Export Controls

The mission of the U.S. government's system of export control laws and regulations is to ensure that controlled products, services, software and technologies are not provided to certain prohibited countries, entities or individuals, or made available for certain prohibited end uses. However, meeting changing U.S. compliance requirements while engaging in cross-border business is an ever-more complex job in the post-9/11 environment. As a result, Greenberg Traurig’s Export Controls Practice places an emphasis on meeting both the transactional and U.S. regulatory requirements for clients selling internationally in highly regulated commercial, defense, aerospace and other high-tech sectors. Our attorneys working on export controls are experienced in these regulatory requirements and frequently counsel clients on the application of these laws to U.S. and foreign businesses. Our team advises clients on a range of international technology transfer issues, as well as compliance and licensing matters.

U.S. Export Control Policy

The U.S. government has developed a system of export control laws and regulations to ensure that controlled products (i.e., “commodities”), software and technologies are not diverted to certain countries, companies or individuals, or for certain prohibited end-uses.

The system imposes controls on both U.S. and foreign persons and entities for the following activities:

  • Physical shipment of commodities offshore 
  • Disclosure of controlled technology to foreign nationals in the United States or offshore 
  • Licensing of technology offshore 
  • Performance of certain technical services 
  • Hiring of foreign nationals to handle, or have access to, controlled commodities, software and/or technology 
  • Export and re-export of foreign-produced commodities and technology with U.S. origin content

Penalties for export control violations may include disciplinary action (up to and including termination of employment), corporate fines, revocation or suspension of export privileges, and individual fines and/or imprisonment of responsible personnel. Mitigating circumstances in enforcement actions are critical to the reduction of potential penalties. As a result, clients may depend on experienced counsel, with solid agency relationships, who can advise on the export compliance and enforcement process.

U.S. Government Export Enforcement Agencies

U.S. export controls are regulated by several governmental agencies depending upon the type of commodity, software and/or technology that is the subject of the export. The Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) has jurisdiction over military defense articles, the technical data related to those defense articles, and the provision of “defense services.” Such defense articles, technical data and defense services are identified on the U.S. Munitions List (USML), which is contained within the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

The Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), has jurisdiction over non-military/commercial and dual-use commodities. “Dual use” refers to commodities, software or technology that have predominant commercial/non-military application but could be of strategic importance if such items were used for military purposes. These items are identified on the Commerce Control List (CCL), which is contained within the EAR. BIS also exercises jurisdiction over certain re-exports from foreign countries of U.S.-origin commodities, software and technology. Finally, in certain instances, BIS has jurisdiction over exports from foreign countries of foreign-made commodities that are manufactured from U.S.-origin technology or contain U.S.-origin parts or components.

The Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and DDTC manage U.S. embargoes and trade sanctions imposed against certain countries deemed hostile to the United States.

U.S. Government Prohibited Lists

There are various lists promulgated by the U.S. government identifying those entities with which a U.S. person either may not do business or may not do business without permission from the U.S. government. No commodities, software or technology may be exported to the persons and entities identified on these lists without prior U.S. government approval. U.S. companies have an affirmative legal obligation to refer to these lists prior to conducting business with non-U.S. persons.

Legal Services

  • Assist companies in developing export compliance procedures and export management systems 
  • Counsel companies on the export classification of their commodities, technologies, software and services 
  • Prepare licenses and agreements, followed by submission before the Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Justice (e.g., Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and Energy 
  • Guide companies through export controls due diligence in domestic and multinational transactions 
  • Defend companies in administrative and criminal export control-related prosecutions 
  • Counsel on legislative and agency relations related to U.S. export policy 
  • Conduct internal training to best manage export compliance

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At Greenberg Traurig, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual attorneys at Greenberg Traurig are committed to nurturing diversity throughout the firm and creating an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively.

For us, diversity is about taking action - opening doors for lawyers.

That commitment is reflected by the fact that overall, 40 percent of Greenberg Traurig's attorneys worldwide are women or minorities as defined by the American Bar Association. As of Dec. 31, 2014, our U.S. employees, including attorneys and staff, who met the definition of minority persons reflected a total of 29 percent of our employment base. Approximately 32 percent of our U.S. attorneys and 52 percent of our U.S. employees are women.

Greenberg Traurig's commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond any single committee. Committees cannot nurture; they cannot mentor; they cannot create an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively. Committees do not lead. Our diverse attorneys however, can and do.

* We welcome and reflect the communities we represent better than any other major law firm in our markets.

* We do not simply rely on a "committee" to achieve this.

* We do so through a commitment to providing a fair opportunity for each of us to reach our full potential.

* We have the personal dedication of many at Greenberg Traurig who identify and bring into our firm this very special diversity.

