A highly respected and supremely capable practitioner" ... "conveys a sense of what it’s like to be on the government side...
Chambers USA

As Pillsbury’s senior international trade partner, Christopher Wall focuses his practice on export controls and sanctions, foreign investment, international trade proceedings and policy.

Chris advises clients on commercial and military export licensing, compliance and enforcement matters; OFAC and other economic sanctions; national security (CFIUS) reviews and investigations; anti-boycott compliance and enforcement; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; import relief proceedings; NAFTA and WTO dispute resolution; Court of International Trade appeals; bilateral investment treaties; complex Customs matters; and trade policy and legislation. A past Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, Chris works closely with a wide range of U.S. government agencies.

Representative Experience

  • More than thirty years’ experience advising U.S. and foreign companies on all aspects of Commerce and State Department licensing, compliance and enforcement.
  • Advised and represented major U.S. and foreign financial institutions and corporations on all U.S. economic sanctions programs imposed and lifted during past 30 years, including those targeting Iran, Cuba, Russia, Libya, Burma, Syria and North Korea.
  • Represented clients in high-profile CFIUS cases, prepared hundreds of notifications since enactment of the 1988 Exon-Florio Amendment, and participated in drafting FINSA regulations as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration.

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  • Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
    • Matters have included commodity classification (CCATS) requests, license applications, advice on license exceptions and scope of the EAR, encryption exports and imports, voluntary disclosures, internal investigations, M&A due diligence, crisis management, enforcement proceedings and settlements, drafting, implementing and auditing internal control programs, and training.
    • Representative clients have included aerospace, electronics, software, manufacturing, petroleum and petrochemical, media, and data processing companies, financial institutions, other financial services companies, and universities.
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
    • Matters have included commodity jurisdiction requests, license applications, proviso interpretations, technical assistance and manufacturing license agreements, satellite and other sensitive technology exports, M&A due diligence, internal investigations, voluntary disclosures, settlements, and serving as an expert witness in arbitration proceedings.
    • Clients have included major UK, Swedish and U.S. defense companies, foreign aerospace manufacturers and defense contractors.
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) 
    • Matters have included advising clients on the preparation and implementation of compliance programs, training, internal reviews and investigations, M&A due diligence, and representing clients in voluntary disclosures and enforcement proceedings.
    • Advised financial institutions such as American Express, BNY Mellon, Standard Chartered Bank and others on sanctions compliance and enforcement.
    • Advised media clients including Facebook, Thomson Reuters, Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Motion Picture Association of American on the Berman Amendment exempting exports and imports of information and informational material.
    • Advised travel industry clients such as Sabre, Travelocity, American Express Travel Related Services and MasterCard on sanctions issues related to travel and charge card activities, including internal investigations, voluntary disclosures and enforcement proceedings.
    • Advised aerospace clients on sanctions compliance and licensing, conducted internal investigations, and represented clients in voluntary disclosures and enforcement proceedings related to sales, leasing and use of aircraft in countries subject to sanctions.
    • Advised and represented U.S. and foreign corporations on extraterritorial conflicts arising between U.S. sanctions regulations and foreign blocking measures.
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
    • Advised trade associations, industry organizations and corporations on the 1988 Exon-Florio legislation, Byrd Amendment and implementing regulations, including testimony before Congress, and participated in drafting regulations under the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA).
    • Represented Asian-based Macquarie fund in the first port transaction after the Dubai Ports World controversy, as well as various other Macquarie-affiliated entities in subsequent infrastructure transactions.
    • Represented Qatar Petroleum in its acquisition of a majority interest in the Golden Pass LNG terminal facility from ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.
  • Antiboycott
    • Advised American Express, BNY Mellon and others on antiboycott compliance and reporting, including Office of Antiboycott Compliance audits, M&A due diligence, internal investigations, voluntary disclosures and enforcement proceedings.
  •  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
    • Advised corporate clients on drafting and implementing FCPA compliance programs, analyzing questionable payments issues, conducting training, directing M&A due diligence, reporting to boards and audit committees, and working with criminal and SEC defense counsel.
  • Trade Agreements, Trade Policy and Market Access
    • Advised industry organizations and corporations on international investment policy, bilateral investment treaty and other international trade negotiations (Doha Round and Uruguay Round), and country accession negotiations.
    • Developed and implemented strategies to use trade agreements to open foreign markets and to counter the subsidization of international investment transactions.
    • Represented Ethyl Corporation in one of the first NAFTA Chapter 11 investor-state arbitrations against the Government of Canada.
    • Advised numerous corporate clients on NAFTA implementation issues, including rules of origin and tariff treatment of products.
  • Import Relief Proceedings 
    • Represented both petitioners and respondents in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the Commerce Department and International Trade Commission.

