Reid Whitten

Reid Whitten: Attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP


Reid Whitten works with clients around the world to plan, prepare, and succeed in global business transactions.

In the areas of sanctions, export and defense exports, anti-corruption, and CFIUS, he supports clients in detecting and deterring potential compliance issues as well as conducting and defending investigations and enforcements. Mr. Whitten also advises on anti-dumping, anti-money laundering, and anti-boycott regulations.

Mr. Whitten is a thought leader on cross-border business regulations. He is a visiting professor at the Law School of the Universite Catholique de Lille, in France, and at Wake Forest University in the United States where he teaches courses on The Law of International Business.

He writes and comments regularly and is called on by television news channels, international newspapers, and trade publications to provide analysis on the latest changes to cross-border transactional regulations. Mr. Whitten also conducts seminars on regulatory updates to industry groups in the United States, France, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom. He speaks French fluently.

Mr. Whitten is the Managing Partner of Sheppard Mullin’s London office and shares his time serving clients out of the Washington, D.C. office.


U.S. Sanctions

•Developed strategy for major Polish gas company on continuing business with certain Russian entities without violating U.S. sanctions
•Supported completion of 500 Million deal between EU security service provider and Iranian airport authorities for security services at Iranian airports in compliance with post-JCPOA Sanctions
•Advised a Swiss aircraft and transportation service company with respect to managing Russian clients
•Counseled multinational engineering firm on pipeline project in joint venture with Russia
•Advised multinational EU construction company on conflict of laws questions between U.S. sanctions and EU blocking statutes
•Led an internal investigation for a global bank into its OFAC sanctions compliance practices
•Advised non-U.S. businesses and financial institutions on entering the Iranian market after the Iran Nuclear Deal
•Performed compliance investigation for U.S. private equity company acquiring ownership of non-U.S. energy company with interests in Iran
•Advised non-U.S. bank on compliance with U.S. sanctions on Iran, Sudan, and other countries and individuals
•Represented non-U.S. chemical manufacturer in negotiating removal from federal and state blocked lists under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA)
•Conducted internal review of reported sanctions for major U.S. medical equipment manufacturer investigating reports of an agent making unauthorized sales to Iran

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

•Represented U.S. energy company in a multi-national anti-bribery and FCPA investigation conducted in coordination between U.S. and Ghanaian authorities.
•Defended U.S. energy company in FCPA investigation by U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
•Conducted internal investigation of FCPA red flag reports related to sales by U.S. oilfield equipment manufacturer from its agent in South America
•Designed FCPA and Chinese anti-corruption compliance program for the Chinese operations of U.S. Fortune 100 electronics company
•Advised on internal FCPA investigation of Fortune 100 U.S. agricultural products company related to bribery allegations on three continents
•Counseled non-U.S. automotive company on developing and implementing compliance program and training

Export Controls

•Applied for and obtained one of the first export licenses under revised sanctions regulations that permitted a U.S. company to send good to Cuba to support a clean-water initiative in that country.
•Completed a company-wide ITAR compliance audit for the U.S. facilities of a global materials manufacturer and obtained a closed matter with no penalty or further action from The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC)
•Executed an ITAR review for a U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturer, integrating the compliance policies of two merged companies and reporting to regulators on the same
•Completed a review of EAR control compliance for a second-market microchip distributor pursuant to an FBI subpoena and negotiated closure of the investigation with significant reduction in penalties as a result of compliance improvements and cooperation
•Represented major U.S. consulting firm in internal investigation relating to the inadvertent export of controlled technical data
•Counseled Fortune 100 aerospace company concerning civilian and military export control matters, including controls relating to encryption and composites
•Represented Non-U.S. multinational chemical manufacturer in obtaining licenses for the export of controlled chemicals for medical research
•Advised multiple U.S. research universities on technology and deemed export issues related to non-U.S. campuses, students, and faculty
•Represented global automotive company establish and deploy export compliance processes, agreement language, and training to U.S. and non-U.S. personnel
•Defended U.S. electronics distributor in enforcement action by U.S. Attorney's Office for Middle District of Florida resulting in civil disposition with no criminal charges
•Represented Non-U.S. multinational manufacturer obtain licenses under ITAR for sharing controlled technical data to produce protective equipment for the U.S. military

