Christian Davis Profiled as Law360 Rising Star

Akin Gump international trade partner Christian Davis is one of four Akin Gump practitioners recognized this year as Rising Stars by Law360 (click here to learn more).

In its profile of Davis as a Rising Star, Law360 covered a range of topics, including:

  • His biggest case: Last year, Davis represented a U.S.-based technology research company before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in connection with its planned sale to a Chinese company. While he ultimately succeeded in securing clearance from the committee and guiding the companies through a series of complex conditions to close the deal, he explained that the matter was challenging since it involved a Chinese buyer for a company involved in the technology sector that also had U.S. government contracts. “That confluence of factors made it a difficult case from a CFIUS perspective, particularly as there’s an overall trend that many Chinese transactions in those sectors are having difficulty clearing the CFIUS review process,” Davis said. “I think this was a notable case because we were able to get clearance and satisfy the business goals of the client despite those challenges.”
  • Why he’s an international trade attorney: Davis said he had always wanted to do international business law, and, since joining Akin Gump, has been presented with “interesting, challenging issues” that have kept him engaged. His emphasis on CFIUS evolved naturally from there, though the volume and complexities of the cases has grown over the past few years because of the government’s increased concerns about investments in the United States. “It really created an opportunity to expand our practice to focus more on that area,” he said, noting that he pursued the chance to dive into the specialty and become a leader in the space.
  • What motivates him: When he is able to help a client solve what seems like an impossible problem or when he can dig into a challenging scenario that looks to have no good solutions and find an outcome that satisfies the client’s goals. Davis said he also loves dealing with the fast-paced, dynamic world of international trade and national security law, since it is at the core of a lot of important issues.
  • On international trade changes over the next decade: Davis said he expects to see an increase in CFIUS cases in light of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, which President Trump is expected to sign into law. The measure will expand CFIUS’ scope to include transactions that previously weren’t subject to its review. He also expects to see “more and more export controls being put in place due to concerns that are being raised by the government and sanctions, too, because this administration has been issuing a good number of sanctions and has been changing the way that sanctions operate.”