Firms To Watch: Customs, export controls and economic sanctions

Husch Blackwell LLP punches above its weight in the export controls and economic sanctions spheres. The team has a particular focus on US sanctions programs concerning Cuba, Iran, Russia and Venezuela, as well as US entity list restrictions.
Ropes & Gray LLP’s continuing investment in its international trade practice is paying dividends and it is increasingly involved in a wide range of export controls and economic sanctions matters. Ama Adams and newly promoted partner Brendan Hanifin are ‘practical problem solvers’.
With signature strengths in the financial services and shipping spheres, Seward & Kissel LLP maintains a unique economic sanctions and export controls practice with a niche focus in these sectors. The group handles an array of compliance, investigations and enforcement matters.
The trade team at Winston & Strawn LLP continues on its upwards trajectory under the leadership of Cari Stinebower, who formerly served as a Programs Officer for OFAC. Similar to its market peers, the team has handled an increasing volume of Russia-related sanctions matters over the past year.

Customs, export controls and economic sanctions in United States


Demonstrating a ‘vast array of knowledge and experience’, Akin fields a destination international trade practice, which houses top-tier offerings in customs and import controls, and export controls and economic sanctions. In terms of the former, its ability to leverage the wider firm’s legislative and trade policy expertise is a significant differentiator in regards to advising on customs regulation and World Trade Organization (WTO) customs affairs. Lars-Erik Hjelm is a go-to customs expert and co-heads the customs group together with next-generation partner Suzanne Kane. On the export controls and economic sanctions front, the team routinely advises on high-stakes International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) investigations and compliance matters—notably, it has handled almost every single consent agreement issued by the Department of State for ITAR. Key names on the export controls side include high-profile specialist Kevin Wolf, who is a  former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, Los Angeles-based Shiva Aminian , and international trade co-heads Thomas J McCarthy and Jonathan Poling. The team’s growth was recently reflected in a flurry of partner promotions, including Kimberly Myers, and Alexis Guinan—both handle customs, export controls and economic sanctions. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Thomas J McCarthy; Jonathan Poling; Lars-Erik Hjelm; Suzanne Kane

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Wolf; Shiva Aminian; Anne Borkovic; Nnedinma Ifudu Nweke; Kimberly Myers; Alexis Guinan


‘The Akin team has a vast array of knowledge and experience and is extremely capable of supporting a global company across a broad range of subjects.’

Each member of the team is willing to gain in-depth knowledge of complex subject matter in order to best represent their client. They are very good at assigning associates to aspects of the file that correspond best with their strengths. They are very good at ensuring continuity on long-term files.’

‘The team consistently delivers a high quality product. Specific individuals who have excelled in this area in the US are: Thomas McCarthy and Suzanne Kane.’

‘The firm has strong knowledge on semiconductor industry.’

‘The individuals we worked with, including Kevin Wolf and Kimberly Myers, are export control experts with sharp expertise and excellent work ethics to delivery the work products on time.’

Key clients

L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

Honeywell International, Inc.

Deloitte Touche Tohamatsu Limited

ZTE Corporation

Microsoft Corp.

OFilm Group Co. Ltd., Inc.

Raytheon Technologies

Volkswagen Group of America

NIKE, Inc.

United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)

Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

Maersk, Inc.

H-E-B Grocery Company, L.P.

World Wide Packaging, LLC (WWP Beauty)

KT&G Corporation

Thomas Miller Americas, Inc. (UKP&I)

Work highlights

  • Retained as international trade counsel to ZTE Corporation, a company that was the subject of the largest export controls settlement in US history and two US government-appointed monitors.
  • Successfully represented the Beer Institute in a customs case before the Federal Circuit.
  • Kevin Wolf was retained as the Special Compliance Officer to report to the Department of State to ensure L3Harris Technologies’ compliance with a consent agreement it entered into regarding export control violations.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie LLP is praised by clients for its ‘relationships with senior-level regulatory and administrative agency staff across multiple jurisdictions’. Active across the globe, the team combines its generous international network with strength in each key pillar of customs, export controls, and economic sanctions to provide full-service coverage of complex trade compliance issues. Washington DC-based Janet Kim steers the group and is widely recognized as a leading name for advice on economic sanctions, export control laws and investment restrictions. John McKenzie, based in San Francisco, handles a varied mix of customs, export controls and economic sanctions work, with strong experience in the technology, life sciences, and manufacturing spheres. Palo Alto-based Alison Stafford Powell co-leads the west coast trade compliance team; as a dual UK- and US-qualified lawyer, she is uniquely positioned to support non-US companies navigate US trade regulations. The group also includes Washington DC’s Kerry Contini, who has a growing profile for export controls, sanctions and related human rights issues, and Chicago-based senior associate Eunkyung Kim Shin, who is ‘outstanding in giving practical and effective advice’. Meredith DeMent, based in Washington DC, recently rejoined the customs group from Sidley Austin LLP.

Practice head(s):

Janet Kim

Other key lawyers:

John McKenzie; Alison Stafford Powell; Kerry Contini; Eunkyung Kim Shin; Meredith DeMent; Bart McMillan; Terrence Gilroy; Sylwia Lis; Alexandre Lamy


‘What makes this practice unique is its partnership with the client. It invests heavily in the relationship to ensure that it knows the client’s business inside out; it builds strong personal relationships, it has a very clear understanding of the client’s strategic priorities and intentions, risk appetite and culture.’