Professional Highlights

  • Chambers USA, International Trade: CFIUS Experts (2012–2019); International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions—National (2006–2018, 2020–2021); International Trade—National (2006–2010, 2013)
  • Chambers Global, International Trade: CFIUS Experts (2007–2015) and Export Controls & Sanctions—USA (2007–2021)
  • The Legal 500 U.S., International Trade—Leading Lawyer (2012 – 2019); Hall of Fame (2020)

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  • Co-chair, PLI Program: Coping with U.S. Export Controls and Sanctions 2018, December 13–14, 2018 (Washington, DC)
  • Co-chair of Practicing Law Institute Conference “Coping with Export Controls and Sanctions” (2002–present)
  • Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security, Washington, DC (July 2008–January 2009)
  • Associations
    • Council on Foreign Relations
    • Board of Directors of the U.S. Council for International Business
    • American Bar Association (including Chair, Special Advisory Committee on International Activities; Vice Chair, Section of International Law and Practice; and Co-Chair, International Litigation Committee of the Section of Litigation)
    • Committee on Homeland Security and Export Controls, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences
    • Advisory Board of the Central and East European Law Initiative
    • Past chair, Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC
    • Past, chair, Trade and Investment Advisory Committee of the British American Business Association
  • Honors & Awards
    • Best Lawyers (published by BL Rankings LLC), International Trade and Finance Law (2009–2022)
    • Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing (2011)
  • Selected Presentations
    • “Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets and Other Emerging Devices: The Most Recent Examples of Inadvertent Technical Data Export Violations and How to Avoid Them,” ACI 9th Annual Export Controls Forum on International Technology Transfers, Cloud Computing and Deemed Exports, Washington, DC, 2016.
    • “Iran Sanctions After Implementation Day,” The Export Practitioner, Washington, DC, February 17, 2016.
    • “What the Iran Nuclear Deal Will Mean for U.S. Business,” The Export Practitioner, August 2015.
    • “Evolving U.S. Economic Sanctions and their Legal Implications – Cuba, Iran, Russia and Burma,” ACC Greater New York’s Full Day CLE Event, July 22, 2015.
    • “The Need to Anticipate – Best Practices for Compliance Readiness,” Argyle’s Chief of Legal Officer Forum, New York, October 18, 2011.
    • “Export Control Reform: Security Enhancement and Economic Boon?” American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington, DC, July 14, 2010.
    • China Summit on Export Controls Compliance, Conference Co-Chair and “Deciding Whether or Not to Apply for the Validated End User (VEU) Program,” American Conference Institute, Beijing, April 20–21, 2010.
    • “U.S. Export Controls and Their Impact on German Companies,” vbw-Vereinigung der Bayerischedn Wirtschaft, Munich, March 16, 2010.
    • “Export Controls: Challenges and Recommendations for the Obama Administration,” Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC, November 20, 2008.
    • “Sanctions and Export Controls as U.S. Foreign Policy Tools,” Plenary Remarks, 21st Annual IBC Conference on Global Trade Controls, London, November 18, 2008.
    • “The Export Administration Agenda,” Plenary Remarks, Update 2008 Conference on Export Controls and Policy, Globalization, National Security and Technology Leadership, Washington, DC, September 30, 2008.
    • “Responding to OFAC Inquiries and Enforcement Actions,” American Conference Institute National Forum on OFAC Enforcement and Compliance, Washington, DC, June 17, 2008.
    • “Developing an Effective Licensing Strategy for China Exports and Reexports,” American Conference Institute 11th National Forum on Export Controls, Washington, DC, May 28, 2008.
    • “Foreign Direct Investment and Global Concerns,” Moderator, Council on Foreign Relations Corporate Program Conference Call with Edward Alden, December 19, 2007.
    • “CFIUS: New Rules for Foreign Investment in the U.S.,” Gilston-Kalin Communications, Audio-Conference Briefing, November 14, 2007.
  • Selected Trade Publications
    • “U.S. Sanctions Move Falls Short for Myanmar,” Nikkei Asian Review, May 19, 2016.
    • “Iran Deal Sidelines U.S. Business,” USA Today, August 27, 2015.
    • “New Ukraine Sanctions – U.S., EU and Canada Take Action,” Law360, March 12, 2014.
    • “Using Sanctions to Promote Responsible Investment,” FT.com, July 8, 2013. Co-author.
    • “5 FAQ’s About Burma Investment Reporting Requirements,” Law360, June 11, 2013.
