Holland & Hart partner Steven Pelak has been appointed by the Assistant Secretary of Political-Military Affairs, United States Department of State, to serve a two-year term as a member of the Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG). DTAG advises the Department of State on its support for and regulation of defense trade to help ensure that the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States continue to be protected and advanced, while helping to reduce impediments to legitimate exports. DTAG provides a formal channel for regular consultation and coordination with U.S. private sector defense exporters and defense trade specialists on issues involving U.S. laws, policies, and regulations for exports of defense articles, services, and related technical data. Pelak joins a select group of defense industry stakeholders, academics, and attorneys with expertise and experience navigating international defense trade.
Steven Pelak practices in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and assists clients with internal corporate investigations, compliance, due diligence, and white collar civil and criminal defense efforts with regard to export control and embargo statutes and regulations (Arms Export Control Act/International Traffic in Arms Regulations; the Export Administration Regulations; the U.S. Treasury Department's sanctions programs), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Foreign Agents Registration Act; and other federal regulatory schemes. His practice includes civil and criminal enforcement proceedings and internal investigations. Pelak also counsels corporate clients with regard to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). In addition, Pelak represents U.S. Government employee victims and other U.S. victims of extrajudicial killings, torture, and hostage takings by designated state sponsors of international terrorism (Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea) and recently helped lead a week-long trial of one such civil action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
After beginning his legal career in private practice, Pelak served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington D.C. for 18 years. For 6 years Pelak served as the Justice Department’s National Coordinator for Export Controls and Economic Sanctions and the Principal Deputy Chief and then Acting Chief of the Counterespionage Section within the National Security Division of the Justice Department. He returned to private practice in June 2013 as a partner at Holland & Hart. Pelak co-leads the firm’s International Trade Compliance practice group.