‘Baker McKenzie is second-to-none regarding relationships with senior-level regulatory and administrative agency staff across multiple jurisdictions for matters involving customs, export controls, and sanctions.’

‘The team is very responsive, strategic, and knowledgeable about clients’ industries and internal business practices so that advice is tailored to an individual client’s unique needs.’

Hogan Lovells US LLP

A true powerhouse in the world of sanctions,’ Hogan Lovells US LLP impresses with its ability to plug into its extensive global network, which includes Asia-, EU- and UK-based teams, to cover the waterfront on export controls and economic sanctions relating to ‘high-risk’ countries. The group’s deep bench in this sphere includes preeminent expert Beth Peters, who recently secured a ruling for ZTE that released the China-based multinational from a five-year probation term imposed in 2017 for violation of US sanctions. The ZTE work was co-led by Stephen Propst and trade and investment co-head Ajay Kuntamukkala, who is recognized for his experience in the life sciences, nuclear, technology and defense sectors. Other recommended names on the sanctions and export controls front include the ‘clear and practicalAleksandar Dukic, Anthony Capobianco and counsel Josh Gelula. On the customs side, Craig Lewis and Chandri Navarro are key contacts. The team also draws on the broad expertise of trade and investment co-head Deen Kaplan. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Deen Kaplan; Ajay Kuntamukkala

Other key lawyers:

Beth Peters; Stephen Propst; Aleksandar Dukic; Anthony Capobianco; Craig Lewis; Chandri Navarro; Josh Gelula; Julia Diaz


‘Exceptional blend of legal know-how, customer-oriented approach and practical advice.’

‘Aleksandar Dukic: wealth of experience, hands on, breaks down complex matters into easy to understand pieces, very easy to work with, his advice is clear and practical.’

‘Hogan’s team is very prepared, they know the topics very well and are always ready for academic matters in which they can contribute with their knowledge, that makes them integral.’

‘Chandri Navarro is always ready to help, is interested in sharing her knowledge in academic settings, and strives to understand her clients’ needs.’

‘Very experienced and responsive team, a true powerhouse in the world of sanctions.’

‘Aleksandar Dukic is terrific – I’ve been working with him extensively over the past 6 years and he never disappointed me. Julia Diaz, a senior associate who supports him on our cases, is a rising star with a bright future.’

Key clients

Evraz, N.A.

North American Interpipe

Valbruna Slater Stainless

Araupel, S.A.

BYD (HK) Co., Ltd

Suzano, S.A.

Companhia Siderurgical Nacional and CSN LLC



Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings


Aldevron, LLC




Interim Government of Venezuela

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Secured a victory for ZTE in a ruling that released the China-based multinational from a five-year probation term which was imposed in 2017 for violation of US sanctions.
  • Advised Pfizer on multi-jurisdictional trade issues, including economic sanctions, export controls, customs, and trade policy issues globally, concerning the distribution and shipment of the mRNA-based Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Advised Brazilian wood products manufacturer, Araupel, on preparing, filing and defending a prior disclosure with Customs and Border Protection concerning the classification of certain wood products.

Steptoe LLP

Few firms equal the full-service capability of Steptoe LLP’s international trade department. The wider group’s comprehensive offering is reflected in its deep and broad export controls and sanctions expertise, which spans the full range of counseling, compliance, transaction and licensing-related matters. On the sanctions front, the team is well versed in the full range of procedures under the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations, as well as Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) issues and others. The export controls practice is equally comprehensive and it stands as a popular choice to advise clients on increasingly complex regulatory compliance in the encryption and technology fields. Steered out of Washington DC by economic sanctions and export controls co-heads Meredith Rathbone and Edward Krauland, the group also includes deputy chair of the international trade and regulatory compliance group, Alexandra Baj, up-and-coming sanctions expert Dave Stetson, and of counsel Peter Jeydel. Experienced of counsel Gregory McCue leads the customs practice, while Jeffrey Weiss leads the supply chain team.

Other key lawyers:

Meredith Rathbone; Edward Krauland; Dave Stetson; Gregory McCue; Jeffrey Weiss; Alexandra Baj; Peter Jeydel


Steptoe (in particular David Stetson) is one of our go-to sources for economic sanctions advice. The advice we have received from Steptoe is both well thought through and practical, and they are always responsive.’

‘No idea is considered a bad idea when tasked with resolving a policy objective and the thinking, feedback, information received is always fresh, informed, and out-of-the box. They take initiative to put forward ideas and thoughts without being pushed. It’s a great partnership.’

‘Jeffrey Weiss approaches things from a problem-solving perspective rather than a legal perspective, but has the legal background and experience to back ideas up when we want to develop it further.’

Key clients

Companies in Retail Sector

Work highlights

  • On behalf of retail clients, the team helped lead an informal coalition of companies and trade associations in a successful effort to keep proposed changes to the de minimis provisions of US customs law out of the recently enacted CHIPs and Science Act.

