Day 1 - Friday, December 4, 2020

Registration and Continental Breakfast
Opening Remarks from the Co-Chairs

David H. Laufman
Wiggin and Dana LLP
(Former Chief, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice)

Melissa L. Laurenza
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Amy Jeffress
Arnold & Porter

Kate Sawyer Keane
Perkins Coie LLP

DOJ Keynote Address:

Brandon L. Van Grack
Chief, Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit
U.S. Department of Justice

  • Tracking enforcement initiatives during the global pandemic
  • Identifying conventional triggers of suspicion
  • Appreciating takeaways from recent Det
  • ermination letters
  • Considering DOJ’s new Advisory opinions
  • Evaluating DOJ’s China initiative and the interplay with FARA
  • Analyzing the practical implications of the recent restructuring of the DOJ’s FARA unit
  • Reviewing the most common defenses to a FARA enforcement action and their effectiveness

The New FARA Crosshairs-and Limits on Exemptions Key Takeaways on Individuals, Entities and “Non-Traditional Groups” Under the Microscope Attorneys and the “Lawyer Exemption”

Christopher E. Babbitt

Amy Jeffress
Arnold & Porter

Melissa L. Laurenza
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

  • Assessing the scope and nuances of the FARA exemption for legal representation
  • Reconciling what crosses the line and what doesn’t
  • Classifying the lesser known FARA Compliance program do’s and don’ts for law firms

Lobbyists and the LDA Exemption

Daniel B. Pickard
Wiley Rein LLP

Scott Thomas
Blank Rome LLP

  • Evaluating risks and vulnerabilities for lawyers, lobbyists, consultants and PR firms
  • Reviewing DOJ advisory opinions highlighting priorities
    • Adjusting your risk calculus
  • Analyzing recent publication of Letters of Determination released by DOJ 
    • Understanding the analysis of activities that trigger FARA requirements
  • Identifying proven defenses to FARA enforcement actions

Morning Coffee Break
PR, Media, Tech and SEO Firms

Gina Foote
Vice President
The Glover Park Group

Nicholas J. Lewin
Krieger Kim & Lewin LLP

Richard S. Levick
Chairman & CEO

  • Calling attention to DOJ’s application of FARA to conduct outside of the U.S.
    • Spotlight on PR campaigns directed at the U.S.
  • Establishing standards for when an entity disseminates stories for non-U.S. citizens
    • What triggers the registration requirement?

Corporations, Executives, Non-Profits and “The Commercial Exemption”

Ronald M. Jacobs
Venable LLP

Kate Sawyer Keane
Perkins Coie LLP

  • Determining whether the Commercial Exemption applies
    • Conducting due diligence into affiliations with foreign governments
  • Assessing the application of FARA to business executives receiving requests from foreign governments for policy-related assistance
  • Comparing and contrasting activities not covered by the Commercial Exemption

Networking Luncheon
Keynote Address: Administrative and Criminal Enforcement Activity

Adam S. Hickey
Deputy Assistant Attorney General National Security Division
U.S. Department of Justice

What Does It Take to Get a Conviction? Dissecting Recent, High Profile FARA Cases, Theories of Prosecution-and Their Outcomes

John Gleason
Debevoise & Plimpton

Thomas J. Spulak
King & Spalding LLP

Joshua Ian Rosenstein
Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, P.C.

This panel will focus on the most prominent enforcement actions in recent memory, and the  intersection of FARA with other U.S. laws.

Topics will include:

  • Reviewing key cases and critical developments informing FARA enforcement
  • Making proper representations of material facts and identifying clients
  • Evaluating what is required for DOJ to meet its burden
  • Reconciling the weight of circumstantial evidence in FARA cases

PRACTITIONER “WAR STORIES”: Practical Unwritten Rules, Tough Decision-Making and Emerging Case Management Challenges

Robert K. Kelner
Covington & Burling LLP

William J. Murphy
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Afternoon Networking Break
FARA Compliance Program Pitfalls: How Much Due Diligence is Enough to “Know Your Client”

David H. Laufman
Wiggin and Dana LLP
(Former Chief, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice)

Matthew T. Sanderson
Member, Co-Leader of the Political Law Group
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

  • Deciding what a FARA compliance program should look like for a law or PR firm
  • Discussing the scope of required due diligence on commercial and non-profit entities
  • Pinpointing concrete examples of due diligence gone right-and wrong

Inside the Biggest Missteps that Can Trigger Suspicion, Inspections and Further DOJ Action: Responding to Letters of Inquiry and Document Requests

Christopher DeLacy
Holland & Knight

This session will cover the strategic points to keep in mind when DOJ sends a letter of inquiry and             requests documents. Topics will include:

  • When and how to approach regulators about issues and problems
  • What a FARA letter of inquiry means in practice
  • Re-thinking FARA inspections
  • Best practices for responding to a deficiency notice
  • Strategies for reducing the risk of further inquiries by the DOJ

LOOKING AHEAD-Legislative Reform Post-Election

John P. Carlin
Morrison Foerster LLP

Aaron Cummings
Chief of Staff
Senator Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senate

Jennifer Duck
Chief of Staff
Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senate

Thomas Firestone
Partner, Co-Chair of North America Government Enforcement Practice Group
Baker & McKenzie LLP

This closing panel will focus on the status and impact of the drive to expand the powers of the Department of Justice to impose civil fines, and limit the applicability of certain exemptions. The discussion will include a practical analysis of pending Bills, including those giving the DOJ authority to issue administrative subpoenas and more. Topics of discussion will include:

  • What are the hurdles to reforming FARA?
  • What exactly has been proposed and how it expands the panoply of risk?
  • What is the anticipated impact of those proposals on the enforcement of the current law?
  • Which reforms can DOJ implement on its own vs. Congress?
  • Additional items to keep in mind when building FARA into compliance program

Forum Concludes