Top Advisors 2020

Below is our list of top lawyers who provide legal advice concerning national security reviews of foreign investments in the U.S. and abroad. Rankings are based on myriad criteria including experience, reputation, clients served, first-person interviews, references, reader recommendations, articles published, and more — they are editorial rankings and not paid. Please remember Foreign Investment Watch does not provide legal guidance or advice, and you should conduct your own due diligence when considering engaging outside counsel.

2021 List Coming Next Week: The nominations are all in (thanks for sending them!) and the work is complete; our 2021 “top ten” list includes five new names. Stay tuned for next week!


Jonathan Gafni, Linklaters

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Gafni cut his teeth on national security reviews of international transactions at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where he served as deputy national intelligence officer for CFIUS support. He was also a member of the Senior National Intelligence Service, where he led U.S. intelligence community support to the CFIUS process, directing the preparation of national security threat analyses of more than 500 cross-border transactions. Since then he’s built an expertise in the area, representing clients before CFIUS, the Defense Security Service and other U.S. government authorities. With an Economics degree from MIT, an MBA from Georgetown, a JD from the University of California, and a Masters in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College, he’s been uniquely positioned to deeply understand and advise on tremendously complex cross-border transactions. [email protected]


Damara Chambers, Vinson & Elkins

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Chambers is a well-known attorney who spends most of her time advising clients on CFIUS, the Defense Security Service, and the Department of Energy, particularly related to the mitigation of foreign ownership, control or influence. An expert on export controls and international trade matters, Chambers co-leads the firm’s National Security practice. Previously at Covington and Burling, Chambers also served in the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of Lieutenant; she actually served in the prestigious Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and — in addition to her Yale Law School degree — has degrees from Georgetown and a master’s in International Economic Policy from American University’s School of International Service. [email protected]


Les Carnegie, Latham and Watkins

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There aren’t many firms that have done as much CFIUS work as L&W, and Carnegie is the reason why. Leader of the firm’s CFIUS & U.S. National Security Practice, Carnegie also co-heads the firm’s Export Controls, Economic Sanctions & Customs Practice, where he has extensive experience in a wide variety of international trade and national security matters. His core focus is on legal, policy, and enforcement issues arising under U.S. export controls, trade and economic sanctions, antiboycott restrictions, and national security reviews of foreign investments in the United States conducted by CFIUS; in fact his CFIUS work has included several high-profile representations, including the Avago acquisition of Broadcom, the Siemens acquisition of Dresser-Rand, and many others. He writes regularly on CFIUS cases and precedents, and speaks regularly on the topic. [email protected].


Nicole Lamb-Hale, Kroll

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While not at a law firm anymore, Lamb-Hale puts her Harvard Law Degree to work every day as chair of Kroll’s CFIUS and National Security practice, where she also co-chairs the firm’s Educational Investigations practice. A presidential nominee (confirmed by the U.S. Senate) to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, Lamb-Hale served as the Department’s lead on CFIUS. Prior to serving as Assistant Secretary, Lamb-Hale served by presidential appointment as the Deputy General Counsel for the Commerce Department, where she acted as COO of the Office of General Counsel. A veteran of both Foley Lardner and Dykema Gossett, Lamb-Hale’s legal, government and advisory experience provide a unique perspective on global commercial and compliance matters. [email protected]


Farhad Jalinous, White & Case

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Jalinous is global head of White & Case’s National Security and CFIUS practice, and serves as a partner in the firm’s Global International Trade and Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practices. Jalinous spends most of his time representing clients in national security reviews before CFIUS and other U.S. agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and other security agencies, with a particular focus on mitigation of foreign ownership, control or influence. According to the firm, Jalinous has experience “negotiating some of the most complex and sensitive national security agreements approved by the U.S. government,” and has represented literally hundreds of transactions notified to CFIUS. [email protected]


Anne Salladin, Hogan & Lovells

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Salladin knows CFIUS: She served for nearly two decades in the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs of the Treasury Department, which provides legal advice to the Chair of CFIUS, the Secretary of the Treasury. As senior counsel, she was responsible for providing legal advice on CFIUS matters, working closely with other CFIUS agencies, and even played a role in developing laws and regulations related to CFIUS. And here’s proof: She received the Secretary’s Meritorious Service Award, which specifically noted she was “indispensable in helping CFIUS to protect U.S. security in dozens of complex transactions.” Salladin has participated in the review and investigation of well over 500 transactions filed with CFIUS, including many major Chinese acquisitions. [email protected]


Stewart Baker, Steptoe & Johnson

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Companies often look for government insiders to navigate complex national security matters, and you can’t get more of an insider than Stewart Baker, who’s spent his career in national security. Formerly General Counsel of the National Security Agency, Baker has also served as Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, where he created and staffed the 250-person DHS Policy Directorate. At Homeland Security, he literally transformed the Department’s role in CFIUS, helping to drive the first rewrite of the CFIUS law and regulations in a generation. His legal practice is largely focused on topics at the intersection of national security and global finance: Cyber security, CFIUS, export controls, and more. [email protected]


Giovanna Cinelli, Morgan Lewis

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In case you haven’t seen her on CNN or MSNBC discussing international technology transfer or related national security issues, Cinelli is the leader of Morgan Lewis’ International Trade and National Security practice, where she focuses on national security and export controls, including export-compliance matters, audits, cross-border due diligence, export enforcement, and more. Not only has she settled myriad matters before the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, and Defense, but she advises on matters related to CFIUS, and addresses mitigation requirements that may apply as part of CFIUS clearances for cross-border transactions. She regularly engages with the Department of State on matters affecting defense trade, and was a member of the Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee. [email protected].


Nova Daly, Wiley Rein

Previously Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary, Daly played a leading role in reforming the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. That means he knows CFIUS, and knows it well. He also knows the inner workings of key Departments that comprise CFIUS membership: Prior to joining Treasury, Daly served with the National Security Council’s Director for International Trade, was a trade policy advisor to the Secretary of Commerce, and was an international trade advisor at the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. While at Treasury, he also created and led U.S.-EU Investment Dialogue and U.S.-China Investment Forum to facilitate collaboration with foreign counterparts on investment policy matters. He writes regularly on the practical implication of CFIUS and FIRRMA rules. [email protected].


Doreen Edelman, Lowenstein Sandler

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Doreen not only chairs Lowenstein’s Global Trade & Policy practice — she founded it. The group, which focuses on helping companies minimize risks and increase compliance, has a particular expertise in cross-border M&A, technology, government contracts, and more. Not only does she have deep knowledge of CFIUS and the new requirements under FIRRMA, but she advises companies on the Bureau of Industry and Security and the Directorate of Defense Controls export control regulations, preparing compliance programs and assisting with deal diligence. She’s known for her practical guidance, as reflected in a recent guest column in a well-read private-equity publication, which focused on three key principals for firms to adapt to CFIUS. [email protected]