CFIUS and Customs

•Successfully represented a U.S. manufacturer to the Korean Customs Service and obtained preferential treatment in Korea for that company’s products under the Korea U.S. Free Trade Agreement
•Represented U.S. and Canadian petroleum shippers, natural gas shippers, and pipelines in discussions with U.S. Customs and U.S. Census on regulatory interpretations
•Represented U.S. entity in CFIUS submission in connection with sale to non-U.S. investment fund of critical infrastructure assets

Litigation and Other

•Prepared a petition for certiori to the U.S. Supreme Court for a suit to protect the civil rights of immigrant detainees
•Defended the District of Columbia in a civil suit against thirty-two DCPD officers for damages related to the service of a warrant on a murder suspect
•Defended the District of Columbia in a civil suit against doctors at public hospitals who had performed free clinic care for patients underserved areas
•Served as judicial clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Pro Bono

•Represented the widows of U.S. veterans in efforts to obtain benefits from the U.S. Veterans Administration


•Washington D.C. Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2013-2017


•U.S. to Streamline Small Arms, Ammo Export Regulations
National Defense, January 9, 2019
•EU Blocking Statutes, Iran Sanctions, and the Businesses Caught in Between
World Export Control Review, September 2018
•Why CFIUS Intervened In Broadcom’s Bid For Qualcomm
Law360, March 20, 2018
•Movements Without Motion In Russian Sanctions Policy
Law360, February 9, 2018
•2018 EU Competition & Regulatory Trends
Sheppard Mullin EU Competition Alert, January 24, 2018
•Sheppard Mullin Discusses the Future of CFIUS After Proposed Reforms
Columbia Law School's Blue Sky Blog, January 22, 2018
•Predicting the Unpredictable: Foreign Investment Under the Trump Administration
The National Law Review, March 16, 2017
•Foreign Investment Under Trump Administration
The National Law Review, March 15, 2017
•The Undoing Project - Why NAFTA Can’t be Undone, but Can be Re-Done
The National Law Review, January 13, 2017
•The Table Flip: Trump, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and American Business
The National Law Review, December 7, 2016
•Those Three Little Words: OFAC’s Subtle Language Shift Could Create Sweeping Change on Iran Investment
National Law Review, October 11, 2016
•Layover in Tehran: United States Authorizes Carriers to Land Civil Aircraft in Iran
The National Law Review, August 17, 2016
•New Business Opportunities in Iran - Can You Bank on It?
Financier Worldwide, June 2016
•The Morning After: Waking up to Brexit and Its Impact on Your Business
The National Law Review, June 24, 2016
•Europe Opens Routes for Sanctioned Iran Airline: Flying the Too-Friendly Skies?
The National Law Review, June 9, 2016
•New Business Opportunities in Iran! But Who Will Be Your Banker? Non-U.S. Banks Hesitant to Process Lawful Iran Transactions...and for Good Reason
The National Law Review, April 20, 2016
•EU-US Privacy Shield: Brace Yourself . . . or Maybe Not
The National Law Review, March 4, 2016
•The Day of North Korea Sanctions: the UN Imposes the Toughest North Korea Sanctions Yet While OFAC and State Designate More North Korean Entities
The National Law Review, March 3, 2016
•US and EU Iran Sanctions Lifted: How to Proceed in Aviation Sector?
The National Law Review, January 20, 2016
•Trans Pacific Partnership and Auto Industry: Will Six Thousand Pages Pave Way for Increased Exports?
The National Law Review, November 12, 2015
•Keep Your Frenemies Close: Proposed China Sanctions and the Price of Escalation
The National Law Review, September 18, 2015
•Implementation Day: Do the Rules Let You Play in the New Ballgame for Business in Iran?
The National Law Review, July 16, 2015
•They Grow Up So Fast: Alstom and the UK Bribery Act at Five Years
The National Law Review, May 20, 2015
•The Broader Problem: European Bank Creates an Easy Catch for the Long Arm of U.S. Jurisdiction
The National Law Review, April 1, 2015
•Read the Directions Carefully Before Playing: State Department Releases Military Drone Export Guidance
The National Law Review, March 5, 2015
•Change Your Entire Energy Export Policy Using This One Weird Trick! BIS “Clarifies” Short Supply Controls to Make Oil Exporting Easier
The National Law Review, January 15, 2015

