May 17, 2022

Assisting a Grassroots Client to Help a Country in Crisis

A team of international trade attorneys from Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office helped a grassroots volunteer-based organization apply for and secure an export license on an expedited basis to supply the Ukrainian people with protective equipment amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
Assisting a Grassroots Client to Help a Country in Crisis

Holland & Knight's International Trade Group has seen a tremendous increase in work in 2022 related to energy reform, changes in rules of origin, worldwide supply chain issues and other challenges. As the war and resulting crisis in Ukraine continues to develop, a number of our international trade lawyers have been actively involved through several means, including advising clients on sanctions against Russia and the potential impacts to business, as well as finding ways to help the Ukrainian people.

In a particularly significant case, four international trade attorneys from Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office recently handled a crucial and time-sensitive pro bono matter for United Help Ukraine. The grassroots volunteer-based organization reached out to the firm and expressed its need for an expedited export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce so it could send bulletproof helmets and vests to Ukraine.

The Holland & Knight team immediately set to work and connected with the Department of Commerce and other U.S. government agencies to expedite the license approval process. The license – which was applied for and received within a week – is allowing United Help Ukraine to ship the much-needed protective equipment to aid the Ukrainian people. Through organizations on the ground in Poland and Ukraine, United Help Ukraine is providing the items to Ukrainian civilians, first responders, media representatives, humanitarian and development workers, and service members of Ukrainian Territorial Defense Units for protection in conflict zones and those otherwise directly affected by the war in Ukraine.

United Help Ukraine is also focused on distributing medical supplies and hospital equipment, providing humanitarian aid to those displaced by the war, and hosting rallies and fundraisers to bring awareness to Ukraine's struggle for freedom and independence.

The client greatly appreciated Holland & Knight's assistance and was grateful for the speed with which the export license was granted. The speed of the license's approval is a true indicator of the effort that our attorneys and the U.S. government are exercising to support Ukraine during this crisis.

Holland & Knight's International Trade Group represents U.S. and foreign companies, institutions, associations and foreign governments on all aspects of international trade matters. Through team members' contacts within the Executive Branch and congressional offices and committees, as well as their experience in the application of U.S. trade laws and multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, it can assist clients in understanding trade issues and resolving trade problems. The team also is well versed in dealing with the regulatory agencies that oversee international trade matters and regularly appears before these agencies.

As a result of doing business in and with many countries around the world, the Holland & Knight team has developed an in-depth understanding of differing business cultures and legal systems. This experience and knowledge provide a direct benefit to clients.

Contact Ron Oleynik or Francisco Sanchez , co-leaders of the firm's International Trade Group, for specific information on how the team can assist with a wide variety of trade law matters.

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