Export Controls, Economic Sanctions & Customs

Latham lawyers have deep expertise in counseling, compliance programs, policy issues, licensing, internal investigations, voluntary disclosures, and administrative and criminal enforcement matters.

Why Latham

Addressing Global Trade Challenges

Latham’s Export Controls, Economic Sanctions & Customs Practice handles a broad range of complex and sensitive matters for clients whose international business activities involve the movement of goods and services across borders, and whose trade and investment activities may be controlled for national security, foreign policy, anti-terrorism, crime control, or non-proliferation reasons. These issues arise in the context of government inquiries and investigations, settlements of enforcement actions, audit committee and internal investigations, corporate due diligence, and complex cross-border transactions.

Latham lawyers have strong expertise in the legal and regulatory requirements governing export and import activity, and a wealth of experience in representing clients before the relevant government agencies, including the US Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, and Homeland Security; US Customs and Border Protection; and EU trade regulatory authorities. 

Latham represents and advises companies in the United States and around the world on issues arising under:

  • Anti-boycott laws
  • Anti-terrorism controls
  • Anti-money laundering regimes
  • Customs and import regulations
  • Export control laws
  • Foreign investment in the United States
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-bribery regimes
  • Trade and economic sanctions

Our Experience

  • Providing advice and assistance on export control jurisdiction (under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR))
  • Conducting internal investigations across multiple jurisdictions in connection with cross-border business activities involving potential violations of Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and export and re-export controls under ITAR and EAR
  • Advising various multi-national companies on compliance with US Anti-Money Laundering Laws, including the anti-money laundering obligations of the Bank Secrecy Act
  • Preparing and submitting voluntary disclosures of legal violations to the cognizant government agencies, including design and implementation of corrective actions and compliance enhancements
  • In support of proposed mergers, acquisitions, debt and equity offerings and lending transactions, representing major financial institutions, private equity firms, public companies and others in connection with due diligence on regulatory compliance, including  benchmarking of compliance systems against new and emerging best practices, and developing strategies for duty optimization in cross-border transactions
  • Advising public companies on state and local divestment laws, disclosure obligations in public filings, responses to inquiries from the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Global Security Risk, and related reputational risk issues.
  • Representing companies before the DOJ and Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury, Homeland Security and the SEC in disclosing and self-reporting violations and settling administrative and criminal enforcement actions
  • Representing companies, audit committees and executives throughout the world in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations, and internal investigations of potential FCPA violations
  • Representing clients before US Customs and Border Protection with respect to regulatory audit activity, penalty and liquidated damages cases, detentions and seizures of import and export shipments, and administrative rulings and internal advice proceedings 
  • Representing foreign entities in efforts to persuade the US government to lift sanctions and request removal from OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing internal policies and procedures for complying with export control laws and regulations across various industries and in the context of resolving compliance issues, closing out voluntary disclosures, and meeting requirements and conditions in civil and criminal settlements of government enforcement actions

Awards & Rankings

  • Latham Honored at National Law Journal’s Professional Excellence Awards - October 24, 2021
  • Practice Leader Named Top Advisor by Foreign Investment Watch - February 21, 2021
  • Six Washington, D.C. Partners Recognized as Top Lawyers - December 15, 2020
  • Latham Named Regulatory Compliance Firm of the Year at China Law Awards - September 23, 2020
  • Partner William McGlone Honored for Sanctions Work - November 06, 2019

Clients say, "It is an excellent law firm with a very good sanctions team," with “subject matter experts in every discipline that you can imagine; when you pose questions to them they don’t have to research because they know the law.”

Chambers USA 2020

Media Coverage

Latham Adds West Coast-Bound White-Collar PartnerCompliance MVP: Les CarnegieLatham Snags National Security and International Trade Hire


Latham & Watkins Advises Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. on Take Private of Hemisphere Media Group by Portfolio Asset Gato Investments LPLatham & Watkins Advises Silicon Motion Technology Corporation on US$3.8 Billion Cross-Border Take-Private Acquisition by MaxLinear, Inc. to Create a Semiconductor LeaderLatham & Watkins Advises ArchiMed Group in US$1.2 Billion Acquisition of Natus Medical Incorporated

Thought Leadership

Sanctions and Export Controls Update: US, UK, EU DevelopmentsUpdate: Expanded Sanctions and Export Controls Relating to RussiaSanctions Update: US Targets Russia’s Energy Sector, Announces New Trade Restrictions, and Issues New Sanctions Designations

Webcasts & Podcasts

The Biden Administration’s Regulatory and Enforcement Priorities: A Six-Month UpdateWhat Do Biden's 100 Day Enforcement Priorities Mean for Asia?A Look Ahead at the Biden Administration’s Regulatory and Enforcement Priorities