ArentFox Schiff

Mainly based in Washington DC, ArentFox Schiff’s international trade department is commended for its ability to ‘face any issue (from export controls to economic sanctions) and give in-depth legal advice’. The economic sanctions and export controls practice ranks among the market leaders, with team head Kay Georgi considered by some as ‘the queen of export controls in Washington DC’. Among Georgi’s recent work, she advised Dover Corporation on an array of trade-related issues, including import and export investigations and False Claims Act (FCA) investigations. The group also draws on the senior expertise of counsel Matthew Tuchband, who spent 21 years at the Office of the Chief Counsel for Foreign Assets Control, while Boston-based Marwa Hassoun is an impressive next-generation partner. The firm additionally fields a robust customs offering, led by David Hamill, which  advises on a range of cross-border trade regulation, including import and customs compliance and duty preference programs.

Practice head(s):

Kay Georgi; David Hamill

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Tuchband; Matthew Nolan; Marwa Hassoun; Matthew Clark; Sylvia Costelloe


ArentFox Schiff’s international trade practice is managed by exceptional professionals able to cover all the different legal profiles that may arise in relation to cross-border operations, transactions and multinational entities.

Led by Kay Georgi, this trade group really understands practical approaches to problem solving. Many of the attorneys have been with BIS or OFAC or CBP and can give you the practical information you need.

With specific regard to international trade compliance, the team is able to promptly face any issue (from export controls to economic sanctions) and give in-depth legal advice, always with a very much appreciated pragmatic approach.

Key clients

Government of Québec

Crown Holdings, Flight Safety, Kingston Technology, and many others

Dover Corporation

AeroVironment, Inc.

American Apparel & Footwear Association; National Retail Federation; Retail Industry Leaders Association; United States Fashion Industry Association AND Forced labor guidance

Lyman Steel Company

ONE Our Next Energy

Crown Cork & Seal

Work highlights

  • Advised clients on compliance with forced labor laws, including evaluating supply chains, implementing codes of conduct and policies, and responding to CBP detention notices and exclusions.
  • Advised Dover Corporation on import and export investigations, audits, compliance training, classifications, and compliance strategies.


BakerHostetler’s thriving international trade practice continues to gain traction on the export controls and economic sanctions side and it has made several strategic hires of late. Most recently, the team welcomed new counsel and national security specialist Scott Jansen from the Department of Defense, who leverages extensive expertise in export controls, sanctions and embargo matters. The hire follows on from the 2021 arrival of trade and national security co-head Melissa Mannino, who also brings to bear significant government-side experience. Other key contacts in this sphere include department co-head Barbara Linney, who strikes a balance between export controls, sanctions and CFIUS-related issues, and Houston-based Lana Muranovic, who is ‘clear, concise and always accurate’. On the customs side, Houston-based litigator Matthew Caligur is noted for his growing profile in the market, while overarching international trade co-head Michael S. Snarr also handles customs disputes. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Linney; Michael S. Snarr

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Mannino; Lana Muranovic; Matthew Caligur; Scott Jansen


The human touch and care isn’t easy to bring to the table, especially considering something as black and white as the law.

Partners in this firm, such as Lana Muranovic, have been humble and go above and beyond the status quo.’

Melissa Mannino is a terrific advisor across an array of topics, particularly export controls, sanctions, and CFIUS. She has many years of experience and is very thoughtful and responsive.

Lana Muranovic is exceptionally responsive, hard working, clear, concise and always accurate. I will continue to use her for all of my external counsel needs.’

Key clients

Ashtead Technology, Inc.

Association for the Administration of Rice Quotas (“AARQ”)

Audio-Technica U.S., Inc.

Conseil de l’Industrie Forestière du Québec

Crystaphase, Inc.

Federal Express Ground

Fi-Foil Company

JACS Solutions

Monument Chemical

Ontario Forest Industries Association

Pentair Filtration Systems

Resolute Forest Products, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised CFIQ (the Québec Forest Industry Council) and its members on a range of customs issues including classification, valuation, origin, and entry.
  • Represented US companies in connection with a blocking of companies by the Delaware Division of Corporations in response to an OFAC determination.

King & Spalding

On the customs front, King & Spalding LLP is widely recognized for its adept handling of major US customs investigations; it also provides support on compliance matters, internal investigations and litigation. Team lead Michael Taylor is distinguished by his broad customs and Homeland Security expertise; he recently acted for ASC Engineered Services in a ‘reverse’ False Claims Act case, alleging improper filings and misrepresentations in relation to certain butt-weld fittings from China. Jeffrey Telep and newly promoted partner Patrick Togni are also recommended for customs work. Christine Savage steers the sanctions, export controls and CFIUS practice and brings to bear significant government-side experience from a previous role as attorney-advisor in the Commerce Department. Savage is particularly noted for her experience in the technology, energy, financial services, and aerospace and defense sectors. Other key contacts for sanctions and export controls matters include counsels Danielle Pressler and Shaswat Das, both of whom have served stints at OFAC, and Alexis Early. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Michael Taylor; Christine Savage

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Telep; Patrick Togni; Danielle Pressler; Shaswat Das; Alexis Early

Key clients

Access USA Shipping, LLC (client for over 5 years)

Aegis Security Insurance Company

Atlas Holdings LLC

American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal Trade (client for over 15 years)

Chr. Hansen, Inc.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (client for over 15 years)

Energizer Holdings, Inc. (client for 5 years)

Hunter Douglas, Inc.

