Webcast: 2020 Sanctions and Export Controls Update

October 15, 2020

Despite the ongoing global pandemic, sanctions and export controls continue to be a most-favored enforcement tool of the U.S. government. Since the outset of 2020, the government has continued to develop, implement, and enforce new international trade sanctions and export controls across a wide range of industry sectors and regions, including in novel and unprecedented ways. Join Gibson Dunn attorneys as they provide a mid-year update on the recent trends in this constantly evolving space.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Major U.S. sanctions programs developments, including Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and North Korea
  • New sanctions programs and developments, including those affecting China/Hong Kong, significant designations, and recent executive orders targeting the International Criminal Court, TikTok, and WeChat
  • New major developments in export controls, including additions to the Entity List and new restrictions on military end use and end users.

View Slides (PDF)


Judith Alison Lee is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office and Co-Chair of the firm’s International Trade Practice Group.  Ms. Lee is a Chambers ranked leading International Trade, Export Controls, and Economic Sanctions lawyer practicing in the areas of international trade regulation, including USA Patriot Act compliance, economic sanctions and embargoes, export controls, and national security reviews (“CFIUS”).  Ms. Lee also advises on issues relating to virtual and digital currencies, blockchain technologies and distributed cryptoledgers.

Jesse Melman has experience representing clients, including major multinational corporations and financial institutions, in connection with their sanctions, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering compliance programs. His practice includes conducting internal and governmental investigations, evaluating transactions for sanctions and corruption risk, obtaining licenses and authorizations, and designing and assessing programs, policies, and procedures to ensure compliance with sanctions and anti-corruption laws. In addition to his international trade practice, Mr. Melman has extensive experience defending clients in connection with investigations and civil suits involving a wide array of issues, including accounting, tax reporting, securities trading, and other business practices.

R.L. Pratt counsels clients on compliance with U.S. economic sanctions, export controls (ITAR and EAR), foreign investment, and international trade regulatory issues and assists in representing clients before the departments of State (DDTC), Treasury (OFAC and CFIUS), and Commerce (BIS). Before joining Gibson Dunn, he was an associate at a large international law firm where his practice focused on providing counsel on U.S. economic sanctions and export controls and reviews of foreign investment conducted by CFIUS.

Samantha Sewall advises clients across industry sectors on an array of trade compliance matters, including U.S. economic sanctions, export controls, antiboycott, and national security reviews (CFIUS). She has experience advising clients in aerospace, banking and finance, consulting, defense, manufacturing, medical devices, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and travel. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Ms. Sewall served as a Political-Economic Program Assistant supporting the U.S. Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire. During her time there she was responsible for programs and research related to private sector engagement and bilateral political and economic issues.

Audi Syarief has provided sanctions and export controls advice to major corporations and non-profit organizations.  He has extensive experience in assessing enforcement and designation risk, conducting internal investigations, strengthening trade compliance programs, and securing licenses and other authorizations from OFAC.  He is particularly well-versed in the application of technology- and information-based sanctions authorizations, such as the Berman Amendment and General License D-1.  He has also litigated Helms-Burton Act cases, and advised numerous clients on potential recovery and/or risks under the statute.  In addition to his trade practice, Audi has represented clients in civil and criminal matters spanning a variety of subject areas, including government contracts, securities fraud, and the False Claims Act.  Most recently, he helped secure the termination of an SEC investigation of a global financial institution relating to alleged accounting fraud.

Scott Toussaint advises clients on matters before the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and other regulatory and enforcement agencies. He has extensive experience counseling U.S. and foreign companies on compliance with OFAC sanctions, obtaining licenses and authorizations, developing corporate compliance programs, and assessing the national security implications of proposed mergers and acquisitions. He represents clients across a wide range of industries, including energy, banking and financial services, private equity, shipping, manufacturing, and consumer products.