Before joining Holland & Hart in June 2013, Mr. Pelak served as the Justice Department’s first National Coordinator for Export Control and Trade Sanctions Enforcement. In that capacity, he led investigative and prosecution teams from around the nation, including federal prosecutors and investigative agents of the FBI, DHS/Homeland Security Investigations, Commerce Department/Bureau of Industry and Security, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and other agencies of the U.S. government. Private clients benefit from the unique insight he can provide drawing on his extensive compliance and enforcement experience. Few lawyers in the country have the breadth of experience that Mr. Pelak can bring to the assessment and defense of an export control or trade sanctions matter.
Complementing Mr. Pelak’s government experience, Mr. Mackintosh brings to our clients the value of decades of work with multiple private companies and difficult defense efforts on export and trade sanctions matters. Mr. Mackintosh is the only attorney outside of Washington, D.C. or New York. who for four years running has been nationally ranked by Chambers USA for International Trade: Export Controls and Economic Sanctions.
Our Approach – Discretion and Integrated Services
With this balanced base of experienced counsel, Holland & Hart marks its practice in this area with two principal themes: discretion and integration. Discretion in this area of law is key. The foreign policy and national security implications of enforcement actions can have significant consequences for government clients and investors, as well as on a firm's public image. We strive to resolve matters in a manner that minimizes public scrutiny and the potential damage to goodwill.
Trade sanctions and export controls include traditional export controls on products, services, and technology. Our integrated approach, however, ensures that other important components, such as anti-corruption and anti-boycott controls, are included in our recommended solution.
Holland & Hart’s integrated approach includes a proprietary online training system developed by our team that generates defensive data for companies engaged in controlled international trade, by demonstrating who was trained, when, and how.
Holland & Hart’s trade sanctions group is backed/supported by a nationally recognized litigation department, prepared to assist with large and complex enforcement actions.
Our Extensive Export Control and Trade Sanctions Experience
From small privately held start-ups to publicly traded Fortune 50 companies, the export control and trade sanctions attorneys at Holland & Hart have considerable experience in this complex area of law. We counsel companies to develop robust compliance systems, conduct employee training, provide advice for appropriate internal investigations, and discreetly resolve export trade sanction matters, including:
Investigations and Enforcement
In 2007, under the leadership of Mr. Pelak, the Department of Justice began an export enforcement initiative that has led to a material increase in the domestic and international investigation and prosecution of export control and trade sanction violations. The U.S. government now has more than 500 federal prosecutors and agents trained on investigating export control violations and more than 15 new regional export enforcement task forces. Companies face more scrutiny than ever before. Violations of these laws carry significant civil and criminal penalties and the associated loss of public goodwill. Accompanying the increased government scrutiny on export controls and trade sanctions, private companies have been requested to provide unprecedented support to U.S. Government operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other volatile regions of the world. Companies supporting U.S. Government foreign operations often encounter these laws when exporting equipment (aircraft, body armor, optics, etc.) overseas or providing consulting services or training to foreign governments. Because many companies rely on U.S. Government support for their programs, export investigations can hinder contract performance and result in loss of business goodwill, debarment, or substantial revenues. Holland & Hart’s team of experienced and expert attorneys assists companies with the multiple and interrelated legal issues presented by these matters, from contractual and agency debarment risks to developing demonstrable evidence of proper remediation.
Under U.S. law, multiple controls impact the export of defense articles and technical data or dual-use articles and technology as well as the provision of defense services pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and Export Administration Act (EAA)/International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). These laws are administered by the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) through the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has multiple sets of controls impacting U.S. and non-U.S. business, commercial transactions, and property interests. These trade controls often intersect with export controls as well as anti-corruption and anti-boycott restrictions.
Customs Law / Import Controls
The enforcement of trade and customs laws by U.S. Customs and Border Protection typically involve the seizure of items at ports of entry, tariff classification, customs valuation, and country-of-origin requirements.
Restrictions on participating in unsanctioned foreign boycotts that are administered by the U.S. Commerce Department pursuant to EAR may also include provisions of the Internal Revenue Code enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is enforced by the Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and restricts/prohibits making corrupt offers, promises, or payments to foreign government officials or other persons associated with foreign governments for the procurement or retention of business, or for any improper purpose.
The Global War on Terrorism has resulted in new laws and increased governmental regulation. Various agencies, with overlapping jurisdiction, now regulate international trade and investment in addition to previously existing export controls and trade sanctions. These new laws generally fall under the umbrella authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Holland & Hart brings its substantial experience working with the DHS and other agencies to mitigate the impact of these new laws and regulations on your business.
National Security Restrictions on Investment
We counsel companies to comply with restrictions under the Exon-Florio Amendment of the Defense Production Act of 1950 and under the National Industrial Security Program, including notifications to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), development of mitigation plans for Foreign Ownership, Control, or Investment (FOCI), and establish compliance and technology control plans that control secured information.
Compliance and Training
From body armor and computer chips to helicopters and space launch vehicles, our team has helped companies to develop and monitor comprehensive export compliance programs. We have also counseled senior management to navigate this complex area of law while reducing the impact of compliance on internal business processes. We provide tailored online training tutorials for large multinational companies and personalized face-to-face training for company executives. Our trainees span the globe, from the United States to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
In addition, Holland & Hart has extensive experience assisting companies with the basics of compliance, including preparation and submission of export and brokering licenses, and commodity classification or jurisdiction requests.