Mueller Water Products, Inc. (client for over 5 years)

Novelis, Inc. (client for over 10 years)

Novolex (client for over 10 years)

Porsche Cars North America (client for over 5 years)

R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Terphane, Inc. (client for over 5 years)

Embraer S.A. (client for over 15 years)

Hexcel Corporation (client for over 15 years)

Work highlights

  • Advised Novelis in relation to the US government’s national security proceedings under Section 232.
  • Represented ASC Engineered Services in a ‘reverse’ False Claims Act case, alleging improper filings and misrepresentations by the company to avoid the payment of duties on certain butt-weld fittings from China.
  • Advised Chr Hansen on preparing and filing tariff classification litigation before the US Court of International Trade.

Latham & Watkins LLP

A dominant player in export controls and sanctions work, Latham & Watkins LLP’s enviable roster of multinational corporations frequently turn to the firm for support on compliance with OFAC, ITAR and EAR regimes. The group enjoys close relationships with a wide range of US and international clients, with strong recent showings in the technology, energy, life sciences, defense, and private equity spheres. Department co-head Les P. Carnegie is sought after for his broad combination of white-collar, trade regulation, and national security expertise; he successfully advised US-based Duolingo before OFAC and secured authorization for it to provide services in Syria. In another high-profile mandate, practice co-head Eric S. Volkman advised the International Olympic Committee on export controls and sanctions matters, including Russia and Belarus-related issues. The Washington DC-based group also includes CFIUS expert Damara Chambers, who has a significant export control and economic sanctions dimension to her practice, and talented counsel Andrew Galdes.

Practice head(s):

Les P. Carnegie; Eric S. Volkman

Other key lawyers:

Damara Chambers; Andrew Galdes

Key clients


International Olympic Committee

Hyundai Motor Company

Switch, Inc.



White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s trade team ‘provides in-depth and detailed legal advice that is always dependable’. Distinguished by its ability to advise clients globally both on export controls against Russia and also on Russia’s countermeasures, it has become a top choice for a broad mix of clients to advise on sanctions and export controls regulation, including foreign governments, state-owned entities, financial institutions and multinational corporations. Together, experienced partners Nicole Erb and Richard Burke co-head the sanctions and export controls department. The team also fields a prominent band of up-and-coming names including Cristina Brayton-Lewis, who is recommended for export controls issues surrounding critical technology. The firm additionally houses an active customs offering, which supports US and foreign clients on compliance matters and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) investigations and audits. Global trade head David Bond has a significant customs dimension to his practice. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise. Joyce Adetutu left the firm in October 2023.

Practice head(s):

David Bond

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Erb; Richard Burke; Cristina Brayton-Lewis


White & Case offers a uniquely full-service trade practice.  Their network extends globally, and allows them to provide advice in many jurisdictions.’

The team’s breadth of knowledge is augmented by the number of former government officials working in the trade practice, allowing insight and connections that are essential to understanding and navigating the complexities of sanctions and export control regimes.’

The team is well organized, very good at communication and well supported. Cristina Brayton-Lewis is both professional in law practice, and with very good business sense to understand our business model and our intent/concerns.

‘White & Case provides in-depth and detailed legal advice that is always dependable.’

‘White & Case excel at bringing in varied internal resources to solve complex problems. Their expertise and extensive relevant trade knowledge have been invaluable to our organization.’

Key clients

Diamond Tools Technology

Work highlights

  • Defended Diamond Tools Technology before CBP and the CIT in one of the first contested cases under the anti-evasion customs law, the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA).
  • Obtained export license within 72 hours for a world leader in respiratory and ballistic protection.
  • Represented Petróleos de Venezuela, the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, in litigation regarding hundreds of millions of dollars of OFAC-blocked assets.

Cassidy Levy Kent (USA) LLP

Cassidy Levy Kent (USA) LLP’s weight is on the customs side, where it links up with its prominent trade remedies practice to specialize in customs-related matters that intersect with antidumping and countervailing duties. Among its other strong suits, the Washington DC-based international trade boutique routinely advises on Section 301 China-specific tariffs and Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products. Customs and trade litigator Yohai Baisburd, who counts the International Sleep Products Association and Mattel among his clients, is recommended for advice on customs compliance, fraud investigations and classification, valuation and origin matters. Other names to note on the customs side include William Baldwin, whose practice covers a wide scope of import-related issues, and counsel Alexandra Hess, who recently joined from the CBP. The team is also increasingly involved with economic controls and sanctions matters for clients in the technology, defense contracting, manufacturing, and food and beverage sectors, among others; recently promoted partner Ulrika Swanson is a key contact in this sphere.

Other key lawyers:

Yohai Baisburd; William Baldwin; Ulrika Swanson; Alexandra Hess

Key clients

Delta Air Lines Inc.

Performance Food Group

Nidec Motor Corp.

United States Steel Corp.

ABB Enterprise Software, Inc. (aka Hitachi-ABB Power Grids)

American HFC Coalition

Thomas Steel Strip




Work highlights

  • Advised International Sleep Products Association, and major US bedding manufacturers, on a range of customs and  cross-border matters.
  • Advised Performance Food Group on customs and other compliance-related matters.
  • Represented Topcon Positioning Systems in classification litigation against CBP.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

A dominant force in economic sanctions, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP advises on the full scope of related matters, from the development of compliance programs, through to high-stakes OFAC investigations and enforcement proceedings. Sitting within the firm’s premier financial institutions group, the team is widely recognized for its close relationships with global banks, financial institutions, investment vehicles and stock exchanges, but it also advises multinational corporations and state-owned enterprises on sensitive sanctions issues. Former group head John Reynolds recently stepped down to senior counsel but remains sought after for his comprehensive experience in complex national security-related work, including economic sanctions. Paul Marquardt now fronts the Washington DC-based national security team and handles a range of economic sanctions, export controls, AML, and anti-corruption matters. Experienced counsel Will Schisa, who was formerly an attorney in the legal office that supports OFAC, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paul Marquardt

Other key lawyers:

John Reynolds; Will Schisa

Key clients


Banco Santander







Cornell Capital

Credit Suisse

Doctors Without Borders (pro bono)


Galaxy Digital




JPMorgan Chase

Kroll, Inc.