    • “National Export Initiative: Only a Passing Grade,” North American Free Trade and Investment Report, Thomson Reuters World Trade Executive, July 2010.
    • “Weak Tea: The U.N. Sanctions Against Iran Have Been Watered Down to Almost Nothing,” Foreign Policy, June 8, 2010.
    • “International Trade Policy: Missing from the Recovery,” North American Free Trade and Investment Report, Thomson Reuters World Trade Executive, January 2010.
    • “Proposed CFIUS Rules: Addressing National Security Issues in the Context of Foreign Direct Investment,” Washington Legal Foundation Contemporary Legal Note, August 2008.
    • “National Security Reviews Under FINSA – What Happens Next?” Financier Worldwide, November 2007.
    • “Foreign Investment Limits in U.S. Energy and Infrastructure Assets,” Texas Lawyer, May 28, 2007. Co-author.
  • Firm Publications
    • U.S. Steps Up Pressure on Iran with Sanctions on Additional Financial Institutions and Continuation of Arms Embargo, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Stephan E. Becker, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Sahar J. Hafeez, Roya Motazedi, Toochi L. Ngwangwa, 10/12/2020
    • U.S. Commerce Department Implements Multilateral Controls on Six Emerging Technologies, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Benjamin J. Cote, Zachary C. Rozen, Toochi L. Ngwangwa, 10/7/2020
    • U.S. Commerce Department Announces Prohibited Transactions Related to WeChat and TikTok but Implementation Is Delayed, Authors: Nancy A. Fischer, Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Toochi L. Ngwangwa, 9/20/2020
    • CFIUS Issues Final Rule Basing Mandatory Declaration Requirement on U.S. Export Control Criteria, Authors: Nancy A. Fischer, Christopher R. Wall, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, 9/16/2020
    • Sudan Update: OFAC Issues Guidance Clarifying Status of U.S. Sanctions and Export Controls, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Aaron R. Hutman, Toochi L. Ngwangwa, 9/4/2020
    • U.S. Commerce Department Imposes New Restrictions on Huawei, Authors: Stephan E. Becker, Christopher R. Wall, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 8/18/2020
    • House and Senate pass NDAA bills that include expanded U.S. sanctions on Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction and State Department expands CAATSA Section 232 guidance on export energy pipelines, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Stephan E. Becker, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Roya Motazedi, Stephanie T. Rosenberg, 8/12/2020
    • Executive Orders Target TikTok and WeChat Application Makers, Authors: Nancy A. Fischer, Christopher R. Wall, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, 8/10/2020
    • The United States No Longer Considers Hong Kong Autonomous from China, Setting the Stage for Rule Changes that Could Disrupt Trade and Economic Relations, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker; Aaron R. Hutman, Benjamin J. Cote, Roya Motazedi, 5/29/2020
    • CFIUS Proposes Mandatory Declaration Requirement Based on U.S. Export Control Criteria, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Roya Motazedi, Zachary C. Rozen, 5/22/2020
    • BIS Amends Direct Product Rule To Target Huawei But Extends Huawei Temporary General License, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Stephen E. Becker, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, 5/15/2020
    • New Filing Fees For CFIUS Notices Enter Into Effect, Authors: Nancy A. Fischer, Christopher R. Wall, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, Roya Motazedi, 5/5/2020
    • New Export Control Rules Confront Integration of Civilian and Military Technology Development in China, Russia, and Venezuela, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman, Benjamin J. Cote, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, Mario A. Torrico, 4/29/2020
    • Executive Order Establishes New Committee to Review Foreign Investment in Communications Companies, Authors: Glenn S. Richards, Lee G. Petro, Jessica T. Nyman, Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, 4/10/2020
    • Mitigating CFIUS Risks for Foreign Lenders and Investors as Defaults and Uncertainty Mount in the COVID-19 World, Authors: Nancy A. Fischer, Christopher R. Wall, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Joel Simon, Leo Crowley, Andrew Troop, Russell DaSilva, 4/3/2020
    • CFIUS Update: Chinese Company Ordered to Divest Acquisition of U.S. Hotel Software Company, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Roya Motazedi, 3/10/2020
