Neil Ray: Lawyer with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Neil Ray


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Experience & CredentialsOther Offices

Practice Areas

  • Antitrust and Competition
  • Government Contracts
  • Investigations & International Trade
  • International Reach
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Litigation
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Automotive
  • Communications
  • Fashion
  • Apparel and Beauty
Law SchoolThe College of Law, London, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice, 1999; London School of Economics and Political Science, LL.B., 1998
Admitted2004, California

Mr. Ray is an international trade attorney in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group and divides his time between the firm's Del Mar and Washington D.C., offices. He is dual-qualified as an English solicitor (non-practicing) and California attorney.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Ray counsels clients on the full range of U.S. and EU international trade and investment matters, and has substantial experience with export controls (EAR/ITAR), economic sanctions (OFAC), and customs laws and regulations (e.g. U.S. and EU FTAs). Mr. Ray also advises clients on a range of international trade compliance issues including laws and regulations concerning anti-bribery/anti-corruption, privacy, cross-border data transfer, and the use of conflict minerals.

Mr. Ray has developed risk-based international compliance programs, conducted internal investigations, and has substantial experience in defending companies against U.S. and foreign government investigations. He regularly assists clients in connection with due diligence for corporate transactions, and advocacy before governmental agencies.

Mr. Ray also advises clients on all aspects of antitrust law including defending international cartel cases, counseling clients on day-to-day antitrust law compliance issues such as licensing and distribution systems, and advising on mergers and acquisitions. He has written extensively on antitrust issues, and is adjunct professor of European Union Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego.


Areas where advised, represented and/or assisted:

Export Control (ITAR/EAR)

A leading engineering, construction, and management services firm on the design, planning and construction of military and nuclear facilities; encryption software reporting requirements for exports under EAR; deemed export control issues relating to the hire of foreign employees; export controls applicable to constructing a Cybercrime Security Center in the Middle East; and, due diligence relating to new acquisitions.

A telecommunications infrastructure and services company on various ITAR issues including drafting DDTC clearances for purchase and sale of shares in third party commercial satellite operators, and providing day-to-day counselling re TAA compliance issues.

A leading global supplier of photonics technology and products on a wide range of international trade matters including the export of EAR99 U.S. origin goods to third country for incorporation into potential non-EAR99 item for potential transshipment to sanctioned countries; assigning ECCNs to new products and technologies; and, deemed export control issues relating to the hire of foreign employees.

A Korean-based semiconductor company on the potential ECCNs of new telecommunications hardware and software.

A leading, U.S.-based supplier of high-quality analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products on U.S. and EU export control issues relating to multi-jurisdictional product development and licensing of high performance analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs) requiring technical disclosures to foreign employees; and export control exceptions for the exportation of U.S. origin goods incorporated into a foreign-made good in a third country but intended for re-export to sanctioned countries.

A leading U.S. manufacturer of biomedical laboratory instruments on the export control implications of sale to Russia of encrypted software that allows for remote review and diagnosis of medical instrument issues which included liaising with USTR and local counsel in Ukraine and Russia on local import control legislation and possible exemptions from import licensing requirements.

Sanctions (OFAC)

A satellite broadcasting and telecommunications company in Asia Pacific on the application of U.S. and EU sanctions law regarding services to sanctioned countries such as Iran, and the implications of ITRSHRA, ITSR, and State Department Policy Guidance on transactions involving “sensitive technology” to Iran and Syria.

A Chinese multinational networking and telecommunication equipment and services company on the application of U.S. and EU sanctions on the sale of communication products, services and technologies and permissible payment methods, and research and analysis related to filing of a potential anti-subsidy / countervailing duty suit by European Commission.

A Korean financial institution on structuring financing arrangements with certain Burmese banks in view of OFAC's Burmese Sanctions Regulations and General Licenses.

A Korean financial institution on structuring financing arrangements with certain Burmese banks in view of OFAC's Burmese Sanctions Regulations and General Licenses.

A French conglomerate on the application and impact of U.S. and EU sanctions related to Ukraine.

Customs/Free Trade Agreements

The U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese-based auto manufacturer on a wide range of customs issues under U.S. free trade agreements including representation before Korean Customs Service in a successful challenge to denial of preferential treatment under KORUS.

A U.S.-based office supply chain store on customs compliance advice including NAFTA marking, rules of origin requirements, and proof of origin requirements; mitigation of customs penalties; and, C-TPAT and other compliance programs.

A global company specializing in the manufacture of products for the construction industry on various NAFTA compliance issues such as marking and rules of origin requirements as well rules on drawback duty.

A regional U.S. airline on the application for U.S. customs approval to expand air cargo facilities at airports nationwide; exemptions to the electronic export filing requirements; compliance procedures for the Maintenance and Engineering group to move parts and other items to and from the U.S.; and compliance procedures for transportation of chemicals subject to export control.

A global manufacturer of packaging products on an export control issues re foreign nationals; currency exchange and foreign payment issues relating to foreign-based suppliers; and, various U.S. Customs issues.