Meta (formerly Facebook)

MidFirst Bank


Morgan Stanley





PNC Capital Markets


Sense Bank (formerly Alfa-Bank Ukraine)



TP Global Operations Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised numerous US, Chinese and international financial institutions, investment vehicles, stock exchanges, state-owned enterprises and global technology corporations on US sanctions, and other restrictive measures, against China and Hong Kong.
  • Worked with multiple financial institutional clients and OFAC in relation to the implementation of new sanctions programs and changes to existing sanctions programs.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Centered in Washington DC, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s international trade group demonstrates strong skill sets in economic sanctions and export controls matters. A popular choice to advise its broad base of multinational clients on compliance issues, the group notably provides ongoing advice to Amazon, and its subsidiary Twitch Interactive, on economic sanctions and export controls. Judith Alison Lee co-chairs the wider international trade practice and specializes in international trade regulation, including economic sanctions and export controls; notably, she spearheads the trade practice’s advice to Amazon. The team also includes Adam Smith, a former Senior Advisor to OFAC, and technology-focused trade specialist Stephenie Gosnell Handler, who recently rejoined the firm from McKinsey & Company. The group also has significant capability in customs matters, where it routinely advises on preferential trade regimes.

Practice head(s):

Judith Alison Lee; Ronald Kirk

Other key lawyers:

Adam Smith; Stephenie Gosnell Handler; Christopher Timura

Key clients

Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co., Ltd and Twitch Interactive

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and umbers ICANN)

Liberty Hall Capital Partners

PT Bukit Muria Jaya

Innospec, Inc.

Suncor Energy


Freedom House

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s Washington DC-based team provides a ‘unique service tailored to client needs’, according to sources. Forming key parts of the broader international trade offering, the economic sanctions and embargoes practice, and the export and technology transfer controls group are equipped to advise on the full range of related regulatory compliance issues. The group is a force in the nuclear sphere, where it possesses niche expertise in advising on nuclear export controls and the overlap of the EAR with Department of Energy (DOE) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regimes. The defense, technology, and traditional energy industries additionally stand out as practice sweet spots. High-profile expert Christopher Wall is noted for his adept handling of commercial and military export matters, economic sanctions, and customs work. Trade co-chairs Stephan Becker and Nancy Fischer are also recommended for their sanctions and export controls experience, along with Aaron Hutman and counsel Benjamin Cote.

Practice head(s):

Stephan Becker; Nancy Fischer

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Wall; Aaron Hutman; Benjamin Cote


We value the team for its historical knowledge of our business, knowledge of export laws and regulations, and attention to details.’

‘The firm has a long-standing history in this market. I personally have used the firm for over 15 yrs. They are well diverse to handle all aspects of the law.

Pillsbury provides a unique service tailored to client needs. I’m really impressed by the case management and professional counsel provided by the team lead by Stephan Becker.’

Key clients

General Atomics


Ad Hoc Utilities Group (Duke Energy (Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC and Duke Energy Progress, LLC), Constellation Energy (formerly Exelon Generation Company, LLC), Ameren Missouri, Dominion (Dominion Energy Services, Inc., Virginia Electric and Power Company, Dominion Energy Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., and Dominion Energy South Carolina), Energy Northwest, Entergy Corporation, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and Xcel Energy Services, Inc.)

Government of Mexico

Government of New Brunswick

MP Materials


KONE Corporation

Ravago Americas

Valmet Corporation and Valmet Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted as legal counsel to the Raine Group, the advisor to the Chelsea Football Club, in the latter’s acquisition by a consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital Group, including sanctions-related matters.
  • Advised MP Materials on its participation in the Section 232 national security investigation of rare earth magnets.
  • Acted as US export control and sanctions legal adviser to Leapmotor, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, in connection with the company’s application for a public listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.


WilmerHale's interdisciplinary anti-money laundering (AML) and economic sanctions compliance and enforcement group brings together specialists in international trade, sanctions, and government relations. With on-the-ground platforms in Europe and China, as well as the US, the team is well placed to provide multinational clients with coordinated global sanctions advice. Washington DC-based senior counsel Ronald Meltzer fronts the team and stands out for his established record in representing clients in the technology, financial services and transport spheres on economic sanctions-related matters. The group also benefits from the experience of Washington DC-based Michael Dawson, who has an emphasis on the technology and financial sectors, and New York-based Zachary Goldman, who specializes in advising financial services clients on sanctions and AML issues. Special counsel David Horn recently left to join the Department of the Treasury.

Practice head(s):

Ronald Meltzer

Other key lawyers:

Michael Dawson; Zachary Goldman

Work highlights

  • Established a Russia- and Belarus-related sanctions help desk to provide ‘round-the-clock’ sanctions advice to multiple clients.

