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International trade and sanctions


Meet the team

International trade and sanctions frameworks are complex and often respond to dynamic, volatile and changing political landscapes. Our international trade and sanctions service, which forms an integral part of our global regulation and investigations group, helps clients navigate this fast-evolving domestic, multinational and global framework.

The globalization of international trade controls and sanctions, and the new reality of cooperation between international regulators in different jurisdictions, requires businesses to adopt a coordinated, global approach. A failure to comply with international trade and sanctions regimes can result in significant civil and criminal sanctions, harsh penalties for businesses and even imprisonment for individuals.

Our global capabilities in international trade and sanctions offer companies, financial institutions and senior executives a ‘one stop’ global service covering multi-jurisdictional international trade controls and sanctions regimes, including UN, US, EU, Australian, Canadian and UK sanctions, AML laws, embargoes and export controls, counter-measures and anti-boycott regulations. Our group is active in the United States, Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia

We deliver

We advise clients on specific transactions, assist them in the design and implementation of global compliance programs, help to obtain licenses and permits, manage relationships with regulators, defend enforcement actions and handle related civil and criminal litigation.

We combine wide-ranging experience and knowledge of best practices in international trade and sanctions with a strategic focus on key industry sectors, particularly financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; life sciences and healthcare.

Our areas of work include

  • anti-boycott regulations
  • classification requests
  • business ethics and anti-corruption
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States filings
  • commodity jurisdiction requests
  • compliance policies and procedures
  • customs laws ( including classification, valuation, origin, marking, preference programs and quotas, drawback and NAFTA regulations)
  • customs petitions and obtaining customs rulings
  • export and trade of ‘dual use’ goods, software and technology
  • export and trade of military, defense and aerospace goods, services and technical data
  • export license applications
  • economic sanctions and embargo regulations
  • pre- and post–acquisition due diligence
  • government investigations and enforcement
  • internal audits and investigations
  • training
  • transportation and shipping
  • voluntary self-disclosure

Our recent work

  • represented non-US bank before bank regulators in connection with an enforcement action that included US AML issues
  • negotiated major enforcement actions from both private sector and public sector sides for US banks and US offices of foreign banks, and assisted clients with enforcement action compliance involving US AML and related laws
  • represented major US bank before US and New York regulators with respect to investigation into US AML compliance issues and recordkeeping regarding trading activities
  • advised a European-headquartered global financial institution in connection with economic sanctions issues arising out of recent developments in Russia and Ukraine, including the application of sanctions to complex financial instruments and the potential exposure of multiple operations of the business in the UK and multiple jurisdictions in Europe
  • represented and defended a major international energy services company in a multi-jurisdictional and
    cross-border investigation concerning alleged corruption and breaches of international sanctions and export control compliance, and involving multiple regulators
  • advised on the application of US and EU sanctions against Myanmar in relation to a proposed joint venture between a multinational operator of logistics assets and a Myanmar company
  • provided EU sanctions advice to a Korean shipping company with regard to the impact on their financing arrangements of the acquisition of vessels transporting crude oil from Iran
  • advised the subsidiary of a major international defense contractor in significant multi-jurisdictional investigations leading to significant criminal and civil proceedings in the US and UK in relation to trade control and sanctions issues
  • advised a global manufacturer based in Canada on the application of debt and capital funding restrictions on Russian entities and assisted with the implementation of a compliance program
  • represented distributor of electronic components in major government export control investigation involving the export of several million items resulting in favorable settlement with BIS