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Baker Botts Delivers Insight into U.S. Sanctions with Cuba, Iran, Russia

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2016 - Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, provided an overview of key U.S. sanctions programs in a webinar, “The Continued Risk of Doing Business in Cuba, Iran and Russia,” presented by firm partners Ama Adams and Amy Conway-Hatcher along with Anna Leuje, Deputy General Counsel, IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., to the local chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. The discussion focused on recent developments to U.S. sanctions that will affect business activity within Cuba, Iran and Russia amid the increasingly complex enforcement environment that continues to evolve in the area.

The subject of U.S. sanctions is top-of-mind for international and national businesses looking to trade goods in newly available markets. “Now, U.S. and non-U.S. entities can enter into markets that have been closed for some time,” said Ms. Adams. “While newly revised sanctions offer opportunities, they also present challenges for those establishing transactions with Cuba and Iran.”

One such challenge discussed during the webinar is guaranteeing that exported goods are going to the private sector and will not be for the benefit of the Cuban government unless authorized by the U.S. Government. Ms. Adams said this will be an obstacle, “but it’s something our government is focusing on to ensure the products are getting to the right place.”

Panelists delivered relevant information on the regulations under U.S. sanctions with insight into the authorization of entities, exports and financial transactions, among others, when trading with Cuba, Iran and Russia. They addressed practical considerations that companies should consider when embarking on business opportunities in these countries, challenges that could arise, the potential liability for violations and “best practices” for a compliance program.

“In-house counsel and compliance professionals must strike a balance in offering their business leaders with decisions on complex areas of laws while mitigating the risk of potential liability,” said Ms. Conway-Hatcher. “It is critical for compliance and in-house legal personnel to establish and continue a dialogue with the business, understand the supply chain process, identify reasonable monitoring tools, track regulatory changes and be prepared to navigate compliance challenges when they arise. Enforcement cases are complex and take a long time to resolve; the more established and responsive the compliance program, the better positioned a company will be to navigate a challenging enforcement environment – if the worst happens.”

Baker Botts’ International Trade Group, which is based in the Washington, Brussels and London offices, has an active, diverse and experienced practice in advising clients on complying with U.S., EU and other government regulations that affect the cross-border movement of goods, technology, services and investment. The group advises both U.S. and international clients on the applicability of trade regulations, including the Iranian Transactions Regulations, the Sudan Sanctions Regulations, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010, the National Defense Authorization Act, the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, and implementing Executive Orders.

Ms. Adams is a partner in Baker Botts’ International Trade Group and her practice focuses on international transactions and the U.S. government’s regulation of trade and investment. Ms. Conway-Hatcher is a partner in the firm’s White Collar Group and her practice focuses on corporate internal investigations, corporate compliance and defending corporate and individual clients in criminal and civil enforcement matters.

 

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Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 13 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit bakerbotts.com.