Steven W. Pelak, former Export Control Enforcement and Counterespionage Official for the U.S. Department of Justice, Joins Holland & Hart

Steven W. Pelak, former Export Control Enforcement and Counterespionage Official for the U.S. Department of Justice, Joins Holland & Hart

Holland & Hart LLP is pleased to announce that Steven W. Pelak, former Principal Deputy Chief of the Counterespionage Section, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is joining the firm’s trade sanctions and white collar practice.  Pelak will be a partner resident in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

As the DOJ’s first National Export Control Coordinator and principal lawyer with regard to all export control and embargo investigations and prosecutions, a position he has held since 2007, Pelak supervised complex investigations and prosecutions of violations of U.S. export controls, including country-specific sanctions programs, embargoes, controls on dual-use and on military technologies.  He has been at the forefront of significant prosecutions, as well as important developments in trade sanctions law, enhancing programs and training of DOJ, DHS, FBI and other agencies with key export control enforcement responsibilities.

“Steve is among the nation’s leading authorities on trade sanctions, an area of increasing concern for U.S. and global companies,” said Holland & Hart chair John Husband. “These laws are central to U.S. and multilateral security concerns and counter-proliferation efforts.  We know Steve will be an important resource to defense contractors, financial service firms, high tech companies and their officers and directors, as well as other entities engaged in global commerce who are confronted with compliance and enforcement challenges.” 

Prior to his position at the DOJ, Pelak spent 18 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In this role, he investigated and prosecuted federal criminal cases, including export control violations, bribery, public corruption, fraud, labor union embezzlement and terrorism matters within the U.S. and abroad.

Reflecting his experience, national media outlets including The New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, and National Public Radio have sought Pelak’s views on export control and national security policies and legal developments. 

“For over a decade, Steve and I have been opposing parties on several significant export control prosecutions,” said Trip Mackintosh, head of Holland & Hart’s trade sanctions practice.  “He is a consummate professional and is unparalleled in his field.  He is also a lawyer of uncompromising integrity.  It is an honor that he has selected Holland & Hart as the firm where he will develop his private practice.” 

Pelak will counsel clients who are developing compliance structures, while providing important representation for companies that identify non-compliant transactions or face enforcement actions.  His work will include all areas of trade sanctions and export controls (Treasury, Commerce, and State Departments), governmental civil and criminal investigations and enforcement actions, white collar defense, allegations of fraud in government contracting, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other corporate compliance matters, and matters involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and corporate compliance in the national security arena.

Pelak is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C.  He holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and a B.A. from Kalamazoo College.


Unless you are a current client of Holland & Hart LLP, please do not send any confidential information by email. If you are not a current client and send an email to an individual at Holland & Hart LLP, you acknowledge that we have no obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any information you submit to us, unless we have already agreed to represent you or we later agree to do so. Thus, we may represent a party adverse to you, even if the information you submit to us could be used against you in a matter, and even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us.