Clifford Chance

Lawyers at Clifford Chancefocus on the opportunity not the threat’. A growing force in the field, the international trade, regulatory and enforcement practice specializes in defending domestic and multinational corporations in government investigations arising from US economic sanctions and export control programs. George Kleinfeld co-heads the Washington DC-based team and frequently appears before OFAC, and other agencies, in enforcement and regulatory proceedings. Global risk specialist David DiBari co-leads a ‘practical and responsive’ group that also includes Renée Latour and trial lawyer Joshua Berman.

Practice head(s):

David DiBari; George Kleinfeld

Other key lawyers:

Renée Latour; Joshua Berman; Holly Bauer


The team is very competent; lawyers focus on the opportunity not the threat. It is probably one of the best firms I’ve worked in this field.’

Incredibly knowledgeable, practical, and responsive.’

Clifford Chance’s team international trade practice is very responsive. Looks for, and finds, pragmatic solutions.

Renée Latour and associate Holly Bauer are both very proactive; quickly make a thorough analysis, find pragmatic solutions and help to get these implemented smoothly. Propose how to handle matters to ensure compliance, while also getting the transaction done quickly, without unnecessary delay.’

Key clients

Swedbank AB

London Metal Exchange


Capital Dynamics

Work highlights

  • Conducted a broad investigation stemming from allegations that customers of Swedbank’s Baltic subsidiaries had facilitated money laundering.
  • Advised Capital Dynamics on the lift-out of certain US clean energy infrastructure funds by APG, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
  • Advised a large global product manufacturer in conducting a DOJ and OFAC investigation into an India-based joint venture partner for alleged violations of North Korean sanctions.

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP’s brand is synonymous with the technology and life sciences spheres and its industry strengths translate into a trade practice that is ‘especially adept at addressing export controls arising in the technology sector’. Kevin King chairs the Washington-based export controls and sanctions group and advises a broad base of US and foreign startups, public and private companies and venture capital clients on EAR, ITAR, OFAC and other anti-corruption issues. CFIUS specialist Christopher Kimball is noted for his expertise in export classifications and critical technologies. Other key contacts include Annie Froehlich, who recently joined from Carrier Corporation, and Rebecca Ross—both of whom are special counsels.

Practice head(s):

Kevin King; Christopher Kimball

Other key lawyers:

Annie Froehlich; Rebecca Ross; Sarah Oliai


‘Cooley’s team is especially adept at addressing export controls arising in the technology sector, and especially with encryption/software matters—something many law firms simply cannot handle.’

‘Cooley has seen so many permutations that they have excellent instincts and data points/anecdotes that enable prediction across other matters, improving efficiencies.’

Cooley’s export controls team is excellent, showing a deep knowledge of US export control regulations, including export classifications and the use of license exceptions/exemptions. Cooley has demonstrated to me its deep expertise and its deep bench on export controls issues.’

‘Kevin King is particularly strong in this area and is very user friendly/easy to work with.’

‘The strength of this team is its ability to provide quick, actionable, and practical feedback. Their assessment is never too academic and is always something that the business can operationalize against. They are also incredibly kind, which makes all the difference to us in choosing our counsel.’

‘Annie Froehlich is an absolute powerhouse. She is quick, thorough, practical, and knowledgeable. Not only do we always learn something new when we engage with her, but she is incredibly knowledgeable on how the law affects SaaS-based companies and spots issues with a practical and risk-based lens.’

I worked with Kevin King, Annie Froehlich, and associate Sarah Oliai on a variety of critical technologies assessments, which are largely export classification analyses. They have shown a deep level of expertise on the key issues of export classifications and license exceptions/exemptions.’

Dechert LLP

The Washington DC-based team at Dechert LLP possesses extensive experience in supporting US and foreign clients on highly sensitive economic sanctions and export controls-related matters. Advising on the full scope of compliance, investigations and enforcement, the group had strong recent activity in the technology, energy, financial services, and aerospace and defense sectors. Most notably, department head Jeremy B. Zucker recently paired up with up-and-coming partner Darshak Dholakia to advise Huawei on sanctions and export controls issues in relation to ongoing US Government investigations. Former global trade chair Amanda DeBusk recently retired.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy B. Zucker

Other key lawyers:

Darshak Dholakia; Hrishikesh Hari


The team is well versed in not only the law but the government personnel who make decisions. That allows for more streamlined handling of regulatory matters.’

We value the team’s responsiveness and experience. Darshak Dholakia and Jeremy Zucker are our go-to partners.

Key clients

Xiaodi Hou, former CEO of TuSimple

Huawei Technologies

Francisco D’Agostino

Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein

Aliaksei Aleksin

Asia Green Development Bank

Keysight Technologies



GIC  (Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund)

Graham Partners

Work highlights

  • Representing Huawei on sanctions and export controls issues in connection with ongoing US Government investigations.
  • Representing five different sanctioned clients in connection with submitting petitions to OFAC seeking their removal from sanctions lists.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s multidisciplinary practice is distinguished by its ability to resource complex regulatory, transactional and litigation work within one team. Washington DC-based department co-chair Nabeel Yousef routinely engages with government agencies on sanctions, export control, and anti-corruption matters; he recently advised BT on regulatory compliance issues, with a focus on the Commerce Department’s Entity List restrictions on Huawei. Litigator Kimberly Zelnick co-chairs the department from New York, and is noted for her financial institutions expertise. New York-based counsel Stephanie Brown Cripps brings to bear strong transactional experience.

Practice head(s):

Nabeel Yousef;Kimberley Zelnick; Aimen Mir

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Brown Cripps

Key clients

Amur/International Financing Syndicate

Japan Arctic LNG B.V.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

BT Group plc



Utilizing the firm’s expertise in the technology sector, Goodwin’s trade team specializes in representing technology and life sciences companies and sources attest, ‘advice is detailed and specific to the very individual needs of each of its clients’. The group’s comprehensive regulatory skillset spans OFAC, EAR and ITAR-related regimes, while its recent work encompasses compliance, transactional support and enforcement matters. Global trade head Richard Matheny ‘mixes experiences with wise counsel’ and spearheads a department that also includes Jacob Osborn, who has a focus on clients in the electronics, telecoms, software, and encryption spheres. Government contracts specialist Liza Craig recently joined from Reed Smith LLP.

Practice head(s):

Richard Matheny

Other key lawyers:

Jacob Osborn; Liza Craig; Amy Josselyn


Goodwin’s practice in this area is particularly good, as advice is detailed and specific to the very individual needs of each of its clients.’

You never feel as if you are given “boilerplate” advice, but instead are listened to and your circumstances are considered and not assumed. This, unfortunately, is not true of all external legal counsel we work with and we appreciate the individualized support.

‘Goodwin’s export controls team is well staffed and very knowledgeable. Their attorneys, from junior associates up through to partners, are easy to work with. They are know the law very well and are open to discussions and analyses of other views. Excellent attorneys and people.’

‘Richard Matheny, Jacob Osborn and Amy Josselyn are the lawyers who I work with the most. They are all excellent attorneys and people.’

Richard Matheny mixes experiences with wise counsel to provide assistance in a gray area of the law that is always shifting.’

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Highly regarded for its trade remedies expertise, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP maintains a full-service international trade practices that also handles customs matters and a growing volume of economic sanctions work. In terms of the former sphere, the group is well versed in audits, regulatory compliance, and US trade measures targeting forced labor, with practice head John Foote noted for his niche expertise in supply chains. On the export controls and economic sanctions side, Eric McClafferty and Robert Slack kept busy advising on a broad range of compliance, investigations and enforcement matters.

Other key lawyers:

John Foote; Eric McClafferty; Robert Slack

Key clients



National Basketball Association (NBA)

TATA Communications (America), Inc.


Newmont Goldcorp

Newell Rubbermaid


R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company


VF Corporation

Worldwide Door Components, Inc.

RJ Reynolds


Bemis Manufacturing Company

ArcelorMittal USA


DAK Americas

Specialty Steel Industry of North America

Allegheny Technologies Inc.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Leveraging the firm’s platforms in Europe, China and the UK, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s team stands out for its ability to ‘get experts from across different sanction regimes together to allow clients to make informed decisions’. The cross-department practice draws on Washington DC-based international trade and national security co-heads Mario Mancuso and Ivan Schlager, with Mancuso in particular dedicating a significant portion of his practice to economic sanctions, export controls, and other international risk issues. In New York, government enforcement specialist Zachary Brez is also noted for his expertise in international risk matters.

Practice head(s):

Zachary Brez; Mario Mancuso; Ivan Schlager


‘The team is responsive as our queries require a timely response. One of their strengths is ability to get experts from across different sanction regimes together to allow clients to make informed decisions on sanctions and export control issues.’

‘The individuals are knowledgeable in their respective fields and provide insight and, when circumstances allows, options for consideration.’

Key clients

Arlington Capital Partners

The Jordan Company, LP

Mayer Brown

Led by licensed customs broker Sydney MintzerMayer Brown’s Washington DC-based customs practice has recently experienced a significant uptick in supply chain-related work, including forced-labor compliance matters. The team has also recorded growth in advising China-based companies on US customs law, where mandarin speaker Jing Zhang is a key contact; notably, Zhang also advises US-based clients on issues related to China’s new blocking laws. From platforms in Washington DC and Dubai, Tamer Soliman heads the export control and sanctions practice globally; he is noted for his focus on the extra-territorial application of US regulations.

Practice head(s):

Sydney Mintzer; Tamer Soliman

Other key lawyers:

Jing Zhang


‘The team in Washington DC has strong insight, significant experience and knowledge and deep connections with the authorities, which make its performance special and reliable.’

Key clients


Amy’s Kitchen

EverPro Technologies Company, Ltd.

Southwire Company

Element Electronics


Powin Inc.

Arkema Inc.

NLMK Group

Wireless Supply Services, LLC

Premium Tobacco Co.

Blue Stem Brands

Maesa Inc.

Volvo Car Corporation

INEOS Americas Inc.

Teijin Holdings Ltd

Webb Wheel Products

Acron USA

Perfection Hy-Test Company


Various (Russia Wind-Down and Divestment Engagements – SWIFT, Dow Chemical*, General Motors*, DXC*, Schneider SA, Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu Limited)

Work highlights

  • Represented Arkema in ongoing customs litigation at the US Court of International Trade seeking to invalidate certain Section 301 duties imposed by the US Government on imports from China.
  • Secured an affirmative ruling from US customs on behalf of Perfection Hytest Company regarding the production of certain engine components in China.
  • Advised Cognizant on multi-jurisdictional export controls and sanctions matters in connection with its acquisition of ESG Mobility’s global operations.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s growing profile in the international trade arena was recently evidenced by the arrival of the former acting chief of the Department of Justice’s Foreign Investment Review Section, David Plotinsky. He joins a group that has handled export controls and sanctions matters concerning most of the regimes in the US, including the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and OFAC. Giovanna Cinelli steers the Washington DC-based group and specializes in advising defense and technology clients on export control matters. Kenneth Nunnenkamp is also recommended for his experience in export controls and sanctions.

