Representative Experience

Our National Security Team offers comprehensive services, including:

  • Serving as trade counsel in high stakes/high profile matters involving State Department and Treasury Department sanctions on Russia, Venezuela, Iran and Cuba for key sectors including oil and gas, aviation, telecommunications and strategic resources.
  • Navigating complex issues presented by the increased use of list-based export controls and sanctions including the BIS Entity List, MEU list, CMIC list, among others, including analyzing whether items or technology are subject to the EAR and whether companies are covered by or at risk of designation on these lists as well as the delisting process. We engage our interdisciplinary team of trade, public policy, national security litigators and public relations contacts to provide a full service offering to the most complex cases where policy, national security, foreign affairs and regulatory matters converge.
  • Representing numerous U.S.-based technology companies and helping them to successfully respond to inquiries from CFIUS, the interagency organization that reviews the national security aspects of acquisitions and investments by foreign companies.
  • Handling CFIUS, DCSA and ITAR submissions, approvals and related compliance procedures and documentation for multiple M&A transactions involving U.S. defense contractors with facility security clearances.

View More

  • Assistance in the preparation of bids, negotiation of contracts (including sub-contracts), representation of companies in bid protest proceedings, defense of companies in debar investigations and in the interpretation of the myriad contract clauses required by the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation.
  • Advising on compliance with the security clearance rules of the Defense Department’s Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), which regulates the access of government contractors to classified information and, in the case of foreign acquisitions, for an acquired company to continue working on classified U.S. government contracts pursuant to FOCI mitigation agreements and related instruments.
  • Advising on cybersecurity programs and policies, including representation of companies in dealing with the variety of regulatory implications that can result from breaches of computer security.
  • Export Controls experience includes:
    • Represent global defense and vehicle manufacturer on a wide variety of military and dual-use export controls, sanctions and trade matters. Our work includes advice on sophisticated export license matters with the State and Commerce Departments, the overlap of DDTC export controls and FMS programs and sanctions and export control compliance in sensitive markets around the world.
    • Advised major UAS manufacturer by designing and leading a full audit of its ITAR compliance program, and in advance of DDTC Company Visit Program visit, reviewing voluntary self-disclosure issues, classifying aircraft and related articles and counseling on end-use requirements and license conditions.
    • Successfully obtained multiple export licenses based on the recently expanded “foreign direct product rule” representing hundreds of millions of dollars in product sales.
    • Represent multiple airlines and other aviation sector clients on export licensing matters in connection with wet lease operations, including obtaining necessary authorizations.
    • Advise major global nuclear and defense companies on U.S. export control compliance plan and DCSA and DOE FOCI mitigation for U.S. subsidiaries.
    • Provided long-term on-site export control support to major defense company for implementation of ITAR consent agreement requirements, including ITAR (brokering, technical data, classification issues), EAR and export control reform impact on compliance.
    • Counsel multiple companies on the BIS Entity List regarding export control compliance matters, including de-listing strategy and U.S. government engagement, drafting compliance policies and procedures and obtaining BIS licenses.
    • Structuring and preparing Technical Assistance, Manufacturing License and Distribution Agreements, as well as export and temporary import licenses submitted to DDTC for U.S. and foreign defense manufacturers and other companies, including satellite services providers to provide launch services and to exchange technical information with their foreign partners and insurers.
    • Obtaining licenses from BIS permitting clients to ship products to sensitive destinations and permitting foreign national employees access to controlled technology, including appeals to the Operating Committee and the Advisory Committee on Export Policy (ACEP).
  • Economic Sanctions experience includes:
    • Advised and assisted a major UK financial institution as special counsel in an extensive multiyear internal investigation regarding compliance with Iran sanctions regulations, including funds transfers and trade transactions, ultimately resulting in settlements with federal and state agencies.
    • Advised coalition of U.S. utilities in connection with potential sanctions impacting Russian fuel supply into the United States and engaged with the State and Treasury Departments regarding the same.
    • Served as expert witness on U.S. sanctions in a London Court of International Arbitration case (expert report and testimony) in connection with a dispute over D&O insurance claims involving individuals holding position in companies in which a sanctioned person allegedly held an interest.
    • Advising largest bank in EU jurisdiction on sanctions and AML compliance, as well as the banking industry association of that country, including responding to complex Russia sanctions issues and interaction with U.S. Treasury and State Department officials.
    • Represent executive chairman regarding compliance with Terms of Removal governing the lifting of OFAC sanctions on a Russian manufacturer.
    • Conducted extensive internal investigations of major international travel service providers with respect to compliance with Cuba sanctions regulations and extraterritorial conflicts with blocking measures adopted in the EU and various member states, Canada, Mexico and Argentina, and represented these companies in OFAC enforcement proceedings.
    • Advised satellite companies on Venezuelan sanctions and implications in connection with pre-existing service arrangement.
  • Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy experience includes:
    • Successfully ‎resolved a major international data breach involving some of the world’s highest profile web brands, including the pursuit of perpetrator across multiple countries to recover stolen data.
    • Advising a leading global technology and cybersecurity company on international data transfers issues and their Binding Corporate Rules ‎application.
    • Advised a national retailer in connection with a DDoS cyberattack, including data breach issues arising from the attack and securing insurance coverage for costs stemming from the incident.
    • Advised a globally prominent game maker on privacy and data security issues related to virtual goods and virtual currencies.
    • Representing Sony Pictures on insurance issues related to the November 2014 cyberattack on its network and IT infrastructure.
    • Represented Sony on insurance claims arising out of attacks on its online gaming networks in 2011.
  • Government Contracts experience includes:
    • The firm’s experience with developing and auditing the procedures and requirements necessary to comply with the NISPOM has allowed us to serve as the primary national security outside counsel for a multibillion-dollar private equity group and government contractor affiliates, including advising on multiple M&A transactions, training and managing the company’s DCSA filings.
    • Our clients have retained us to conduct internal investigations and implement subsequent mitigation efforts for classified data spills. One engagement included a cleared defense contractor with $700 million in revenue that required the coordination of 30-plus individuals to review tens of thousands of documents.
    • We also handle routine matters, such as counseling clients on security clearance compliance issues, including conducting self-inspection of NISP contractors and compliance with self-reporting and the Insider Threat Program.
    • Litigating the retention of dozens of security clearances before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) and within the intelligence community for dozens of cleared contractors, including the CEOs, CFOs and CTOs of top-tier defense contractors.
    • Represented government contractor client in multi-billion dollar classified program.
  • Corporate Investigations & White Collar experience includes:
    • Prior to reentering private practice, one of our lawyers served as Associate Deputy Attorney General and Director of Counter-Transnational Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice. As a DOJ executive official, he advised on major criminal law enforcement actions, operations and subsequent federal criminal cases while directing departmental strategy on transnational crime. He also represented DOJ at National Security Council meetings with the Departments of State, Treasury (including OFAC and FinCEN) and Defense on policy-setting initiatives relating to cross-border enforcement, diplomacy and economic sanctions.
    • Another one of our partners formerly served as the Acting Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the number two official in the U.S. Justice Department. That partner also served as the DOJ’s Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General and as the United States Attorney for one of the largest and most sophisticated U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the United States. In addition to other DOJ positions, that partner served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), as Chair of the AGAC’s Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee, as a member of the AGAC’s White Collar Crime Subcommittee and as a member of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. He also represented the DOJ in the National Security Council, CFIUS meetings and other inter-department proceedings. In his various capacities, this partner has had a direct role in formulating U.S. Government policies and supervised some of the most consequential criminal, civil and regulatory matters handled by the U.S. Justice Department. 
    • Represent several leading financial institutions in the Middle East alleged to have transferred funds through a correspondent bank in New York in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
    • Represented a former executive of a Hungarian telecommunications company in a parallel SEC/DOJ investigation involving allegations of bribery of government officials in Macedonia and Montenegro.
    • Represented major international financial institution in money laundering investigation involving correspondent bank accounts of offshore bank entity. No criminal or enforcement action was ultimately pursued.
    • Represented a money transfer company in a federal money laundering investigation by the DOJ in which funds were allegedly laundered through the authorized delegates of this international money services business (MSB) that wire-transfers money from senders in the U.S. to international recipients. In one of first significant actions against a major MSB, the DOJ entered a deferred prosecution agreement and the forfeiture of funds. The resolution allowed the company to avoid any criminal prosecution against itself or any of its executives and employees.

Practice Area Highlights

  • Pillsbury Government Contracts, Government Relations, International Trade, Cyber and Corporate lawyers are recognized and honored by many publications, including The Legal 500 U.S., Chambers USA, BTI, The Los Angeles Business Journal and The Washington Business Journal, among others.
  • Pillsbury’s Government Contracts and Disputes team was named “Practice Group of the Year” in 2019, 2017, and 2016 by Law360.
  • BTI Consulting’s Litigation Outlook 2022 report identifies Pillsbury as an “Awesome Opponent” and one of the twelve most feared law firms in litigation.
  • For three consecutive years, Global Investigations Review included Pillsbury on its GIR 100 list. Based on extensive marketplace research, this elite list recognizes the leading cross-border investigations and white collar practices in the world.