Classified information is slowly creeping into the day-to-day operations of businesses that have never before needed to comply with the strict requirements that accompany this information. And the questions being asked do not have intuitive answers: Can you refuse to hire an applicant who was arrested for drunk driving if the job requires obtaining a security clearance and accessing classified information? Can your company accept a $25 million loan from a European company if you handle classified government contracts? How frequently do your cleared employees need to be given training on handling classified information? How do you handle an internal investigation involving classified information if you do not hold a clearance?
The government is treating startup companies, established private sector companies, and government contractors equally when it comes to complying with classified information requirements. To address these kinds of questions in a more systematic way, and to help businesses that could benefit from our coordinated legal efforts, Morgan Lewis has formed a classified information services group. Today, we formally announce the availability of this team to handle classified matters in most business sectors, covering information classified by the US government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Morgan Lewis lawyers and professional staff with security clearances have helped clients resolve legal issues and handle classified matters. We have advised on all phases of the classified information life cycle, from establishing hiring protocols and acquiring security clearances and foreign ownership certifications, to handling mature programs involving investigations, government contract disputes, and complex litigation. We assist clients with regulatory, environmental, transactional, and adjudicatory matters, and we work with government contractors on an array of complex legal, regulatory, contractual, and operational issues.
- Our energy lawyers, for example, assist with handling and protecting National Security Information (NSI), Restricted Data (RD), Safeguards Information (SGI), and nuclear export controlled information (ECI). Team members also have experience navigating matters that implicate the National Industry Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM) and Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI).
- Our litigation lawyers include former federal prosecutors and senior government officials who handle civil and criminal litigation involving classified information in matters involving the State Secrets doctrine, the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), and laws implicating espionage, export control, and national security issues.
- Our patent lawyers possess procurement and litigation capabilities, and include lawyers with security clearances who can file patents under Secrecy Orders.
Learn more information about our capabilities.