Export Controls And Sanctions Veteran Jonathan Poling Joins Akin Gump’s International Trade Practice

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump today announced that Jonathan C. Poling has joined the firm as a partner in its international trade practice in Washington, D.C. A former trial attorney in the National Security Division’s Counterespionage Section at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Mr. Poling has significant experience handling complex export control and trade-related civil and criminal matters across an array of industries.

Mr. Poling comes to Akin Gump from Baker & McKenzie, where he has been in private practice since exiting the DOJ in 2012.

“International trade is a cornerstone practice of Akin Gump, and our export controls and sanctions practice, in particular, has seen a significant increase in demand,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “Jon brings a valuable dimension to our practice in that space that’s hard to find anywhere else as well as a tremendous boost to our first-tier team. With his deep connections at the Justice Department and other key agencies at the forefront of U.S. export control and sanctions enforcement, he will be a valuable asset both to our clients and our firm.”

Mr. Poling’s practice includes representing clients in export control and sanctions matters, including white collar and administrative enforcement cases, trade-related due diligence, integration issues in mergers and acquisitions, audits, export control and sanctions internal investigations and corporate compliance issues. His practice also includes anti-money laundering and fraud investigations involving international trade and trade finance, including investigations involving potential violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Trading with the Enemy Act and the Arms Export Control Act.

While at the DOJ, Mr. Poling prosecuted dozens of export control, counterproliferation and trade-related cases. Among them was U.S. v. Balli Aviation, a landmark interagency criminal export controls and sanctions case involving the illegal export of a Boeing 747 aircraft from the United States to Iran, which resulted in one of the largest fines ever issued by the Department of Commerce for an export violation.  Additional notable cases include U.S. v. Ulrich Davis, the first criminal prosecution of a freight forwarder for export control violations, and U.S. v. Larijani, the first successful indictment, arrest, extradition and conviction of individuals for export control violations involving parts that appeared on improvised explosive devices in Iraq.

“As one of only a handful of veterans from the DOJ’s office focusing on export and sanctions enforcement, Jon understands firsthand the ongoing and emerging trends in U.S. and international enforcement of export and sanctions laws,” said Hal Shapiro, head of Akin Gump’s international trade practice. “This background gives him a unique perspective on the issues facing our clients, and I know he will be a strong advocate for them.”

Added Mr. Poling, “In export control and sanction matters, clients are looking for depth and breadth in white collar and international trade practices such as those here at Akin Gump.  I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to a firm with substantial experience in both areas.  Having been at the forefront of the government’s stepped-up enforcement of export controls and sanctions laws, I have a firsthand understanding of the risks to an organization when faced with what are often very serious allegations, and I look forward to putting this experience to work on behalf of Akin Gump’s clients.”

About Jonathan C. Poling

In addition to his trial work at the Department of Justice, Mr. Poling trained other officials, including federal law enforcement officers, on export control and trade investigations and prosecutions. He also participated in State Department delegations overseas relating to enhancement of foreign investigations and prosecutions, and he served as a representative for the DOJ on the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

During his tenure at DOJ, Mr. Poling also served as a committee member for the working group on the U.S. Export Reform Initiative and the creation of the Export Enforcement Coordination Center (EECC).

Mr. Poling began his career at Milbank, Tweed as a commercial litigator, where he worked with William H. Webster, former director of the CIA and FBI, on an investigation on behalf of NASA relating to the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

A prolific speaker and writer, Mr. Poling is frequently called upon by a wide variety of organizations and associations to contribute his thoughts on U.S. export controls and sanctions laws, both from his time in government service as well as private practice.

Mr. Poling received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Villanova University.

About Akin Gump’s International Trade Practice

Akin Gump’s international trade practice offers an array of services designed to optimize clients’ ability to engage in the cost-efficient and timely exchange of goods and services across borders, in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The firm’s lawyers and advisors assist clients with issues before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the International Trade Commission; the departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Justice; the Department of Homeland Security, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and other federal agencies and offices that deal with international trade regulation. In particular, the practice is a recognized leader in advising and representing clients on the full range of administrative, public policy and litigation concerns arising out of export control and economic sanctions issues.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 850 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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