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Susan Kovarovics is co-leader of the International Trade Practice Group. She has more than 20 years of experience providing practical solutions to legal and compliance issues. Susan counsels U.S. and non-U.S. private and publicly held companies in a variety of industries, including aerospace, agribusiness, consumer electronics, defense, healthcare, higher education, manufacturing and national security. Her practice has a specific focus on matters involving the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. anti-boycott laws, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Susan leverages this specialized experience to play a vital role in M&A transactions, helping her clients conduct due diligence and evaluate risk related to export and sanctions compliance, anti-boycott, and anti-corruption matters.

By working with her clients to minimize hurdles, Susan is able to structure compliance programs that integrate the policies into the business, making it routine and not a hindrance. She counsels her clients on day-to-day compliance and strongly advocates on their behalf when an enforcement action is brought against them, collaborating with them to right the ship through internal audits and investigations. Her goal is to partner with each client to provide value and move the business forward.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Drew University Alumni Achievement in Business Award Recipient, 2013
    • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2019
    • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2019
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Professional Affiliations

    • Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Immediate Past President, 2016-Present; President 2015-2016; President-Elect, 2014-2015; Member, 2001-Present; International Law Forum Co-chair, 2001-2004; Nominations Committee, 2013
    • WBA Foundation, Treasurer, 2007-2009, Board Member, 2004-2010
    • District of Columbia Bar, Member, Board of Governors, 2013-2015
    • Virginia State Bar, International Practice Section, Board of Governors, Vice-Chair, 2012-2014, Treasurer, 2014-2015
    • District of Columbia Bar, International Law Section, Steering Committee, Chair, 2008-2010, Member, 2004-2010
    • American Bar Association, Member, International Law Section, Export Control & Economic Sanctions Committee
    • The Society for International Affairs
    • Virginia State Bar, International Practice Section, Board of Governors, Vice-Chair, 2012-2014, Treasurer, 2014-2015
    • District of Columbia Bar, International Law Section, Steering Committee, Chair, 2008-2010, Member, 2004-2010
    • American Bar Association, Member, International Law Section, Export Control & Economic Sanctions Committee
    • The Society for International Affairs
    • American Bar Association, Member, International Law Section, Export Control & Economic Sanctions Committee
    • The Society for International Affairs
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Publications

  • Contributor, World Trade Controls Blog, initiated by the International Chamber of Commerce, Belgium and Federation of Enterprises, Belgium (worldtradecontrols.com)
  • "International Trade Due Diligence: Protecting the Value of Your Transaction," Virginia Lawyer, 61, April 2013 (co-authored with Megan Gajewski, Michael Mellen and Christina Zanette)

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Kovarovics frequently presents on topics related to her practice. Recent engagements include:

  • “Doing Business in Russia under the Sanctions," American Chamber of Commerce in Russia roundtable, December 4, 2018
  • "Are You Confident About Who Are You Doing Business With? Practical Strategies to Ensure Robust Due Diligence and Screening Programs," 4th Forum on Economic Sanctions Compliance & Enforcement, Canadian Institute , September 25, 2018.
  • "Trade Controls – Policy Developments and Critical Issues from a US & EU Perspective," ICC Seminar, The Hague, June 14, 2018
  • "US Financial Sanctions – Recent Developments and Critical Issues from a US & EU Perspective," ICC Seminar, Frankfurt, June 13, 2018
  • "Sanctions and Controls with the U.S Office of Foreign Asset Control," ICC Seminar, London, June 12, 2018
  • "What Data is Controlled Data in the EU (dual-use regulation) and US (ITAR, EAR) Jurisdictions?" and "What is a 'Data Export' in the EU and the US?" ICC Seminar, Brussels, June 11, 2018
  • “The Most Common Misunderstandings About the ‘Specially Designed’ Definition: Where Exporters Have Gone Right and Wrong in Determining ITAR,”  American Conference Institute's International Traffic in Arms Regulations Boot Camp, June 7, 2018
  • “How to Secure an ITAR License, TAA and MLA, and Utilize Exemptions: A Deep Dive into the Electronic Filing Processes, and Avoiding RWAs,"  American Conference Institute's International Traffic in Arms Regulations Boot Camp, June 7, 2018
  • “ITAR Roadmap: Who Does What, Who to Call, When and How to Build Relationships," American Conference Institute's International Traffic in Arms Regulations Boot Camp, June 7, 2018
  • "The Inter-play Between Sanctions and Anti-Corruption Compliance: Do Your Compliance Programs Work Together to Address Risks?" Webinar, May 8, 2018
  • "Adding Economic Sanctions to the Anti-Corruption Risk Equation: How Compliance Officers Should Calibrate their Risk Radar,” American Conference Institute’s 12th Houston Forum on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Jan. 24, 2018
  • Essentials: Seven Vital Things Every Exporter (and its Bank) Needs To Know About Sanctions and Export Controls | SanctionsAlert.com
  • "Essentials: Seven Vital Things Every Exporter (and its Bank) Needs To Know About Sanctions and Export Controls," Webinar, November 2, 2017
  • “Trade Controls; Current Challenges and Critical Issues from a US and EU Perspective,” Co-Presenter, International Chamber of Commerce, London, England, June 19, 2017; The Hague, The Netherlands, June 20, 2017; and Brussels, Belgium, June 21, 2017
  • Global Trade Compliance Due Diligence for Mergers & Acquisitions, Co-Presenter, Massachusetts Export Center Webinar, May 4, 2017
  • “Iran After Partial Sanctions Relief and U.S. Elections: Legal, Political Risk, and Practical Issues for Business,” Panelist, American Bar Association Section of International Law Middle East Committee, November 16, 2016
  • "US Trade Controls and M&A Transactions," International M&A Subcommittee for the American Bar Association Business Law Section's Merger & Acquisitions Committee Meeting, January 30, 2016
  • "Top Five Mistakes to Avoid During Internal Investigations," Co-Presenter, American Conference Institute's 6th Annual Economic Sanctions Boot Camp, December 2, 2015
  • “Critical Awareness and Compliance Issues from a US Perspective,” Presenter, ICC Belgium’s Seminar on Handling the risks of US and EU Sanctions and Export Controls from Awareness to Compliance, September 24, 2015
  • "Debunking the Myth of ITAR Certification," Presenter, NAW Billion Dollar Chief Legal Officers Roundtable, April 15, 2015
  • "The Ever-Changing Landscape of U.S. and EU Ukraine/Russia Sanctions: What you need to know for your business," Co-Presenter, October 12, 2014
  • "The ITAR and the FCPA: What You Disclose May Hurt You," Co-Presenter, October 7, 2014
  • "Revisions to Foreign National Employees and Consultants - Deemed Exports," Infocasts Nuclear Export Controls Summit in Washington, DC. January 2014
  • "Transferring Unclassified Defense Articles to Dual/Third Country Nationals under ITAR 126.18: Understanding the Reach of the 'Substantive Contacts' Criteria, and Responsibility of Foreign Parties to Screen Employees," Co-Presenter, American Conference Institute's 8th National Forum on ITAR Compliance & Export Control Reform, June 24-25, 2013
  • "Outsourcing To Asia: Export/Import Compliance Issues to Consider When Outsourcing Operations," West LegalEdcenter Webinar, June 26, 2012
  • "The Latest on the OFAC Licensing Process, Timeline and Decision-Making Criteria: How to Minimize Delays and License Denials under Existing and New Sanctions Programs," 5th Advanced Forum on OFAC Enforcement & Compliance, April 26, 2012
  • "A Step-by-Step Guide to Vetting Foreign Third Parties: Preventing Liability For Third Party Violations Through Effective Due Diligence," American Conference Institute's 5th National Forum on Export Enforcement & Investigations, January 27, 2010