A U.S. textiles company on the conduct and implications of a QRA by CBP of one of its leading South American apparel suppliers and drafted an International Master Purchasing Agreement for Finished Garments.

A leading chain of retail stores based in Mexico on a CBP seizure case involving alleged breach of copyright protection which required drafting petitions to obtain relief from forfeiture.


Conducted an internal investigation for amajor European pharmaceutical company regarding the sale of medical products and services by U.S. entities and foreign subsidiaries and defended alleged violations of the FCPA and foreign anticorruption laws including the United Kingdom's Bribery Act (UKBA). Also conducted due diligence for the acquisition of a private European pharma company, and compliance training related to FCPA and U.S. anti-boycott regulations.

Conducted an internal investigation for a Chinese multinational telecommunication equipment and services company regarding its global sales of communication products, services and technologies and defended alleged FCPA violations.

Conducted an internal investigation for a U.S.-based toy and games company regarding third party vendor contracts in their supply chain and defended allegations of improper awards, money transfers and international shipment of goods.

Conducted an internal investigation for a leading Korean financial institution regarding payments to foreign banking officials and counseled on jurisdictional reach and application of FCPA and UKBA.

Conducted an internal investigation for an Asia-Pacific broadcasting and telecommunications company regarding retransmission services sold to foreign governments in the Middle East.

Counseled British and French luxury consumer brands on promotional activities, travel and hospitality and facility payments under the FCPA and UKBA.

Designed and implemented risk-based FCPA and global anti-corruption compliance programs including policies and procedures, training and internal procedures for various domestic and foreign-based companies including a Korean auto manufacturer, and an European telecommunications infrastructure and services company.

Conflict Minerals Compliance

A number of U.S. public issuers in a number of different industries on compliance with SEC's conflict minerals rules including conducting reasonable county of origin inquiry, drafting manuals for conduct and reporting of due diligence of supply chain, and filing conflict minerals report and Form SD.


A number of multinational companies in a number of different industry sectors on designing, developing, implementing, training and auditing global data privacy policies and procedures, in particular, advising on how to transfer personal data from the EU to non-EU jurisdictions (such as US-EU Safe Harbor) and, coordinating global advice on internet price, marketing and privacy disclosures in new markets.

International Arbitration

A U.S. financial institution on the application of various bilateral investment treaties and the jurisdiction of ICSID to determine whether an indirect investment interest had been impaired by Chinese Government action and could be the subject of an international arbitration claim.

Transactional (Distribution, Licensing and Technology Transfer)

Drafted a wide variety of domestic and international distribution, licensing and technology transfer agreements on behalf of various U.S. corporations across a number of industry sectors including sporting goods and apparel, musical instruments, motor vehicles, digital education products, electronic signature software, broadband connectivity and electronic banking.


Representing Samsung Electronics and Samsung SDI in the defense of nationwide DRAM, TFT-LCD, SRAM, Flash and CRT DOJ Grand Jury and foreign enforcement investigations (e.g. EU, Canada, Brazil, JFTC, etc.) and related direct and indirect class action price fixing actions.

Represented an international shipping transport company in the defense of a criminal grand jury investigation involving price fixing allegations in the tank container industry.

Represented MasterCard International in defending a series of actions challenging foreign currency conversion practices under California's Unfair Competition Law.

Represented a U.S. oil trading company in responding to an FTC Civil Investigation Demand concerning price-gouging in the U.S. gasoline industry

Advised a leading global licensor of 3D visual technology in responding to an antitrust investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of the licensing of 3D cinema systems and 3D cinema eyewear.

Advised a leading U.S. sporting apparel company, a leading online clothing retailer, a leading U.S. wireless Bluetooth chip manufacturer, a leading U.S. musical instrument manufacturer and other domestic companies on their distribution and licensing strategies (including product pricing, incentive programs agreements, internet advertising), and the conduct of antitrust compliance training.

Advised a leading Chinese cellular company on the antitrust and regulatory issues relating to the formation of patent pools and the licensing of 4G technology.

Represented risk arbitrage managers of various institutional investors and investment funds in connection with antitrust and regulatory advice on strategic investments and sophisticated trading strategies in the securities of publicly traded companies.

Advised leading movie, technology and telecommunications companies concerning the formation of various joint ventures and related merger control laws and filings with U.S. and foreign government antitrust agencies.

Represented U.S. and international corporations on Form CO merger filings with the European Commission, and merger notifications to individual European antitrust agencies.

Advised leading U.S. technology company on the negotiation, drafting, and antitrust law issues of a wide range of commercial agreements including the licensing of intellectual property rights, the application of the merger control rules to various joint ventures, and responding to UK and EU industry investigations.

Advised a leading set-top box manufacturer on the antitrust law issues arising from the negotiation and drafting of Multiple System Operator Agreements with European Cable-TV operators, and submissions to the European Commission regarding various investments in European digital cable operator customers.

Represented Solectron Corporation in a merger filing with the European Commission and antitrust issues arising from its $2.7 billion acquisition of C-MAC Industries Inc.; and a $2.2 billion Supply Agreement with Lucent Technologies for the production of optical networking equipment.