    • CFIUS Unveils Proposed Rule to Impose Filing Fees, Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Roya Motazedi, 3/9/2020
    • U.S. Expands Secondary Sanctions to Iran’s Industrial Sectors, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman, Moushami P. Joshi, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, Roya Motazedi, 01/17/2020
    • Compliance in 2020 – Key Takeaways from the ITAR Cloud Rule, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker, Nancy A. Fischer, Benjamin J. Cote, Mario A. Torrico, 1/16/2020
    • Key Takeaways from CFIUS Final Rules Implementing FIRRMA, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Roya Motazedi, Zachary C. Rozen, 1/15/2020
    • District Court Overturns OFAC Fine Against Exxon, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Stephan E. Becker, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Zachary C. Rozen, 1/13/2020
    • Commerce Department Publishes Interim Final Rule Controlling Geospatial Imagery Software for Training IA, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Benjamin J. Cote, Matthew R. Rabinowitz and Mario A. Torrico, 1/10/2020
    • Commerce Department Issues New Proposed Rules on Telecommunications Supply Chain, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker, Nancy A. Fischer, Glenn S. Richards, Aaron R. Hutman, Benjamin J. Cote and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 11/27/2019
    • U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Turkey – The Economic Fallout from Events in Syria, Authors: Elina Teplinsky, Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker and Aaron R. Hutman, 10/14/2019
    • New Proposed CFIUS Regulations Implementing FIRRMA, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Jorge Vera, Roya Motazedi, 9/23/2019
    • Huawei Remains on the BIS Entity List but Senior Officials Suggest Export Licenses May Be Considered, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Stephanie Rosenberg, 7/16/2019
    • Temporary General License grants Huawei limited relief from restrictions imposed by Entity List restrictions, Authors: Stephan E. Becker, Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman, Benjamin J. Cote, Sahar J. Hafeez, Stephanie Rosenberg, 5/23/2019
    • U.S. State Department Implements Title III of Helms-Burton Act Permitting Lawsuits Over Seized Properties in Cuba, Authors: Stephan E. Becker, Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Sahar J. Hafeez, Roya Motazedi, 4/18/2019
    • U.S. Commerce Department Releases Proposed Rulemaking for Export Controls on Emerging Technologies, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Stephan E. Becker, Aaron R. Hutman and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 11/20/2018
    • OFAC Announces Sanctions Against Saudi Arabian Government Officials Pursuant to Global Magnitsky Act, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Stephan E. Becker, Aaron R. Hutman and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 11/15/2018
    • Reinstatement of Iran Sanctions, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman, Matthew R. Rabinowitz, Moushami P. Joshi and Jorge Vera, 11/5/2018
    • CFIUS Announces Pilot Program Requiring Mandatory Declarations for Certain Non-Controlling Investments in Specified Critical Technology Companies, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Stephan E. Becker and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 10/11/2018
    • State Department Imposes Chemical Weapons Sanctions on Russia, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman, Benjamin J. Cote and Jorge Vera, 8/17/2018
    • U.S. Formalizes Snap-Back of Sanctions with New Executive Order, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 8/8/2018
    • Congress Reaches Agreement on CFIUS Reform Legislation Broadening National Security Reviews and Addressing Emerging Technologies, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Nancy A. Fischer and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 7/30/2018
    • United States Announces Withdrawal from JCPOA, Authors: Christopher R. Wall, Stephan E. Becker, Nancy A. Fischer, Aaron R. Hutman and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 5/8/2018
    • Trump Administration Considering Use of IEEPA To Restrict U.S. Technology Transfer to China, Authors: Nancy A. Fischer, Christopher R. Wall and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, 4/12/2018

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1979

    B.A., Oxford University, 1976

    B.A., Yale University, 1974
    summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • District of Columbia

    New York

Courts

  • U.S. Court of International Trade

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit