Perry S. Bechky has over twenty years of experience as an international lawyer. Mr. Bechky has represented clients from more than thirty countries on five continents.
Mr. Bechky began his career at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he worked for the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (the agency responsible for administering the major U.S. economic sanctions programs), the Customs Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Before joining Berliner Corcoran & Rowe LLP, Mr. Bechky also practiced for over thirteen years at two global law firms, taught for five years at two universities, and ran his own boutique law firm for three years.
Mr. Bechky has managed significant international projects before federal courts, federal regulators, and international tribunals. His projects have included cross-border litigation and arbitration, internal investigations, international negotiations, management of legal and political risks, national security reviews of corporate deals, expropriation claims under political-risk-insurance policies, regulatory proceedings, and dispute settlement under international trade agreements. His clients have included national governments, international organizations, individuals and small businesses, and leading businesses in agriculture, banking and finance, energy, manufacturing, services, and technology.
Mr. Bechky has handled all aspects of economic sanctions, including civil penalty proceedings, compliance, counseling, expert testimony, internal investigations, interpretative rulings, licensing, and securities disclosure. His experience with sanctions extends beyond OFAC regulations to include such statutes as the Helms-Burton Act, the Iran Sanctions Act, and the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act, as well as international measures like UN Security Council resolutions and foreign “blocking statutes.”
Mr. Bechky has also handled a variety of other regulatory issues affecting international business, including national security reviews of transnational mergers and acquisitions by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) under the Exon-Florio Amendment and the Foreign Investment and National Security Act (FINSA), export controls maintained by the Departments of Commerce and State (EAR and ITAR), and trade policy.
Mr. Bechky also has extensive experience representing clients in disputes concerning international law, including international investment law, international trade agreements, and sovereign immunity. He lived in Tokyo for six months, working intensively with the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement.
Mr. Bechky drafted the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act (22 U.S.C. § 5701), which establishes the legal basis for U.S. relations with Hong Kong in light of its special status as a “special administrative region” of China. He writes and lectures about economic sanctions, human rights, international arbitration, international investment, international law, international litigation, international trade, political risk insurance, and treaties.
Won challenges against both Indonesian restrictions on trade in automobiles and U.S. antidumping duties on Korean steel under the WTO procedures for resolving intergovernmental trade disputes
Secured dismissal of a federal class action alleging that OPEC violated the U.S. antitrust laws, affirmance by the Eleventh Circuit, and denial of certiorari
Prosecuted claims successfully under political-risk-insurance (PRI) policies for the expropriation of investments in Argentina and India, including the first “lender-side” claim paid by the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the second largest expropriation claim paid by OPIC, and a multimillion dollar arbitral award
Represented clients on various matters concerning bilateral investment treaties (BITs), international investment agreements, and investor-state arbitration
Sat as an arbitrator in an international arbitration (ad hoc) arising from a joint venture
Submitted written testimony to California state court as an expert on U.S. economic sanctions law and assisted another sanctions expert in submitting written testimony to an international arbitral tribunal
Negotiated a commercial and regulatory solution when the innocent buyer of Iraqi crude oil learned that the oil had been exported from Iraq in violation of the terms of the United Nations Oil for Food program
Developed and executed a strategy that allowed the buyer of a U.S. manufacturer of telecom equipment to address potential export control violations by the target company
Obtained CFIUS approval for more than a dozen cross-border mergers and acquisitions, involving aviation, chemicals, construction, electronics, metals, naval equipment, and telecommunications
Secured a stay under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) of a U.S. lawsuit against a Belgian client in favor of arbitration in Denmark, facilitating a favorable settlement
Wrote amicus briefs to the DC Circuit for the Mexican Government in cases about the constitutionality and implementation of certain provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Worked pro bono for one month in Arusha, Tanzania at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, assisting the prosecution team with the trial of four accused architects of the Rwandan genocide.
BABAK HOGHOOGHI’S practice is focused on U.S. economic sanctions and export control laws, domestic and international commercial and business transactions, including projects, foreign direct investments, financings, and cross-border trade, as well as corporate law.
Mr. Hoghooghi has had extensive experience on matters relating to U.S. economic sanctions laws involving compliance and enforcement issues as well as on a policy level. He has represented numerous public and private companies and individuals in the U.S. and abroad, providing them with counsel concerning compliance with the ever-changing and complex array of U.S. sanctions on Iran, Russia, and Cuba, with respect to licensing matters including for the release of blocked funds or other properties, and in connection with voluntary disclosures, investigations and civil/criminal enforcement actions. Babak’s U.S. sanctions practice has over the years included:
Having practiced law for over twenty years, Mr. Hoghooghi has also represented clients on a wide range of domestic and international commercial and corporate matters. He has been involved in the structuring of corporate entities and joint ventures, as well as the drafting and negotiation of organizational, governance and equity documents. He has acted as counsel to Fortune 500 companies and small to medium size businesses in connection with the acquisition or sale of a variety of business entities or commercial assets, as well as the structuring and development of projects, including major domestic and international infrastructure and power projects. He has represented borrowers as well as lenders in connection with the financing of major projects by commercial banks and export credit agencies, drafting and negotiating Credit Agreements and other loan and security documents. A structural engineer by training and previously a practicing licensed professional engineer, he has also had extensive experience with engineering projects and construction law issues. Finally, his practice includes cross-border investment and trade. Babak’s corporate and transactional experiences have included:
Having earned his law degree from Georgetown University, Mr. Hoghooghi practiced at the law firm of Skadden Arps for more than 12 years. Subsequently, he co-founded and was the first Executive Director of PAAIA, a non-profit educational and advocacy group representing the Iranian American community. Before joining Berliner Corcoran & Rowe, Babak was Lead Counsel at Clearspire Law Company. Mr. Hoghooghi was also a founding Board Member and the first President of the Iranian American Bar Association for five years, beginning in 2000.
Mr. Hoghooghi is admitted to the Bar in the State of New York and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Sections on Business Law and International Law, and Forum on Construction Law), the New York State and District of Columbia Bar Associations, and the International Bar Association.
Before entering law school, Mr. Hoghooghi received a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and worked as a licensed professional engineer (PE) at the Ralph M Parsons Company in Pasadena, California for four years. He is fluent in spoken and written Persian (Farsi).
Following a distinguished career as a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service, and an international practice at Patton Boggs LLP, Philip S. Kaplan has joined Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe LLP's Washington, D.C office as a partner.
Ambassador Kaplan will continue his practice focused on public and private international law, advising clients on international cross border business transactions, public policy, trade and investment matters, and issues involving foreign governments. He has represented five foreign sovereign governments in the United States and provides corporate clients with international strategic risk assessment. He assists clients before Washington regulatory agencies and with governments around the world. He represents both American and foreign corporations and individuals pursuing business opportunities and facing allegations and bureaucratic harassment overseas.
Ambassador Kaplan's practice includes management of high-visibility litigation and arbitration matters, anti-trust cases before the European Commission, sensitive immigration matters and higher education. He has led ten investment missions to the Philippines and has been engaged for clients at the juncture of law, business and policy, with a substantial focus on East Asia and the developing world. His sovereign representations have included the Philippines, Qatar, Peru, the Czech Republic and Nigeria.
Ambassador Kaplan entered the Foreign Service after his tenure as counsel to the California Legislature, under a Ford Foundation grant, and in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served as U.S. ambassador and deputy representative to the 22-nation Vienna Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which led to an historic treaty reducing force levels in Europe and ending the Cold War.
Ambassador Kaplan was appointed as U.S. Minister, deputy chief of mission and Charge d'Affaires to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines during the country's democratic transition from Ferdinand Marcos to Cory Aquino. Previously, he served as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for policy planning, covering the full range of U.S. foreign policy. He twice served as senior advisor to and international trouble shooter for secretaries of state, with special assignments in Latin America, Europe, East Asia and Africa - and later served as senior advisor on the Policy Planning Staff. His Foreign Service career also has included assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Germany, the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels and frequent official travel around the world. Ambassador Kaplan is currently authoring a novel set in Iran.
Philip Kaplan received his B.A. degree cum laude from the University of Connecticut, majoring in history, economics and philosophy. He received his J.D. degree from Boalt Hall of Law, the University of California Berkeley. He has studied advanced international relations at Stanford University.
Ambassador Kaplan has served as Adjunct Professor at Brown University and American University, teaching a course on Europe After the Cold War, and as Professorial Lecturer at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs. He now is Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a graduate course on International Crisis Diplomacy. He is married to Barbara Kaplan, a teacher at the Washington International School.
Bill Coffield has been successfully representing corporations, corporate directors and officers of major foreign and multinational corporations, and public sector officials, including The White House and The United States Congress, for over twenty years.
Mr. Coffield is AV Peer Rated by Martindale Hubbell, is ranked a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters, and has been named a Top One Hundred Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. His areas of practice and expertise include white collar and complex civil litigation. He has advised corporations, ranging from billion-dollar international public companies to private businesses, elected and other government officials, and individual corporate officers on how to strategically navigate high-profile investigations by federal agencies, the legislative branch, and foreign governments.
Mr. Coffield is admitted to practice before numerous United States District Courts, United States Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. He has successfully represented numerous corporate and individual clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the United States Congress, the Department of Justice, and U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country.
Prior to entering private practice Mr. Coffield was the Executive Assistant to United States Congressman Bill Emerson of Missouri, where he oversaw all legislative issues and dealings with the Executive agencies. He attended the George Mason School of Law at night while managing Congressman Emerson's Washington office. Born in New York, Bill Coffield attended Fordham University and The University of Miami, where he graduated as Distinguished Military Graduate. After graduation Bill Coffield served in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer. He is a graduate of numerous Military programs, to include the U.S. Army Airborne School and the U.S. Army Ranger School.
Melvin specializes in complex commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense matters. For nearly three decades, Melvin has achieved results consistent with clients’ objectives in disputes involving, among other matters, intellectual property, antitrust, civil RICO, ERISA, healthcare, securities enforcement, telecommunications, contract, and class action issues. Melvin has also conducted internal corporate investigations and represented clients in connection with government investigations. He has served as counsel to Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized companies, small businesses, a sovereign nation, and individuals including a former Cabinet Member. He has experience across a number of industries including information technology, biotechnology, life sciences, medical devices, financial services, education, and consumer electronics.
Melvin is a member of the American Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar, where he served as President during 2007-2008. He is a Barrister in the Edward Bennett Williams American Inn of Court, an organization of judges, attorneys, and prosecutors dedicated to higher learning in all areas of white-collar criminal law. Melvin has handled a number of matters for indigent and low-income clients, pro bono, and he has served as a director of several philanthropic organizations, including the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, the D.C. Bar Foundation, the D.C. Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
Melvin was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, where he practiced for eighteen years. Before joining Berliner Corcoran & Rowe LLP, Melvin was Lead Counsel, Litigation & Risk Management, at Clearspire Law Company, PLLC.
Melvin served in the United States Air Force and received an honorable discharge in 1982. Immediately following law school, Melvin was a judicial clerk to the Honorable G. Thomas Eisele, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.