Overview

Antonia Tzinova leads Holland & Knight's CFIUS and Industrial Security Team. She is a national security attorney who practices in the areas of international trade, foreign direct investment and industrial security. Ms. Tzinova is based in the firm's Washington, D.C., office.

Ms. Tzinova regularly represents clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and advises on measures to mitigate Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI) in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of U.S. government and defense contractors. She counsels foreign investors on structuring investments in the defense, high-tech and critical infrastructure sectors of the U.S. economy. She has also advised on measures to mitigate FOCI in portfolio investments by private equity firms in government contractors performing on classified contracts, as well as advising dozens of clients on whether and how to approach the CFIUS review issue. Ms. Tzinova additionally counsels clients on defense and high-technology exports, U.S. trade embargoes and economic sanctions, and customs matters.

Recent transactions include advising on a complex CFIUS mitigation measure in a foreign government acquisition of a critical technology manufacturer supplying the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and a CFIUS review of a sovereign wealth fund investment in a North American railroad depot services provider.

Ms. Tzinova also has extensive experience in assisting technology exporters, government contractors and research universities in developing and implementing export compliance programs and conducting company-wide compliance training. Enhancing compliance under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations often includes conducting confidential internal investigations and submission of voluntary disclosures to mitigate potential export compliance violations. These are issues that come up during regular day-to-day business operations, or in the context of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) due diligence.

Ms. Tzinova also advises on inbound movement of goods in import matters, including classification, valuation, country of origin, and import licensing under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and other U.S. trade regulations.

Ms. Tzinova is actively involved in pro bono and bar activities. She is engaged with the Bulgarian-American community in the wider Washington metro area, serving as pro bono counsel to the Bulgarian Educational and Cultural Center of Washington, D.C. She has also served on the Board of Governors, and recently completed a successful two-year term as president of the Washington Foreign Law Society.

Ms. Tzinova's experience also includes interning at the Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS), a joint facility of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), where she worked on issues relating to foreign direct investment in the developing countries.

Prior to the practice of law, Ms. Tzinova was an administrator of professional economics training at the IMF Institute of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she served as a liaison between leading economics lecturers and officials of the central banks and ministries of finance of IMF member states. During her time at the IMF, she was involved in developing internal guidelines for the use of training materials in compliance with U.S. and international copyright laws.

Representative Experience

  • Represented PVP Advanced EO Systems Inc. (PVP AEO) in its acquisition by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., through its U.S. subsidiary Rafael USA Inc.; Rafael is a world-renowned Israeli-based defense contractor, specializing in cutting-edge, innovative and combat-proven systems, such as the famous Iron Dome; the transaction, which was announced on June 1, 2022, was approved under Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review authorization, governed by a national security agreement
  • Represented Signal Point before the CFIUS in obtaining approval of Signal Point's acquisition by Mobilitie, which is owned and controlled by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; the deal closed on May 11, 2022

Credentials

Education
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors
  • Sofia University Law School (Bulgaria), Jurist and Masters in Law (J.D./LL.M. equivalent), International Law and International Affairs
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
Memberships
  • Law360, International Trade Editorial Board, 2021, 2022
  • American Bar Association, International Law Section
  • Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Co-Chair of the International Law Forum, 2006-2007
  • Bulgarian Educational and Cultural Center "St. Kliment Okhridski," Washington, D.C., Board of Directors, 2008-2012; Chairman of the Board, 2010-2012
  • Washington Foreign Law Society, Board of Governors, 2012-Present; Vice President, 2016-2017; President, 2017-2019
Honors & Awards
  • Distinguished Adviser, Power Players Foreign Investment & National Security 2023, Financier Worldwide
  • Top CFIUS Advisors 2023, Foreign Investment Watch
  • Rising Star, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2016
  • Holland & Knight Rising Star, Class of 2013
Spoken Languages
  • Bulgarian
  • English
  • French
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements