Background - Practices (Details)

National Security


With the U.S. government and other nations ramping up their use of economic and trade tools to conduct foreign policy in recent years, national security issues have become increasingly important to businesses with a global footprint. Crowell’s National Security team regularly helps clients navigate these complex and multidisciplinary matters, including:

  • Transactions under review by the government;
  • Trade matters such as export controls, sanctions, and other regulatory exclusions;
  • Government contracting matters, including in the classified space;
  • National security investigations; and
  • Other types of government scrutiny of business transactions and practices that impact national security law or policy.

Our team combines decades of experience in private practice with extensive government service, allowing us to provide both practical, real-world experience and an insider’s perspective on the constantly evolving national security landscape. Crowell’s team includes former government national security lawyers, federal and state prosecutors, congressional investigators, and White House staff.

Key Areas

Our experience focuses on the following key areas:

Foreign Investment and Participation

Our team counsels both buyer and seller corporate clients on managing formal and informal considerations involved in obtaining approvals for foreign investment and participation involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); the Mitigation of Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI); and the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (Team Telecom). This experience further helps clients mitigate issues that arise with foreign ownership, control, or influence, which can have a significant impact on businesses. In addition, the team advises clients regarding transactions and licensing applications under review by Team Telecom, formally known as the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector. Our lawyers also assist clients in commenting on rulemaking and in understanding and shaping changes to the statutory and regulatory authorities that govern this area.


As the government continues to focus on corporate corruption, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), our lawyers represent Fortune 100 clients in evaluating risk and self-disclosure considerations, building compliance programs from the ground up, and conducting corruption-related due diligence and risk assessments to minimize attention from U.S. regulators, including the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). At the same time, the National Security team, including our former FCPA prosecutors, defend clients in corporate and individual investigations.

Economic Sanctions and Export Controls/AML

Our team represents software, manufacturing, defense, financial services firms, and other companies with a cross-border footprint, as well as leading public and private universities and contractors that manage and operate U.S. government-owned National Laboratories, on economic sanctions, export controls, anti-money laundering (AML) laws, and similar authorities on which the U.S. government is increasingly relying to accomplish its national security and foreign policy goals. Our lawyers have held significant federal government positions and have decades of collective experience in this area. In addition to close regulatory counseling on U.S., U.K., EU, and other authorities, we draw on our institutional knowledge and focus on long-term strategy to represent clients on internal investigations, and on our ability to combine our regulatory subject matter knowledge with our white collar investigations experience to assist clients with external civil and criminal enforcement.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

The proliferation of cyber-attacks makes cybersecurity and privacy compliance more important than ever, particularly as criminal ransomware attacks and nation-state or state sponsored attacks target government contractors, information security providers, and others that may use sensitive technologies or critical infrastructure. Our national security team, many of whom maintain security clearances, helps businesses navigate the prevention of and response to incidents impacting sensitive government systems, Controlled Unclassified Information, Sensitive Security Information, classified information, and personal information, including those threats linked to Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).

National Security Investigations and Litigation

Our national security team recognizes the unique challenges presented by national security investigations, where the evidence can be classified, probable cause to support Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants is presented in secrecy, and few law firm lawyers have the experience working on these matters from the inside of government. We assist individuals and companies alike in navigating this thorny landscape, including leveraging our government experience representing the government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and handling National Security Letters.

Government Contracts/Classified Contracting

Crowell’s nationally, Chambers-ranked Government Contracts team covers virtually every variant of national security issues facing government contractors, including the National Industrial Security Program and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Insider Threats, classified contract suspension and debarment (including the U.S. military’s vendor vetting process), classified and national security litigation (including protests and contract claims and appeals), investigations, and counseling.

Government Service

While our team is always evolving, some of the government roles our team members have held include:

  • Inspector General of the United States Intelligence Community
  • Chief Counsel, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
  • Assistant Director for Transnational Threats, OFAC
  • Attorney-Advisor, Enforcement & Intelligence, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Chief of Staff, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Legal Expert, Al-Qaida/Taliban Monitoring Team, United Nations Security Council
  • Chief Counsel, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
  • Attorney-Advisor, FinCEN
  • Attorney-Advisor, National Security Division, DOJ
  • Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, DOJ, National Security Division, National Asset Protection
  • Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, DOJ, National Security Division
  • United States Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, DOJ
  • United States Attorney, Southern District of Texas, DOJ
  • Acting United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York, DOJ
  • Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division, DOJ
  • Trial Attorney, Criminal Enforcement Section, Antitrust Division, DOJ
  • Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
  • Acting Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Chief Deputy, District of Columbia Attorney General’s Office
  • First Assistant Attorney General, New Jersey Attorney General’s Office
  • Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Staff Director to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control
  • Senior Counsel and Branch Chief, Enforcement Division, SEC