International Trade & Investment

Breaking Through Barriers

International trade and investment can be a high stakes obstacle course. Whether you are spearheading international investments in U.S. renewable energy projects, selling semiconductor equipment internationally or grappling with compliance challenges relating to newly imposed economic sanctions, you need advisors who know their way around the global market and the numerous legal restraints on international trade and investment.

Major companies such as Intel, Marathon Oil, Thales and Flex rely on us to help them overcome the most challenging barriers to cross-border business. We serve global clients in advanced technology, finance, cryptocurrency, life sciences, energy, manufacturing and other sectors.

We’ve counseled U.S. and global financial institutions on how to comply with U.S. and EU economic sanctions and anti-money laundering laws. We’ve worked on some of the highest profile foreign investment transactions to come before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), including a cleared transaction that went to the White House. We’ve resolved compliance and government affairs challenges related to trade in security-sensitive electronics products.

We’ve advanced the interests of some of the largest industrial businesses in connection with import antidumping proceedings. We have helped many multinational companies set up effective global compliance programs. And when our clients have faced enforcement issues or litigation, we’ve guided them to successful resolution.

Our International Trade & Investment team works hand in hand with our Corporate and Investigations teams to conduct due diligence and internal investigations, manage risk, and represent our clients’ interests at all levels of government in the United States and elsewhere. The strength of our practice rests on our sensitivity to both sector-specific considerations and the priorities of regulators in the United States and around the world.

Chambers USA recognizes members of the team for their work relating to both CFIUS and export controls and sanctions. Clients are quoted describing team members as, “one of the country’s best sanctions lawyers” and having “an ability to translate complex legal requirements and rules into business-friendly jargon."

  • We guide U.S. companies and foreign investors through increasingly intense challenges presented by the national security regulation of international trade and investment.

    We help our clients avoid surprises that can delay or derail deals by navigating all aspects of the CFIUS process. This includes assessments related to CFIUS risks, negotiation of appropriate contract provisions with counterparties, preparation of declarations and notices, development of a CFIUS strategy, meetings with members of CFIUS agencies, and negotiation and implementation of mitigation agreements.

    We have been deeply involved in CFIUS screenings since the underlying statute was enacted in 1988 and continue advising clients since CFIUS issued final regulations to comprehensively implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”). These regulations have decisive impacts on clients – expanding CFIUS’s jurisdiction beyond traditional scrutiny of foreign “control” investment transactions to noncontrolling investments that implicate U.S. critical technology, critical infrastructure or sensitive personal data and certain transactions involving real estate. FIRRMA also, for the first time, mandates CFIUS filings for certain transactions.

    Some of our representative experience includes:

    • Guiding a global leader in the renewable energy sector to CFIUS clearance for several M&A and investment transactions, having developed a CFIUS strategy to overcome challenges associated with the ownership stake by a Chinese state-owned enterprise
    • Securing CFIUS clearance for foreign investment in a peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace company
    • Securing CFIUS clearance for acquisition of the Chicago Stock Exchange by an investor consortium led by a Chinese group
    • Securing CFIUS clearance for acquisition of the U.S. plane maker Cirrus by a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)
    • Facing intensified enforcement by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions—and major penalties for violations—companies need experienced counsel to advise on their most important transactions and business dealings.

      We have undertaken scores of internal investigations and compliance reviews for companies in industries as varied as semiconductors, aerospace and defense, energy, consumer electronics, and financial services. We represent clients in voluntary disclosures to the U.S. government and in administrative enforcement actions under economic sanctions and anti-money laundering rules, and we negotiate settlements with enforcement authorities.

      Apart from embargoes and sanctions applicable to U.S. companies and individuals, we have a particular depth and expertise in U.S. measures that provide for sanctions against non-U.S. persons who engage in activities relating to U.S.-embargoed countries and persons. These so-called secondary sanctions measures have assumed particular prominence in recent years in connection with Iran and Russia. We have worked closely with U.S. officials to prevent sanctions against several non-U.S. clients under the Iran Sanctions Act and related laws and regulations.

    • We have deep experience in unfair import proceedings and other international trade controversies, and have been instrumental in resolving major international trade disputes.

      These cases have involved myriad administrative proceedings before federal agencies, NAFTA panel appeals, World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute proceedings, judicial proceedings, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) arbitrations and international settlement agreements.

      As a closely related matter, we have pursued major arbitrations at the WTO and provided counsel on the negotiation of leading international trade agreements.

    • Our team stands ready to assist in every global market, with practioners in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Paris, Brussels, Genva, Düsseldorf, Beijing, Tokyo and other major financial, commercial and regulatory centers.

      We offer counsel on the full range of international trade and investment requirements, including:

      • The Exon-Florio law and related regulations bearing on foreign investment screening by CFIUS and other reviewing bodies
      • Export controls, including U.S. (Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)) and EU regulations
      • Embargoes and other economic sanctions administered by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), EU authorities and others
      • Unfair import (antidumping and countervailing duties) and customs regulations
      • Market access rights
      • Government contracting regulations, including Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) and those related to procurement and industrial security requirements
      • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act and other anti-corruption laws
      • Anti-money laundering laws and regulations

      We can also help you address challenges involving retraints on global trade and investment, along with related policy and regulatory matters.

    • A robust compliance program is a requirement when operating in global markets.

      We craft and help implement compliance programs for leading players in the energy, semiconductor, software, telecom, aviation, financial and other sectors. In the process, we’ve led risk assessments, compliance reviews and internal investigations and assisted in the preparation of voluntary self-disclosures to the U.S. government. And when clients have faced enforcement actions, we’ve provided vigorous and strenuous defense against criminal and civil actions, with a long record of successfully negotiating settlements with regulatory authorities.

      Investigations into trade-law violations can quickly expand into areas including corruption, bribery and money laundering. That is why we work to create global compliance and training programs that cover the full range of risk areas and work within an interdisciplinary team focused on providing thorough – and proactive - compliance counselling.

    • In addition to offering you advice on policy matters in the sensitive areas of trade, defense, national security and advanced commercial technology, Orrick has a robust team that can stand as your advocate with the lawmakers and regulators who formulate and implement laws and regulations that govern global commercial activity.

      We work closely with all segments of government, regularly offering perspectives to the U.S. Congress, Commerce Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department, Defense Department, Energy Department, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, State Department, White House offices and Intelligence Agencies.