Industrial Security

  • Holland & Knight’s Industrial Security Team provides legal counsel on transactions with industrial security implications, such as cross-border corporate acquisitions within the defense and high tech industries.
  • Our team assists clients in navigating the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) review and approval process so they may achieve their business objectives.
  • We regularly conduct negotiations with the Departments of Defense, Energy and Justice to assist our foreign clients in obtaining the necessary facility security clearance so they may bid on and perform classified U.S. government contracts.

The end of the Cold War and the rise of globalization have caused an increase in cross-border corporate acquisitions, including in the defense industry. Due to the national security implications of this trend, the U.S. government has strengthened requirements of control over foreign investment in certain U.S. high-tech and defense industries. Holland & Knight’s International Trade Group has a strong trade and government contracts background and plays a leading role in this emerging area of the law.

Exon-Florio

Our Trade Group has represented numerous clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. interagency committee responsible for regulating foreign direct investment in the United States. We regularly advise clients on CFIUS issues, including whether a transaction should be reported to CFIUS, assisting in preparing the joint notification to CFIUS and representing clients in the CFIUS review process.

Examples of matters handled by our Trade Group include:

  • Canadian purchase of U.S. high-tech defense contractor
  • Danish purchase of U.S. security company
  • French purchase of U.S. aircraft systems manufacturer
  • Saudi investment in U.S. space launch company
  • Danish purchase of U.S. satellite telecommunications firm
  • Norwegian purchase of silicon materials manufacturer

Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI)

U.S. laws regarding Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI) generally prohibit a foreign-owned or foreign-controlled U.S. company from obtaining the facility security clearance necessary to bid on and perform classified U.S. government contracts. However, such a foreign- owned or foreign-controlled U.S. company can obtain a facility security clearance, and gain access to classified information and contracts through the process of FOCI mitigation. Holland & Knight conducts negotiations with the Departments of Defense, Energy and Justice on behalf of our clients to develop FOCI negation plans, and advises on how transactions might be structured to best anticipate FOCI concerns.

Examples of matters handled by our Trade Group include:

  • foreign purchase of a U.S. firm which safeguards U.S. nuclear facilities
  • foreign purchase of a major U.S. defense contractor
  • establishment of a U.S. facility to design and manufacture military helicopters by foreign producer
  • establishment of a U.S. facility to provide defense services related to U.S. and foreign combat aircraft
  • ongoing advice to a U.S. high-tech defense contractor
  • advice regarding negotiation and restructuring of U.S. classified contracts to allow foreign purchase