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Press Release

Trade Compliance Lawyer Heather Sears Joins Morgan Lewis as Of Counsel

January 07, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC, January 7, 2020: Heather Sears, a former in-house trade compliance lawyer with more than 20 years of experience, has joined Morgan Lewis as of counsel, resident in Washington, DC.

Heather, who has advised global businesses on compliance with and extraterritorial application of US laws and regulations relating to international trade, is a member of the US State Department’s Defense Trade Advisory Group. She is also the vice chair on the board of the National Council for International Trade Development.

Her extensive in-house experience includes advising defense contractors and manufacturers on a wide variety of international issues, including compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), sanctions regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

“Heather is a highly regarded member of the international trade bar, and is especially well known for her export controls, investigations, and due diligence work,” said Giovanna M. Cinelli, leader of Morgan Lewis’s global international trade and national security practice. “She is regularly consulted on national security matters by clients and is considered a subject matter expert for export controls and trade compliance matters.  We are thrilled to have Heather as a member of our international trade and national security practice.”

Heather has developed and implemented trade compliance programs; conducted audits and internal investigations; prepared voluntary disclosures for submission to the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and the Office of Export Enforcement; prepared commodity jurisdiction and commodity classification requests; conducted training; facilitated regulatory change; and implemented export control reform. She also has represented foreign and domestic clients on international transactions involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and proposed acquisition and mitigation arrangements, as well as post acquisition integration, for non-US-owned defense businesses.

Morgan Lewis’s international trade and national security practice has been recognized by World ECR as a go-to firm for both export controls and sanctions matters. The cross-border team advises clients on all aspects of both classified and unclassified matters, internal investigations, resolution of enforcement matters, and government investigations involving international trade and national security issues and helps clients investigate and resolve matters under US export and import laws, including, but not limited to, ITAR, EAR, and OFAC regulations.