Richard Burke

Retired Partner of Counsel, Washington, DC



Richard is part of the Firm's Global International Trade Group and is a valued resource for clients seeking to navigate the legal complexities of US economic sanctions and export controls. Richard has extensive experience advising on regulatory compliance and representing clients in the sanctions-related aspects of transactional documentation provisions where economic sanctions concerns may be prominent, for example involving the Russian oil/gas sector, as well as enforcement cases arising from the regulations of a number of US Government agencies charged with administering sanctions and export controls, including the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

On OFAC-related matters Richard assists both US and non-US clients with all aspects of compliance with the various US economic sanctions programs including those relating to Ukraine-related Russia sanctions, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea, and the various list-based programs targeting sanctioned persons and entities in connection with sanctionable conduct including WMD proliferation, terrorism, organized crime, and corruption.

On BIS-related matters Richard advises on export control compliance policies and procedures, obtaining export licenses when required, and representing clients before the agency in enforcement actions or voluntary self-disclosures. Richard's US export control experience includes advising non-US clients in analyzing the jurisdictional reach of US export controls, including with respect to the De Minimis and Foreign Direct Product Rule.

With respect to DDTC, Richard's experience includes all aspects of compliance with the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and associated licensing and approval requirements.

Richard also has extensive experience representing transactional clients in the regulation of foreign acquisitions of control over US operations that may involve sensitive national security concerns requiring review by the interagency Treasury Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Richard has successfully represented both US and non-US clients in navigating dozens of transactions through the CFIUS process.

Richard also has advised clients in other international trade disciplines, including US trade remedy administrative and judicial proceedings, with particular regard to anti-dumping and countervailing duty matters, as well as customs compliance issues including classification, country of origin, valuation and marking.

Bars and Courts
District of Columbia
New York
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University Law Center
Harvard University


Advised Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd and its US subsidiary Hepalink USA Inc. on the US$337.5 million acquisition of Scientific Protein Laboratories, LLC, a leading global, independent manufacturer and supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Richard worked with lawyers from the Firm's New York, Washington, DC, Paris, Brussels and Shanghai offices to successfully complete a complex transaction that involved cross-border regulatory issues.

Advised the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), the world's largest bank by assets, on its acquisition of a majority stake in Standard Bank plc (SB plc) for approximately US$770 million. Richard's knowledge and experience of multijurisdictional law issues contributed to the team's significant credentials in this complex, cross-border transaction. The truly international nature of this deal was underlined by the fact that lawyers in the UK, US, Belgium, Finland, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and China combined to provide their client with advice on key M&A, financial regulatory and merger issues.

Advised Fortis Inc., Canada's largest publicly owned distribution utility, on the US$1.5 billion acquisition of CH Energy Group Inc., a regulated gas and electric transmission and distribution utility located in New York. The deal marked the initial entry by Fortis into the US-regulated electric and gas utility marketplace. This transaction won the Energy Deal of the Year at the 12th Annual M&A Advisor Awards.

Richard was part of an integrated team of lawyers that represented Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on the project financing for Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara), its joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company, to build and operate a US$20 billion world-scale integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The multisourced Sadara transaction is the largest-ever project financing in the chemicals sector and, once completed, the Sadara complex will represent the world's largest chemical facility ever built in a single phase.

Advised in an internal investigation with respect to potential OFAC and EAR non-compliance for European software company and subsequent voluntary disclosure to OFAC and BIS.

Advised in an internal investigation with respect to potential OFAC and EAR non-compliance for Israeli web services company and subsequent voluntary disclosure to OFAC and BIS.

Performed an EAR compliance audit for prominent Asian semiconductor manufacturer.

Advised in an internal investigation with respect to potential ITAR and EAR non-compliance for major global manufacturer of steel drilling and other equipment for oil and gas industry.

Performed an ITAR/EAR compliance audit for a major US manufacturer of fabricated metals.

Advised in an internal investigation and subsequent voluntary disclosure to BIS in connection with EAR violations by a US manufacturer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment with respect to unlicensed exports to various destinations.

Speaking Engagements

"Panel Discussion on US Export Controls," Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists Legal Symposium on Sanctions and Export Controls, Virtual, October 7, 2021

"Tips for navigating due diligence challenges in sanctions compliance," GIR Live Sanctions, Export Control and National Security, Washington, DC, October 24, 2019

"Sanctions–A Political Tool," Loan Syndications and Trading Association and Loan Market Association 2019 Joint Conference, London, March 6, 2019

"UN Security Council Sanctions on Iran", CBS Radio News, June 6, 2010


Venezuela sanctions target gold and corruption, WorldECR, November 2018

Emerging Technologies Could Be Subject to U.S. Export Controls, CQ News (quoted), December 3, 2018

Expert Analysis: Election Interference Sanctions Expand Compliance Risks, Law360, September 24, 2018

Awards and Recognition

Ranked Lawyer: Chambers USA 2021-2023: Export Controls/Economic Sanctions

Mention: The Legal 500 2021-2023: International Trade