Seward & Kissel has extensive experience advising clients on cross-border regulatory matters, including those arising from U.S. laws involving economic sanctions and embargoes (including U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC)), anti-boycott laws, export controls, anti-money laundering statutes and regulations, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and antitrust laws. We regularly provide advice to major domestic and international financial institutions, the shipping industry, and other operating companies with respect to OFAC sanctions compliance, enforcement, licensing, and other regulatory issues.

We have also assisted our clients in numerous cross-border matters, including the Swiss Bank tax evasion investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); the LIBOR rate-fixing investigations by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the DOJ; the Forex manipulation investigation by the CFTC, DOJ, FCA and Swiss Financial regulators; the air cargo and automobile-parts price fixing investigation by the DOJ Antitrust Division and Japanese Fair Trade Commission; the DOJ investigation of financial institutions involved in money laundering, and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act; and various investigations concerning the payment of items of value to foreign government officials.

The Firm’s experienced team includes former supervisory federal prosecutors, including the former head of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, former federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Southern and Eastern District of New York, attorneys from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and a former enforcement attorney from the New York Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS).

Seward & Kissel’s experience in this industry is substantial and includes:

  • regulatory enforcement actions and internal investigations
  • licensing and de-listing applications
  • compliance programs, including internal controls, policies, and procedures
  • due diligence for clients in business transactions or arrangements
  • advice regarding contractual protections, including large-scale business transactions
  • Our expertise with regard to OFAC sanctions, U.S. export controls, and U.S. anti-boycott laws includes the following:
    • Sanctioned jurisdictions, including Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Russia/Ukraine, Syria, and Cuba.
    • Particular expertise with regard to shipping and investment funds
    • Large-scale financial transactions and sanctions-related representations and warranties, including with regard to M&A, credit, and other complex financial deals.
    • Due diligence of counterparties and beneficial owners, including preparing due diligence questionnaires and participating on diligence calls.
    • Risk to European and other foreign companies doing business in the U.S., including whether a foreign company has sufficient nexus to the U.S. for OFAC jurisdiction.
    • Trading of government debt on the secondary markets, particularly as it relates to Venezuela.
    • Vessels that call on ports in sanctioned jurisdictions and/or trade potentially sanctioned cargo.
    • OFAC licensing and reporting requirements.
    • OFAC and AML risks for cryptocurrency and other digital assets.