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Susan Kovarovics is co-leader of the International Trade Client Service 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
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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:

  • “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
  • “Trade Controls: Current Challenges and Critical Issues from a US and EU Perspective,” International Chamber of Commerce, The Hague, Netherlands, September 28, 2016 and Brussels, Belgium, September 30, 2016
  • "Catching and Releasing with the New ‘Specially Designed’: How to Approach Reclassification in Light of Definitional Changes and CCL/USML Harmonization," American Conference Institute’s EAR Boot Camp, Chicago, Ill., May 23, 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
  • "Iran Sanctions: Have They Really Changed?" Bryan Cave Teleconference, January 25, 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
  • "How Your Company Could Benefit from ITAR Licensing Exemptions: Common Missteps to Avoid When Applying Tricky Eligibility Criteria." Presenter; and "You Suspect or Discover an ITAR Violation in Your Company -- Now What?" Co-Presenter, American Conference Institute's 13th ITAR Boot Camp, February 24-25, 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
  • "A Complete Guide to Navigating ITAR Brokering Rules: The Ins and Outs of How to Interpret and Apply Evolving Rules to Your U.S. and Foreign Operations," Co-Presenter, American Conference Institute's 17th National Forum on Global Export Controls Compliance, June 11-13, 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
  • "Export Controls Essentials for Every Business Lawyer," co-panelist with Geoffrey Goodale and John M. Huddle, Virginia Continuing Legal Education, May 30, 2013
  • "Don't Get Left Behind: Implementing Export Control Reform," Webinar, April 9, 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
  • "Export Controls," 30th Annual Government Contract Management Conference, November 14, 2011
  • "Compliance Challenges Based on Corporate Structure," Society of International Affairs' Defense Trade Export Licensing Conference, May 3, 2011
  • "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