Media Mentions

•CFIUS Backlog Will Only Worsen As Shutdown Carries On
Law360, January 15, 2019
•Chinese tech investors flee Silicon Valley as Trump tightens scrutiny
Reuters, January 6, 2019
•Companies Aren't Commenting on Future of Tech Export Controls: Why Not?
Corporate Counsel, January 2, 2019
•Justice penale : entreprises, dirigeants, salaries, tous concernes, tous complices?
Les Echos, July 10, 2018
•Congress Seen Adding Clarity to Tricky Path for Foreign Deals
Bloomberg Law, July 2, 2018
•2018 Singapore Summit
Sky News, June 12, 2018
•Factbox: What are the rules Airbus admits to breaking in U.S.?
Reuters, October 31, 2017
•EU unveils plans for scaled-down public prosecutor’s office
Global Investigations Review, March 10, 2017

Speaking Engagements

Briefing: Key Changes in EU AML and US Sanction Regimes Bird & Bird Program on Anti-Money Laundering and U.S. Sanctions, London, September, 2018
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, In-House Counsel Forum, Seoul, November, 2016
Inside Washington: Law, Development and Diplomacy, ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC), July 24, 2013
•Panelist, ITAR and EAR Compliance Review and Investigations: Conducting Internal Audits and Determining Whether to Disclose Potential Violations to Mitigate Penalties, Strafford Webinar, June 26, 2013
•Panel Chair and Moderator, Navigation without Maps: The Young Lawyer and the New Industry of International Anti-Bribery Compliance and Investigation, ABA International Fall Meeting, October, 2012
•ABA Section of International Law, Pathways to International Law:
•George Washington Law School - panelist - March 10, 2011
•Catholic University, Columbus School of Law - panelist - October 18, 2011
•University of Baltimore School of Law - panelist - November 3, 2011
•International Law Student Association-Jessup Competition Finals Conference - panelist - March 30, 2012
•ABA International Section Spring Meeting - panelist - April 17, 2012
•ABA International Legal Education Summit - panelist - October 19, 2013


•Defense Exports 2015
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Fall 2015

(Also at Brussels, Belgium Office)

Areas of Practice (21)

  • International Reach
  • France
  • Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade
  • CFIUS: Foreign Investment in the U.S.
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Exports and Export-Related Controls
  • Sanctions
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency
  • Communications
  • Construction
  • Emerging Company/Venture Capital
  • Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Investment Management
  • Life Sciences and FDA
  • Maritime
  • Open Source
  • Wine

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
202.747.2314  Phone
+  Fax
University Attended:
The College of William & Mary, B.A., cum laude, 2002
Law School Attended:
Wake Forest University, J.D., Fletcher Scholar, Editorial Staff, Wake Forest Law Review, 2007
Year of First Admission:
Commonwealth of Virginia; United States Fourth Circuit Court; Barreau de Bruxelles - Liste B; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia; U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; District of Columbia; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia


•American Bar Association: Chair of the Young Lawyers Division - International Section
•Member Barreau de Bruxelles: Liste B - The Belgian bar for international lawyers practicing in Brussels
•American Bar Association - International Law Section, Appointed Vice-Chair of the Law Student, LLM & New Lawyer Outreach Committee, August 2012 - August 2013
•American Bar Association - International Law Section, Europe Committee
•Virginia State Bar Association - International Practice Section


Peer Reviews

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (23)

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