Farhad R. Alavi
LL.M., Banking & Financial Law, Boston University School of Law, 2004
J.D., George Mason University School of Law, 2003
B.A., Economics and International Relations, Tufts University, 2000
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Farhad Alavi is Managing Partner of Akrivis Law Group, PLLC. His practice focuses on international and domestic corporate matters and complex trade issues (including U.S. sanctions, export controls, anti-corruption regulations, and compliance), as well as multinational investment, banking & finance. Mr. Alavi’s clients include major multinational companies around the world, small and medium businesses, and high net worth individuals. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Mr. Alavi previously practiced in several top-tier global law firms in Washington, most notably Baker & McKenzie LLP and Holland & Knight LLP, where he also had a dual, concurrent appointment in the firm’s Abu Dhabi office. At Baker & McKenzie, he practiced mainly in the fields of U.S. trade as well as oil & gas and project finance matters.
Mr. Alavi has vast experience in international sanctions, export controls, customs, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). His U.S. sanctions experience includes those against Iran, Cuba, Russia, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, Syria, and North Korea, with emphasis on those regulations administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Mr. Alavi is often quoted by and/or cited in top international and trade publications and news agencies around the world such as The New York Times, CNN Money, AFP, Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Georgetown Journal of International Law, and has appeared on the BBC, Al Jazeera English & Arabic, CCTV America, BBC Persian, Voice of America (VOA) Persian, and Al-Hurra, among others. He also regularly lectures on trade compliance matters in the United States and abroad.
In addition to trade compliance, Mr. Alavi also advises clients on enforcement/defense matters related to U.S. sanctions and export controls. These include criminal defense litigation matters related to violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). He has also provided expert opinion for litigation on issues relating to the application of U.S. sanctions laws.
Mr. Alavi’s corporate law experience spans a range of such areas such as international joint venture, distribution, and financing agreements. He has particular experience in the oil & gas, defense, finance, health care, food, and hospitality industries, and is especially well-versed in issues related to projects and dealings involving key emerging and frontier markets, including China, Latin America, and the MENA region, with emphasis on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, as well as on Sharia-compliant financing.
Mr. Alavi received his LL.M. in Banking & Financial Law from Boston University School of Law, where he served on the Annual Review of Banking and Financial Law journal. He received his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. During law school, he studied at University College London (UCL) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and interned at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Mr. Alavi received his B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.
Born and raised in Virginia, Mr. Alavi maintains native fluency in Persian (Farsi), is fluent in Spanish, and has knowledge of German and Arabic. He also maintains the U.S. Sanctions weblog. Mr. Alavi has served multiple terms on the national Board of Directors of the Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA). He is also a member of the International Bar Association (IBA).
Representative Transactions (including at previous law firms):
- Counsel leading U.S. party in joint venture with European venture capital group to develop an advanced medical care center in Dubai, one of the first of its kind in the Middle East.
- Handled expansion of major U.S. construction company into Canada for a major recreation project, managing local matters handled by co-counsel (a major AmLaw 100 law firm).
- Represented U.S. subsidiary of Colombian entity in joint venture for establishment of Juan Valdez-branded stores embedded in U.S. airport concessions owned and managed by counterparty.
Recent Speaking Engagements and Course Lectures:
- Presented The Iran Sanctions Regime and Remaining Challenges: The US Perspective, (co-panelist with Camilla Collett, Partner, Gorrisen Federspiel), University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, Copenhagen, Denmark, April 3, 2017
- Panelist, Managing Anti-Bribery Risks and Maintaining Internal Controls for Non-US Subsidiaries without Violating US Sanctions, Anti-Corruption Compliance in High Risk Markets, American Conference Institute, Washington, July 21, 2016
- Presented Sanctions Update, American Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, May 22, 2016
- Presented Roundtable Discussion on the U.S. Sanctions Regime and Iranian Political Economy, The Delma Institute, Abu Dhabi, May 11, 2016
- Panelist, Fireside Chat: Risks and Rewards of Doing Business in Post-Deal Iran, Harvard Iranian Weekend, Harvard University, Cambridge, April 2, 2016
- Presented Iran Sanctions: Impact on U.S. and International Transactions Post-Nuclear Deal, Seminar Co-Hosted with Al Tamimi & Co. (represented by Andrew Hudson, Financial Crime practice), Dubai, February 24, 2016
- Panelist, Dealing with State Monopolies and Inhisarat, ACI FCPA Bootcamp, Houston, January 26, 2016.
- Presented Sharia-Compliant Legal Structures in International Investments, University of Dubai, May 10, 2015
- Co-Presented Economic Sanctions on Iran and Anti-Corruption Regulations / U.S. and UAE Perspectives, Seminar Co-Hosted with Al Tamimi & Co. (represented by Ibtissam Lassoued, Partner, Financial Crime practice), Abu Dhabi, February 10, 2015
- Presented Economic Sanctions Against Iran: The U.S. Perspective, Seminar Co-Hosted with Al Tamimi & Co. (represented by Ibtissam Lassoued, Partner, Financial Crime practice), Dubai, February 25, 2014
- Presented Recent Developments in U.S. Sanctions on Syria, ACI Economic Sanctions Bootcamp, New York, December 5, 2013
- Presented Recent Developments in the U.S. Sanctions Landscape, Presentation for a major U.S.-based corporate intelligence company, Dubai, October 22, 2013
- Panelist (with Meredith Terrell, American Express), Conducting the Nuts and Bolts of an OFAC Assessment, ACI OFAC Bootcamp, New York, December 4, 2012
- Speaker, OFAC – Compliance and Sanctions: What A Business Lawyer Needs to Know, Boston Bar Association, Boston, November 8, 2011
- Panelist (with Andrew Metcalf, King & Spalding, New York, and Babback Sabahi, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission), Islamic Finance, District of Columbia Bar Association, Washington, DC, May 26, 2011.
- Presented United Arab Emirates Export Controls Update, 14th Annual National Forum on Export Controls Compliance, Washington, DC, May 25, 2011
- Presented CLE course, Expanding Overseas: Best First Steps in Assisting Clients, Mitigating Risks and Managing Costs, offered by West / Thomson Reuters Federal Publications Seminars, December 7, 2010
- Presented CLE course, New US Sanctions Against Iran; the Impact of the ‘Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010′ (CISADA), offered by West / Thomson Reuters Federal Publications Seminars, November 2, 2010
- Islamic Finance and its Applications, Tutorial lecture presentation through Reuters/Thomson West before attorneys in the Washington, D.C. and overseas offices of a global AmLaw 100 law firm, Washington, DC, September 10, 2009