Practice head(s):

Giovanna Cinelli

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Nunnenkamp; David Plotinsky

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster strikes the right note for its ability to put forward ‘suggestions around technologies and techniques to employ to achieve compliance’. Sitting as part of the broader national security practice, the sanctions and export controls team is well versed across a range of compliance, investigations and prosecution-related issues. The Washington DC-based group additionally stands out for its inclusion of several former government officials such as department co-chairs John Smith, who is a former Director of OFAC, and Brandon Van Grack, who is a former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, as well as of counsel Andrea Delisi, who also had a stint at OFAC.

Practice head(s):

John Smith; Brandon Van Grack

Other key lawyers:

Charles Capito; Joseph Benkert; Andrea Delisi


‘One of the things that makes MoFo’s team unique is its availability and promptness to address our requests, no matter the time or date. The team is made up of very professional personnel.’

‘During our years working with them, we’ve had a pleasing experience, especially with John Smith and Andrea Delisi. They have showed their professionalism, knowledge and expertise in the matters. We value their timely, effective and comprehensive answers to our requests.’

‘John Smith is great in looping in the experts to get a risk-based approach.’

The team brings a wealth of knowledge to the area, making suggestions around technologies and techniques to employ to achieve compliance in this complicated field.’

Charles Capito and senior advisor Joseph Benkert are both stand-out individuals. 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.’

John Smith stands out as the authority on international trade. He is always willing to help and advise. A great sparring partner who, by understanding the law and the business risks, adds great value to the business.

Key clients

Office of the President of Ukraine

The Clearing House

JP Morgan Chase



Silicon Valley Bank

Central American Bank for Economic Integration

Association of American Publishers


McGraw Hill



ICBC Standard Bank


Work highlights

  • Advised the Office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy regarding US and other sanctions regime.

Paul Hastings LLP

Over the past year, Paul Hastings LLP advised a string of multinational corporations on compliance with export control and economic sanctions regulation, with a focus on clients in the technology and financial services spheres. Scott Flicker, noted as ‘deeply knowledgeable’, chairs the global trade controls practice and has recently undertaken work for Mitsubishi Corporation, Kobe Steel and Baidu USA. The group also draws on litigator Tom Best, whose practice encompasses anti-corruption matters, economic sanctions and export controls, and trade- and national security-focused associate Talya Hutchison. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Scott Flicker

Other key lawyers:

Tom Best; Talya Hutchison


‘A very strong team in the specialized practice area of FARA, LDA, trade issues (Entities List, etc.). Their key partner, Scott Flicker, is deeply knowledgeable and commercially minded. He and his well-trained team are able to deliver easy-to-grasp but thorough advice, often in very time sensitive situations.’

‘Scott Flicker is preternaturally calm, even in stressful situations and imparts this sense of calm to the matters at hand. He has many times now, jumped into a matter on very short notice and managed to resolve it and/or offer valuable direction on how to proceed.’

‘The team is global and has great expertise. They also have good investigation experience.’

Key clients


Mitsubishi Corporation




TCW Group, Inc.

Morgan Stanley


Huatai Securities

Work highlights

  • Advised SAP on its obligations under its 2021 non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ, its interaction with government authorities on license applications and enforcement matters, and on all aspects of export control and sanctions matters.
  • Advised Mitsubishi Corporation and its affiliates on navigating US sanctions on Venezuela, specifically on applications for specific licenses from OFAC, as well as sanction compliance support in the wake of the Russia sanctions program.
  • Assisted Xiaomi Corporation with export control and sanction compliance, as well as with numerous export classification exercises to ensure compliance with US export control laws.

Wiley Rein LLP

Wiley Rein LLP’s robust customs practice is noted for its advice on classification and origin regulations, Section 301 and 232 duties, and forced labor-related matters. Maureen Thorson, noted as a ‘great resource on USTR movement and issues’, combines experience in both customs law and international trade litigation. The department also houses a capable export controls team, led by John Shane, which advises clients on ITAR, EAR and OFAC-related compliance and enforcement matters. The Washington DC-based group additionally includes Lori Scheetz, who specializes in export controls and economic sanctions, and national security chair Nazak Nikakhtar.

Practice head(s):

Nazak Nikakhtar; John Shane; Maureen Thorson; Lori Scheetz


‘Wiley has been a trusted advisor for us concerning export controls. In this era of complicated regulations on the world stage, Wiley has done a nice job of keeping us educated through webinars and by providing concise, helpful counsel when we have specific questions or issues.’

‘Lori Scheetz is my primary contact and is responsive and thorough in addressing issues or concerns that arise at my company. She is knowledgeable, practical and responsive.’

‘Highly knowledgeable on export requirements. The firm has great connections within the government. They don’t over complicate things and are always available to help.’

Key clients


Work highlights

  • Successfully petitioned for iRobot after the US government announced a new opportunity to request reinstatement of expired exclusions.