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Leading CFIUS Risk Analyst Joins Covington

January 17, 2018

WASHINGTONBrian Williams has joined Covington as a Senior Advisor in the firm’s Cross-Border Investment and National Security practice.

Mr. Williams draws on over 20 years of public and private sector experience advising on issues at the intersection of national security, technology, and law. A non-lawyer, he led multi-agency analyst teams that authored the majority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) risk assessments between 2005 and 2017, while providing the U.S. government due diligence, assessment, and, where necessary, mitigation strategy development support on over 1,600 CFIUS transactions and 1,000 Federal Communications Commission license applications before Team Telecom.

Mr. Williams is the principal architect of the framework that has become the de facto standard for risk assessments conducted by CFIUS and Team Telecom and has counseled many senior officials of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security on how to assess and address potential national security risks posed by foreign investment.

"The intensity and scope of the U.S. government’s national security reviews of foreign investment have increased significantly over the last several years, and pending legislation may expand CFIUS reviews further," said David Fagan, co-chair of the firm’s Cross-Border Investment and National Security practice. "Brian’s background and experience working closely with CFIUS and Team Telecom will provide our clients an invaluable resource when evaluating the potential risk of any sensitive transaction in the United States."

Covington regularly represents parties before CFIUS and Team Telecom, and in matters requiring the mitigation of foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) over U.S. government contractors. The firm’s representations have included the leading transactions and most challenging national security reviews in the aerospace/defense, software/IT, electronics, telecommunications, energy, transportation, chemicals, infrastructure, and finance sectors, among others. Several representations set the bar in terms of scope and complexity for U.S. government risk mitigation in particular sectors.

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