Regulatory and Compliance
Stephen Heifetz is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he advises clients on laws and policies at the intersection of international business and national security.
Stephen previously served in the U.S. government on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). He regularly helps clients determine whether to make a CFIUS filing and how to navigate the CFIUS process, including negotiating mitigation measures as needed to obtain CFIUS clearance. He has been involved in hundreds of CFIUS cases and currently represents the National Venture Capital Association in connection with the rulemaking that will implement CFIUS reform legislation.
Stephen also advises clients on other matters of legal compliance and political risk and defends companies facing investigations and government enforcement actions. He represents clients with regard to anti-money laundering laws administered by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and other financial regulators, as well as economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and by the UN Security Council. In addition, he has experience with anti-corruption and export control laws, with security screening rules applicable to visa applicants as well as airlines and other transportation companies, and with codes of conduct applicable to private security providers.
Prior to joining WSGR, Stephen was a partner at a multinational law firm based in Washington, D.C., where he co-chaired that firm's international regulation and compliance group. From 2006 to 2010, he served as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Policy Development. In this role, he served as DHS's daily representative to CFIUS and also worked with DHS's agencies—including the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement—to develop policies on a range of issues.
After finishing law school, Stephen worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and later served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section.
Stephen previously was as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and he has published articles in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Law360.EDUCATION:
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1996
Magna Cum Laude; Order of the Coif; Senior Articles Editor, Georgetown Law Journal; Olin Fellow, Law and Economics
- A.B., Stanford University, 1993
- Recognized among the country's top international trade CFIUS experts in the 2012-2018 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
- Recognized in the International Trade: CFIUS U.S. experts category in the 2015-2017 editions of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business
- Honored among Washingtonian magazine's "Best Lawyers" in the national security category
- Co-author with J. Gruenspecht, M. Mannino, and B. George, "CFIUS Past, Present, and Future: A 2018 CFIUS Carol," WSGR CFIUS 2018 Year in Review, December 20, 2018
- Co-author with J. Gruenspecht and M. Mannino, "Five Questions to Determine If You Have a CFIUS Filing Requirement," WSGR Client Advisory, October 18, 2018
- Co-author with J. Gruenspecht and M. Mannino, "Three-and-a-Half CFIUS Issues Needing Immediate Attention: Why Thinking 'Big Whoop' Could Lead to Big Trouble," WSGR Client Advisory, August 13, 2018
- Co-author with J. Gruenspecht, "CFIUS Reform Legislation: Four Early Questions Investors and Companies Need to Ask," WSGR Client Advisory, July 26, 2018
- Co-author with J. Gruenspecht, M. Mannino, and B. George, "CFIUS Legislation and Chinese Foreign Investment Restrictions: Status Update and Practical Implications," WSGR Client Advisory, May 29, 2018
- Co-author, "Anti-Money Laundering Obligations for Virtual Currency Companies," WSGR Client Advisory, April 2, 2018
- Co-author with J. Gruenspecht, "How the CFIUS Calculus Continues to Change," Law360, March 1, 2018
- Co-author with B. George and M. Mannino, "A Momentous Year For CFIUS: Part 2," Law360, January 16, 2018
- Co-author with B. George and M. Mannino, "A Momentous Year For CFIUS: Part 1," Law360, January 12, 2018
- "The CFIUS Calculus Has Changed—In More Ways than One," Law360, July 19, 2017
- Co-author with P. Jeydel, "Time to Finally End the Cuba Embargo," The Hill, October 27, 2016
- Co-author with A. Early, "The Right Time to Make a CFIUS Filing," Law360, September 27, 2016
- "Sanctions Worked, Congress. Let Them Die," The New York Times, August 4, 2015
- Co-author with E. Sherwood, "Those Other Economic Sanctions: Section 311 Special Measures," The Banking Law Journal, September 2014
- "How to Keep Terrorism Grounded," The New York Times, November 1, 2010
- "The Risk of Too Much Oversight," The New York Times, July 21, 2008
- "A Wasteful Pursuit of Terrorist Money," The Washington Post, August 24, 2005
- Speaker, "Pre-Acquisition Planning: How Stakeholders Are Now Minimizing Known and Unknown Risks through Contractual, Financial, and Cybersecurity Measures," 4th National Forum on CFIUS and Team Telecom, American Conference Institute, January 31, 2018
- CFIUS panel, Elevation Securities Seminar, September 14, 2017
- CFIUS Session, FBI Information Sharing Initiative Conference, April 24, 2017
- Foreign Investment Reviews and the New Administration, U.S.-China Business Council, March 23, 2017
- "Foreign Investment in the U.S.: Obtaining CFIUS Approval," J.P. Morgan Special Situations Investor Forum, March 13, 2017
- "A Contractor's Guide to Doing Business with the Department of Homeland Security," Federal Publications Seminars, November 9, 2016
- "The U.S. Contractor's Guide to Doing Business in Israel," Federal Publications Seminars, July 27, 2016
- Bar of the District of Columbia
- State Bar of Maryland