* The Minority Law Journal 2014 Diversity Scorecard has recognized us as follows:
o No. 1 Ranking, African American Partners
o No. 1 Ranking, Hispanic American Non-Partners
o No. 2 Ranking, Hispanic American Partners

* The National Law Journal has previously recognized our attorneys as among:
o No. 2 Ranking, Female Partner Numbers, Female Scorecard (2013)
o "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" (Three) (2008)
o "The 50 Most Influential Women Attorneys" (Two) (2007)
o "The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America"
(Two diverse attorneys; three total) (2006)

Diversity in Action: Fostering Diversity in the Profession and Preserving the Pipeline

Greenberg Traurig's Diversity Leadership Community has initiatives that focus on fostering an environment within the firm that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, and increasing diversity in the profession by increasing access to a legal education for minority students. Helping today's law students and lawyers become tomorrow's business and legal leaders means a larger, more diverse marketplace and a greater pool of talented professionals. And that means more business opportunities for everyone - our firm, our colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.
In this way, our approach to diversity and inclusion mandates a high-level of personal responsibility with regard to the recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys. Attorneys in recruiting, hiring and supervisory roles are continuously made aware of the progress of our efforts. Our personal approach to diversity and inclusion means that Greenberg Traurig lawyers are active at their alma maters and at law schools local to their offices, participating in such programs as career panels; "Meet the Employer" days; and mock interviews, among others.

It has been, and continues to be, our goal to create a well-balanced workforce that contains a significant presence of minorities and women.

Greenberg Traurig creates and supports partner programs with women, minority, gay/lesbian or disability-focused bar associations. We attend and sponsor events at these organizations regularly throughout the United States. The firm works closely with national and local minority bars to address the fostering of diversity and inclusion in the profession on many levels. We support the work of several organizations, including MCCA, NAPABA, NASABA, NBA, NLGBTBA, HRC, HNBA and others.

Additionally, we provide funding through the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation for lawyers and law students to work with public interest groups. Through the Foundation, Greenberg Traurig serves as the largest sponsor of Equal Justice Works Fellowships in the United States and has invested approximately $8 million to support, in whole or in part, almost 127 Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.

We invite clients to join us as we work towards:

* Cultivating strategic partnerships with clients and potential clients to leverage our diversity platform to create and deepen relationships and cultivate business opportunities.

* Encouraging our lawyers to facilitate opportunities for our diverse and women lawyers to develop relationships with clients before and after new matters are received.

* Broadening the pipeline of diverse attorneys by expanding relationships with minority bar associations and other legal diversity organizations through our combined support of these networks.

* Focusing on strengthening mentoring programs for female and diverse attorneys at every level.

* Instituting a program that provides a variety of mentoring, rainmaking and training opportunities that can be accessed by a wide range of diverse attorneys across a variety of underserved communities.

* Engaging our Affinity Groups and their allies as a forum for professional development and business development opportunities, as well as for recruiting and retention assistance and as a social exchange to promote inclusion.

Diversity in Action: Employee Resource Networks

Greenberg Traurig's Employee Resource Networks (Affinity Groups) have the goal of addressing the needs of our attorneys and professionals who are diverse. We support Affinity Groups for our attorneys who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, LGBT and women, and we continue to gauge opportunities to expand those groups as our needs and demographics dictate.

The firm's Affinity Groups are as follows:

* African American Affinity Group

* Asian Pacific American Affinity Group

* Hispanic American Affinity Group

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group

* South Asian American Affinity Group

* Women's Initiative

Our goals include:

* Mentoring of junior attorneys within the specific group;

* Recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys;

* Active participation in organizations addressing specific groups; and

* Serving as a forum for group members to discuss and explore issues and opportunities that will add value to client relationships.

Women's Initiative

As an example of our approach, Greenberg Traurig's firm-wide Women's Initiative focuses on retaining and supporting women attorneys through professional development and work/life balance initiatives, as well as through business development training programs and networking opportunities.

We work with like-minded organizations to address these issues on a broader scale in a variety of industries and communities.

Our program targets:

* Attracting and retaining talented women attorneys.

* Supporting business development for women attorneys.

* Serving as industry leaders.

* Impacting the community through leadership and service.

* Maintaining a culture that benefits women attorneys.

Diversity in Action: Suppliers

Greenberg Traurig is committed to the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Small Business Enterprises (DBE & SBE) suppliers.

As such:

* All business concerns, large and small, majority- or minority-owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete.

* A national director of procurement within the firm supports this practice.

* We are committed to diversity with respect to our vendors and suppliers.

* We are amenable to using diverse vendors and suppliers recommended by clients.

Diversity from the Top Down

Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig, leads our diversity efforts. This is a matter of personal responsibility for him, having entered the U.S. as an immigrant with humble beginnings.

He has previously been honored as follows:

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Hispanic National Bar Foundation

* "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "Top Most Powerful Hispanics," The Black Book of Poder

* "25 Best Latinos in Business," Hispanic Magazine, The Power Issue

* "President's Award of Merit for Diversity Efforts," The Florida Bar

* "Spirit of Excellence Award," ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Chambers USA Awards for Excellence

* "CEO of the Year" award, Multicultural Law Magazine

* "Attorney of the Year Award," Hispanic National Bar Association


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