The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, along with a number of other jurisdictions, have responded to the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine by adopting new, additional and/or enhanced economic sanctions, trade restrictions and other restrictive measures targeting, in different ways, Russia, Belarus, and the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, which Russia has purported to recognize as independent states.  Russia, in turn, has responded to these restrictive measures by adopting its own countermeasures and related regulations affecting, for example, certain dealings involving non-Russians in Russia.
Continue Reading Sanctions Developments Resulting From the Conflict in Ukraine

On March 9, 2022, President Biden signed a wide-ranging Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets. While the Order does not mandate any particular regulatory prescriptions, it lays out key policy goals for a whole-of-government approach to digital asset regulation and directs the U.S. Government to assess the potential for a U.S.

U.S. federal and state authorities recently announced actions that are designed to give effect to economic measures taken against Russia and hold accountable those who violate U.S. laws.  These developments suggest that U.S. authorities’ focus on enforcing U.S. sanctions and export controls, anticorruption and anti-money laundering laws, and the growing scrutiny of cryptocurrency, will continue.  They also point to further coordination and cooperation between authorities in the U.S. and other jurisdictions in investigating and prosecuting violations of their respective laws.
Continue Reading Authorities in U.S. Take Steps to Strengthen Enforcement of U.S. Measures Against Russia

The U.S. National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)[1] recently published an updated list of critical and emerging technologies (CETs) as part of an ongoing effort to identify advanced technologies that are potentially significant to U.S. national security.
Continue Reading Updates to the Critical and Emerging Technologies List Signal Additional Areas of Focus

In 2022, boards of directors will continue to face a complex and expanding global foreign direct investment landscape that increasingly requires transactions to undergo intensive multijurisdictional FDI reviews and filing and approval processes, alongside merger control reviews and clearances.  This includes longstanding FDI review regimes with which boards of directors may be familiar, such as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, as well as new and recently modified and expanded regimes, particularly in Europe. 
Continue Reading Global FDI Review Landscape Continues to Evolve

U.S. sanctions policy in the first year of the Biden administration saw both change and continuity. As expected, the administration sought to cooperate with allies to impose multilateral (rather than unilateral) sanctions, focused on human rights abuses and opened the door for a new nuclear deal with Iran. At the same time, the administration continued to focus on virtual currencies and on combating illicit cyber activities relating to ransomware, and clarified (and in some respects expanded) sanctions issued under the Trump administration targeting Chinese companies deemed to be part of the Chinese military-industrial complex.
Continue Reading Economic Sanctions: Developments and Considerations

On January 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), determined that Australia and Canada have established and are effectively utilizing robust processes to analyze foreign investments for national security risks and facilitate coordination with the United States on matters relating to investment security.  As a result, Australia and Canada are and will remain “excepted foreign states” for CFIUS purposes unless and until the U.S. Government deems otherwise.[1]  The United Kingdom and New Zealand, both of which also currently are treated as excepted foreign states,[2] have until February 2023 to fulfill the criteria necessary to remain excepted foreign states.  It is possible that additional countries may be designated in the future as the global foreign direct investment (“FDI”) trend, particularly in U.S. ally countries, continues.

Continue Reading Australia and Canada Remain CFIUS Excepted Foreign States; United Kingdom and New Zealand Have Until February 2023 to Fulfill Criteria Necessary to Keep Designations

Last week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of the Department of the Treasury announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to implement the beneficial ownership reporting requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020.  This legislation requires a range of U.S. legal entities, and non-U.S. legal entities

On December 6, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCENrequested public input, through an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (the ANPR), on the potential imposition of nationwide recordkeeping and reporting requirements on persons involved in certain residential and commercial real estate transactions pursuant to its authority under the Bank Secrecy Act (

On December 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a new directive (Directive 1) prohibiting with immediate effect U.S. persons from transacting or participating in the primary and secondary markets of new Belarusian sovereign debt, in any denomination, with a maturity of greater than 90 days.[1]  In coordination with the European Union, United Kingdom, and Canada, OFAC also designated over 30 individuals and entities determined to have contributed to “ongoing attacks on democracy, human rights, and international norms” on the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”) and issued General License No. 5, authorizing transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of transactions involving newly sanctioned Open Joint Stock Company Belarusian Potash Company or Agrorozkvit LLC, or any of their subsidiaries, until April 1, 2022.[2]
Continue Reading OFAC Imposes Sanctions on Belarusian Sovereign Debt, Announces New Designations