As we have noted elsewhere, there are a few key steps to ensure compliance with the complexities of OFAC requirements:
- Measuring your global risks
- Conducting thorough due diligence on customers, vendors and intermediaries
- Understanding your transaction flows and routing
- Mitigating entity and transaction risk with defensible controls
- Maintaining regular communications with regulators, including self-disclosures
“So many more clients now have a greater appreciation for the dangers and risks of getting this wrong that law firms are just incredibly active in looking for good sanctions, export control practitioners.”
Law firms big and small are benefiting from a surge in sanctions-related defense and advisory work as the U.S. regime grows more complex and enforcement gets tougher under the Trump administration. Driving demand are recent changes to nearly two-dozen sanctions programs—including Cuba, Venezuela and Iran—and a greater threat of both civil and criminal penalties. Companies, especially those with cross-border operations, are flooding law offices with requests for help. “We have certainly seen an uptick in enforcement defense, internal investigations and compliance questions from clients,” said Kevin McCart, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Squire Patton Boggs. The firm has seen double-digit revenue growth in sanctions and anti-money laundering-related work during each of the past several years.