUS, and newly promoted partner Elizabeth Zane.
Other key lawyers:
Jeanine McGuinness; Elizabeth Zane
ASML US, LLC and ASML Netherlands B.V.
AXA Real Estate Investment Managers US LLC / AXA REIM France
Bureau Veritas S.A.
EDP Renewables North America
Hemisphere GNSS, Inc.
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA)
- Advising major semiconductor equipment company, ASML, on export controls, economic sanctions, CFIUS, the CHIPS Act and lobbying requirements.
- Providing CFIUS advice to Baidu in connection with potential investments in the United States.
- Advising Opentrons Labworks on CFIUS matters connected to SoftBank’s investment in the company.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP’s recent activity in the CFIUS and foreign investment controls space demonstrates particular expertise in reviews relating to China and telecoms transactions. In terms of the former, the group’s ability to lean on attorneys in its Shanghai and Beijing offices is a significant asset in complex cases. Washington DC-based Michael Lowell chairs the global regulatory enforcement group and has extensive experience in export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS-related matters. The group also includes recently promoted partner Manasi Venkatesh and senior associate Paula Salamoun—both are also based in Washington DC.
Other key lawyers:
Manasi Venkatesh; Paula Salamoun
‘Michael Lowell has broad perspective regarding technology controls in particular, based on his experience as a Special Compliance Official in a State Department Consent Agreement for a global technology company.’
‘Michael Lowell is very approachable and practical.’