George Kleinfeld has over thirty years of experience in the fields of international economic regulation and foreign trade controls.
He advises leading financial institutions, industrial enterprises, trading companies and global investors on US sanctions issues and compliance with US sanctions laws and regulations. He has participated in a wide range of US sanctions investigations and enforcement actions as well as designing compliance programs and providing compliance training and risk analyses for multinational corporations and financial institutions in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Asia and the Americas. He also advises clients on compliance with US export controls and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and has obtained scores of national security clearances for foreign acquisitions of strategic US business assets from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
George works closely with the firm's global corporate, capital markets and finance practices to resolve complex due diligence and transactional issues in his areas of expertise.
George is a member of our global Sanctions & Export Controls team.
Sanctions and Export Control Risk
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- Principal outside advisor on US economic sanctions for several leading international financial institutions and trading companies
- Led a wide range of cross-border investigations and look-back exercises involving potential sanctions violations by non-US financial institutions, corporates and trading companies and represented numerous clients in high-profile OFAC enforcement cases
- Advises leading financial institutions, corporates and trading companies on the impact of US secondary sanctions against Iran, Russia, North Korea and Syria and represented many clients at OFAC to address secondary sanctions investigations, risks and challenges
- Retained as special counsel by defendants in high-profile criminal prosecutions to advise on US sanctions aspects
- Obtained nearly 100 licenses under various US sanctions programs
- Led over 20 sanctions risk mitigation reviews and gap analyses to enable multinational clients to identify and resolve OFAC risks
News and client work
- 4th Annual Navigating Russia Sanctions Complexities Virtual Conference: Monitoring the U.S-Russia Relationship: What to Expect in the Next 6 Months
Speaker, September 27, 2021
Career and qualifications
- Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (BS, magna cum laude) 1980
- University of Pennsylvania (JD, order of the coif) 1983
- University of Pennsylvania (MS, Economics) 1984
- Member of the DC Bar Association
- Former Attorney/Advisor, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs, U.S. Treasury Department
Awards and citations
- George Kleinfeld is a financial sanctions savant with broad capabilities and experience, as well as insight in regulatory matters.
Legal 500, 2022 – United States: Dispute Resolution Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates – Tier 3 Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals – Tier 3
- George Kleinfeld is the best lawyer I’ve ever worked with. Always prompt, clear and reliable. He is a true expert in his field.
Legal 500, 2022 – United States: Dispute Resolution International trade – Tier 4
- George Kleinfeld has an expansive trade practice focusing on export controls and economic sanctions. He often works with financial institutions. "His strength is his deep knowledge in sanctions."
- Chambers USA 2022: International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions: The Elite (Nationwide) – Band 4
- George Kleinfeld has been ranked in Chambers USA: International Trade - Export Controls & Economic Santions and International Trade - CFIUS Experts. The "very professional and excellent" George Kleinfeld of Clifford Chance US LLP has "very deep knowledge of OFAC sanctions and regulations," according to sources. He is also equally adept at handling CFIUS-related matters.
Chambers USA 2019 – International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions (Nationwide)
Chambers USA 2019 – International Trade: CFIUS Experts (Nationwide)
- George Kleinfeld has been ranked in Chambers USA - International Trade: CFIUS Experts (Nationwide) and International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions (Nationwide). George Kleinfeld of Clifford Chance US LLP commands a great deal of respect from the market for his capabilities in CFIUS reviews, as well as in export controls and sanctions issues. Clients consider him "an expert in his field and a pleasure to work with" and appreciate his ability to provide "clear, considered and concise advice in a timely fashion."
Chambers USA 2017