Kirkland & Ellis LLP said Monday it is adding a former U.S. Department of Commerce undersecretary who has advised on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, to lead the firm's national security and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States practice.
Mario Mancuso, an expert on transactions and investigations involving U.S. national security regulation and international business, will help Kirkland's clients navigate the CFIUS — which is charged with screening international deals for national security threats — and advise on economic sanctions levied by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, export controls, the FCPA and other matters, the statement said.
Most recently the leader of the international trade and investment, aerospace and defense and Israel groups at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Mancuso has also held a number of government positions. He served as undersecretary of commerce for industry and security from 2007 to 2009, where he helped draft and enforce regulations in the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 and reviewed “hundreds of CFIUS transactions,” the firm said.
He has also served as a special counsel for the U.S. defense secretary’s office, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism, and member of the CFIUS advisory board. Prior to joining civilian government service, Mancuso commanded a special operations unit in the Iraq War, a Kirkland spokeswoman said.
More recently, his private clients include multinational companies, financial sponsors, principal investors and boards of directors, the firm said.
The new Kirkland attorney has become a high-profile expert on international trade matters, opining in the past two years on how Commerce and the U.S. Department of State handle cloud-computing technology under trade export laws, how to prepare for a Bureau of Economic Analysis survey and other issues.
Mancuso’s “deep understanding of national security issues and law, and how international business activities are regulated for national security purposes, will bring great value to the firm’s clients,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, who chairs Kirkland’s global management executive committee.
And Mancuso’s years inside government give him the knowledge of enforcement actions various federal agencies might take against clients, Kirkland litigation partner Mark Filip said in the statement.
Mancuso will start at Kirkland shortly after leaving Fried Frank, though the date has yet to be finalized, the Kirkland spokeswoman said. He will split time between the Washington and New York offices, the firm said. The new Kirkland attorney was unavailable for an interview Wednesday.
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