Advised a leading U.S.-based manufacturer of industrial process control equipment on its contractor agreements appointing system houses and building control distributors, and the application of EU antitrust laws.

Advised a U.S.-based industrial products manufacturer on technology transfer agreements in connection with the licensing of hydraulic couplings, and the application of EU antitrust laws.

Advised private equity companies on the application of UK and EU merger control rules to the acquisition of various data center businesses in Europe

Publications & News


•Co-author, An Outline of the Principal U.S. Export Controls and Current Export Control Reforms, October 17, 2012
•Author, Why You Need a Robust EU Antitrust Compliance Program & How to Implement It, Corporate Compliance Insights, April 12, 2012

Global Trade Law Blog Posts

• New EU Rules on Disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owners, June 24, 2015
• U.S. Authorizes Targeted Sanctions Against Overseas Cyber Threats, April 3, 2015
• Add Importers to Those Facing Expanding Whistleblower Claims under the False Claims Act, March 5, 2015
• New Russian Sanctions Legislation, December 19, 2014
• Mandatory Reporting of Foreign Direct Investments in the U.S., December 19, 2014
• China and Australia Conclude Landmark Free Trade Agreement Negotiations, November 25, 2014
• EU Strengthens Economic Sanctions Against Russia, September 18, 2014
• Data Privacy Alert: Prepare for Changes to the US-EU Safe Harbor, May 1, 2014
• Export Control Reforms Leads to Changes in Permanent Import Regime of Defense Articles and Services, August 19, 2013
• EU Targets Cyber Surveillance Exports and U.S. Considers Cyber Weapon Controls, August 19, 2013
• EU's New Sanctions Target Iran's Oil Industry, January 30, 2012

Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Blog Posts

• Add Importers to Those Facing Expanding Whistleblower Claims Under the False Claims Act, March 24, 2015
• The Long Arm Of The Crown: New U.K. Anti-Bribery Law Reaches Private Sector Bribery And Creates Offence Of Failing To Prevent Bribery, June 14, 2010

Antitrust Law Blog Posts

• Government Targets Agriculture Industry for Increased Antitrust Scrutiny, March 11, 2011
• U.S. Film Studios Agree to Modify “Most Favored Nations” Clause in EU Contracts to Encourage Financing and Installation of Digital Equipment, March 11, 2011
• Extradited Foreign Executive Jailed for Obstructing DOJ Antitrust Investigation, December 28, 2010
• EC Investigates Google for Potential Abuse of Dominance in Online Search Market, December 6, 2010
• Healthcare Sector Comes Under Increased Government Antitrust Scrutiny, November 9, 2010
• European Commission Objects to Oracle-Sun Deal, December 16, 2009
• Technology Sector Comes Under Increased Antitrust Scrutiny, November 10, 2009
• EC Declines to Follow DOJ's Lead, Opens In-Depth Investigation of Oracle-Sun Deal, October 12, 2009
• EC Launches Consultation on Distribution Rules, September 3, 2009
• Top EU Court Rules That Single Meeting Between Competitors Can Be Breach Of European Antitrust Laws, August 12, 2009
• Proposed Amendments to EU Leniency Notice, May 3, 2006
• A Tale Of Two Sectors: European Commission Reports On Telecoms And Energy Sectors, March 21, 2006
• European Commisssion Publishes Discussion Paper on Abuse of Dominance, February 7, 2006
• International Antitrust Highlights, January 7, 2006
• Leading UK Private Schools Accused of Anti-Competitive Behavior, December 7, 2005
• Neelie Kroes Speech On Article 82 Policy Review, November 7, 2005
• International Antitrust Highlights, November 7, 2005
• European Competition Commissioner Advocates For Enhancing Damages For Breach Of European Antitrust Rules, October 7, 2005
• US Jail Time - A New Reality for UK Executives Indicted on US Price-Fixing Charges, June 7, 2005
• International Antitrust Highlights, June 7, 2005
• OECD Recommendation On Merger Review Best Practices, May 17, 2005
• New EU Competition Commissioner Outlines Changes To Ensure More Effective European Cartel Enforcement, May 17, 2005
• International Antitrust Highlights, May 17, 2005
• Antitrust Reform in Europe: A Year in Practice, April 4, 2005
• International Antitrust Highlights, April 4, 2005
• European Court Raises Bar On The European Commission's Use Of Novel Theories In Merger Cases, March 8, 2005
• International Antitrust Highlights, March 8, 2005
• International Antitrust Highlights, February 7, 2005

Speaking Engagements

•Co Chair, Balancing National Security and Global Competitiveness: Government and Industry Address Unprecedented Export Control Reforms, October 17, 2012


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New Russian Sanctions Legislation
Neil Ray, February 25, 2015
On December 18, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that authorizes further sanctions on Russia. The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (UFSA) is aimed to assist “in restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to deter the Russian Government...
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Office Information

Neil Ray

501 West Broadway, Nineteenth Floor
San DiegoCA 92101


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