Economic Sanctions & Export Controls


Against the background of recent international events involving Ukraine, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea, among others, complex export controls, economic sanctions and trade embargoes continue to evolve.

White & Case's global team for Economic Sanctions & Export Controls routinely advises clients across a variety of industries in carrying out global business in compliance with export controls, economic sanctions and national security restrictions administered by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore and Australia, among other jurisdictions throughout the world. White & Case also advises on UN sanctions, both as a stand-alone regime and as implemented by various UN members.


Cross-border capabilities

White & Case has an experienced global team that collaborates seamlessly to offer cross-border counseling in major regulatory and business centers around the world. Our offices in Washington DC, New York, Brussels, London, Stockholm, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Melbourne, among other locations, house sanctions and export control lawyers and professional advisors of many nationalities who are fluent in multiple languages.


Compliance, investigations and remediation

Our global trade compliance team guides clients through rapidly changing embargoes and other restrictions on targeted countries and blacklisted parties, and understands how these impact business operations. Specifically on export controls, our team helps clients navigate the complex rules relating to classification of products and technologies for export control purposes and determination of the compliance implications of any dual-use classification in different countries.

We advise clients on high-stakes and high-value transactions, including with respect to due diligence, crafting and negotiating contractual provisions to manage risk in relation to sanctions and export controls. We help clients put in place effective compliance programs, and offer bespoke training in support. Our team conducts internal investigations and advises on the voluntary self-disclosure process, including the associated risks and benefits of making such disclosures in various jurisdictions. We also assist clients who find themselves targeted by sanctions or export controls, including in connection with de-listing applications.


Working with regulatory agencies

We routinely assist in license applications and seeking interpretive guidance from sanctions authorities across multiple jurisdictions. We also represent clients before the authorities, including OFAC and the DOJ, in civil and criminal government investigations of apparent export control or sanctions violations. Many of our lawyers have experience working directly for these agencies.

These authorities include:

  • Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury
  • US Department of State
  • US Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce
  • European Commission and the European External Action Service
  • Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) of HM Treasury in the United Kingdom
  • UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
  • The Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) of the UK Department for International Trade
  • Deutsche Bundesbank and the Bundesamt für Ausfuhrkontrolle (BAFA) in Germany
  • Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) and Direction générale du Trésor in France
  • Central Service for Imports and Exports (CDIU) in the Netherlands
  • The Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP) in Sweden
  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Japan


Deep industry expertise

We routinely provide services to the following sectors, and beyond.

  • Financial institutions
  • Technology
  • Energy
  • Semiconductors
  • Aviation
  • Defense
  • E-commerce
  • Steel
  • Sovereign governments and state-owned entities
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Maritime/Shipping


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Ranked Band 1
Chambers Global – International Trade/WTO 2024

International Trade Practice Group of the Year: 2015, 2022, 2023

Nationally ranked practice
Chambers USA – International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions: The Elite 2023
The Legal 500 USA – International Trade: Customs, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions 2023

"Distinguished by its ability to advise clients globally both on export controls against Russia and also on Russia's countermeasures, it has become a top choice for a broad mix of clients to advise on sanctions and export controls regulation, including foreign governments, state-owned entities, financial institutions and multinational corporations."
The Legal 500 USA 2023

"The firm is adept at handling export controls and economic sanctions work, including OFAC-related matters."
Chambers USA 2023