Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government’s increased efforts to protect the nation’s security have led to an expanded range of finance, trade, defense procurement, information sharing and ownership restrictions that are often global in scope and effect. Sidley has the capacity to guide clients through this new and evolving set of national security legal requirements. The firm has recently expanded its capabilities to address national security issues and focuses on five areas where the firm has extensive experience.
Export Controls and Economic Sanctions
Several Sidley partners have long focused on licensing and compliance under the Export Administration Regulations and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations administered by the Departments of Commerce and State, respectively, and economic sanctions administered by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Defense Contracting and Procurement
Sidley has represented many U.S. and foreign aerospace and other defense contractors in a range of advisory, investigative and litigation roles related to contracts with departments of the U.S. government. The firm’s advice extends to contract structuring, contract claims and disputes, the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s cost principles, False Claims Act suits, and investigations and compliance programs addressing various ethical and criminal law requirements, including those of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
National Security Litigation
Sidley has participated in complex litigation addressing the U.S. government’s counterterrorism, homeland security and defense procurement activities, which often involves a range of specialized and complex doctrines, the handling of classified information and coordination with foreign proceedings or U.S. government litigators.
Privacy and Information Governance
Sidley’s team has extensive experience in information law, addressing federal, state and international privacy issues, global data protection programs, information security, Internet issues and representation in connection with data breaches. These issues are often intertwined with other national security issues, especially those that involve classified information or cross-border data transfers.
National Security Implications of Foreign Investments (CFIUS AND FOCI)
Sidley has long guided foreign and domestic companies through the process of national security reviews of foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies and assets, overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, as well as dealing with issues relating to Foreign Ownership, Control and Influence over U.S. companies holding security clearances, overseen by the Defense Security Service. Sidley’s team includes a former CFIUS representative, and the firm’s approach draws on substantive experience in relevant industries.
Members of Sidley’s national security team work closely with the firm’s preeminent white collar team, its leading appellate and trial litigation practices, its long-standing administrative law practice and its world-recognized international trade and disputes practice. The firm’s expanded team now includes:
- lawyers with extensive experience addressing national security reviews of transactions, export and defense procurement regulations and enforcement proceedings, litigation involving national security matters, foreign asset transfer controls, regulation of financial transactions with foreign parties and other trade and security restrictions;
- lawyers with broad experience advising defense contractors in trade disputes, export control proceedings, litigation, internal investigations, defense procurement structuring, administrative challenges and other matters that require deep national security experience;
- lawyers with TS/SCI security clearances and experience working with companies and individuals engaged in intelligence and defense activities, including on matters subject to sharp public debate; and
- former government officials with national security experience derived from their service as General Counsels to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget, as Associate Counsels to the President in three different Administrations, as Acting Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, as Vice Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, as a legal counselor to the European Union and in many other government positions.