LL.M., Banking & Financial Law,
J.D., George Mason University
B.A., Economics and International Relations,
Certification of Specialization Leadership & Management,
Harvard Business School (HBS) Online
Certificate, Leading Professional Services Firms,
Oxford Said School of Business
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
As Partner, Farhad Alavi’s practice focuses on complex trade issues related to U.S. national security, including sanctions, export controls, anti-corruption, and compliance, as well as cross-border transactions, investment, and banking & finance. He represents clients around the world, including major multinationals, middle market businesses, and high net worth individuals.
Prior to founding Akrivis, Mr. Alavi worked as an attorney at prominent global firms in Washington, including Baker & McKenzie LLP and Holland & Knight LLP, where he helped establish that firm’s Abu Dhabi office.
Mr. Alavi regularly advises clients before the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) and on related enforcement and defense (civil & criminal) matters related to U.S. sanctions and export controls.
On the corporate side, Mr. Alavi’s work spans areas international agreements for both inbound and outbound transactions. He has particular experience in the energy, defense, finance, and hospitality sectors, and emerging and frontier markets, most notably the MENA region and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.
Mr. Alavi is often quoted by international and trade publications and news agencies such as The New York Times, CNN Money, AFP, Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, and has appeared on BBC World, Al Jazeera English & Arabic, China’s CGTN America, Turkey’s TRT World, and BBC Persian, among others. He also regularly lectures on trade compliance matters in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. Mr. Alavi has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Born and raised in Virginia, Mr. Alavi is fluent in Persian (Farsi) and Spanish, and has knowledge of German, Arabic, and Turkish. He also maintains the U.S. Sanctions weblog. Mr. Alavi is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Abu Dhabi Chapter and has served on the national Board of Directors of the Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA).
Recent Legal Engagements:
- Successfully petitioned for the removal of an Asian company from the BIS Entity List
- Building a “ground-up” comprehensive trade compliance policy for a major U.S.-based international retailer
- Advising a major Asian bank’s Dubai and Singapore operations on complex OFAC compliance issues
- Securing the revision of inaccurate, damaging information in databases maintained by major sanctions screening companies
Recent Speaking Engagements and Course Lectures:
- Panelist, Trade Expectations in the Biden Era: Policy, Diplomacy and Export Controls, Webinar hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Abu Dhabi chapter (co-panelists included former U.S. Ambassador to the UAE Michael Corbin), May 25, 2021
- Presented U.S. Sanctions – Developments, Challenges, and Compliance Approaches (co-panelist with Mercedeh Azeredo da Silveira, Managing Partner, AZHA Avocats), Geneva, Switzerland, January 16, 2020
- Presented Sanctions and Export Controls – Developments, Challenges & Compliance Approaches, (co-panelist with Camilla Collett, Partner & Ida Otzen, Associate, Gorrisen Federspiel), Copenhagen, Denmark, April 8, 2019
- Presented U.S. Sanctions & Export Controls Update, American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Abu Dhabi chapter, Abu Dhabi, December 12, 2018
- Presented U.S. Sanctions Update, promoted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Abu Dhabi chapter, Dubai, October 18, 2017
- 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 (AmCham) Abu Dhabi chapter, 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), 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), Abu Dhabi, February 10, 2015
- Presented Economic Sanctions Against Iran: The U.S. Perspective, Seminar Co-Hosted with Al Tamimi & Co. (represented by I. Lassoued, Partner), Dubai, February 25, 2014