Brent Connor is a Shareholder and a member of the firm’s International Trade & Compliance group in Washington, DC.
Mr. Connor focuses his practice on international trade, export controls and economic sanctions before the Department of State, Department of Commerce and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. His extensive experience in the area of international trade includes advising U.S. and non-U.S. manufacturers, producers, government contractors, retailers, maritime companies and airlines on matters involving customs, export control, economic sanctions regulations, FCPA and anti-boycott issues. He regularly assists clients with developing export control compliance programs, auditing and improving existing programs, voluntary disclosures and classifying items.
Mr. Connor also advises clients from various industries on CFIUS issues, including when the CFIUS regulations apply to a merger or acquisition, when a CFIUS filing is mandatory and the risks associated with failing to file a declaration or notice. He also assists clients with negotiating mitigation agreements with CFIUS and compliance issues related to the mitigation agreement.
Mr. Connor also represents major U.S. and non-U.S. airlines, including all-cargo airlines, before the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in connection with compliance matters; PFC and airport-related matters, defending hazardous materials enforcement actions; requests for approvals, licenses and certificates; route proceedings; codeshare issues; and other regulatory and administrative matters. He also provides counsel on FAA legislative and environmental issues. Mr. Connor represents clients from various industries on issues pertaining to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including how to obtain authorization for UAS operations and on-going developments in the law on UAS issues.
In addition, Mr. Connor counsels clients on all aspects of government contracts, including contract claims before agencies, boards of contact appeals, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He represents clients in bid protests and assists with compliance with federal regulations and statutes, including domestic sourcing restrictions such as the Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment, and the protection of intellectual property when contracting with the government.
Mr. Connor was listed in Legal 500 in 2019 and 2020, was selected to the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers list from 2018 to 2021, and has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA Leading Lawyers for Business in the Transportation and Regulatory categories from 2017 to 2020. He is fluent in French.
- The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., 1992, Catholic University Law Review
- Clark University, B.A., 1986, Fannin J. King Award for excellence in French
- District of Columbia, 1992
- Maryland, 1998
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1998
- U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, 1996
- U.S. Court of International Trade, 2002
Editor, Air & Space Lawyer
Member, American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law
Member, American Bar Association International Trade Section
Board of Governors, International Aviation Club of Washington, D.C.
- Assisted with licensing, compliance and self-disclosure issues arising under the economic sanctions regulations and trade embargoes enforced by the DOT’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) enforced by the Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) enforced by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
- Reviewed a global entity's export control compliance program and enhanced the program to prevent violations and implement best practices.
- Developed voluntary disclosure of OFAC violation, which resulted in avoidance of fines and penalties.
- Represented a foreign-owned company in the CFIUS process in connection with a multi-billion dollar acquisition which was ultimately approved by the Committee.
- Developed a compliance program for a mitigation agreement with CFIUS and coordinated with the lead agency on compliance issues.
- Obtained authorizations from the DOT, FAA, TSA, and Customs and Border Protection for a start-up European air carrier to serve points in the United States.
- Advised a U.S. airline on PFC, airport funding, and airline rights when negotiating a new lease with the airport where the airline operates its main hub.
- Advised air carriers on issues pertaining to alliances with other carriers, such as interline agreements, codeshares and joint ventures, and obtaining authorizations for such alliances from the DOT.
- Advised one of the country's largest airports on FAA financing rules in its negotiations with its largest tenant.
- Advised air carriers on many regulatory aspects of air transport, especially the application of air transport treaties.
- Defended against FAA enforcement actions relating to compliance with hazardous material shipping requirements, resulting in settlements and significant reductions in penalties initially assessed by the FAA.
- Advised clients on FAA’s UAS regulations and policies currently in place and how they will be developing in the near term.
- Coordinated with FAA on behalf of clients to explore possibilities of obtaining FAA authorization for private, commercial UAS operations before FAA promulgates regulations for such operations.
- Assisted clients with the development of applications for an exemption in order to obtain authorization for commercial UAS operations.
- Successfully protested U.S. Marine Corp's award decision in a multimillion-dollar acquisition of sniper scopes.
- Developed a guide to protect a government contractor's intellectual property when selling commercial and non-commercial items to the government.
- Prevailed on behalf of a partially defaulted contractor in a dispute against the U.S. Army, resulting in settlement through reinstatement of the defaulted portion of the contract and forgiveness of liquidated damages assessed by the government.
- Successfully enhanced a client's compliance program to the satisfaction of an executive agency to avoid debarment from government programs.