Marwa M. Hassoun*
As co-leader of the firm's National Security practice, Marwa counsels a diverse group of US and non-US companies on international regulatory issues, including civilian and military export controls, economic sanctions, and antiboycott regulations.
In particular, Marwa's work focuses on assisting companies, universities, and other entities assess and mitigate risk related to export and sanctions compliance. This includes conducting audits and investigates into alleged criminal and civil breaches of US trade control law; creating and enhancing trade compliance programs; benchmarking best practices; advising on the impact of changes in US and international trade policy; as well as regular communications with government agencies at the Departments of Treasury, State, and Commerce. Marwa has helped clients across the National Security space, including the aerospace, space, defense, arms, telecommunications, cloud computing, electronics, emerging technology, chemicals, and industrial manufacturing sectors.
* Not admitted in Massachusetts. Admitted in California. Practicing under the supervision of MA Bar members.
Marwa’s recent matters include:
- Export Controls
- Supporting clients under US government agency civil enforcement actions.
- Assisting clients with navigating restrictions related to Chinese telecommunications.
- Supporting clients in determining the impact and application of proposed Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain regulations.
- Helping clients respond and react to proposed and new controls on emerging and foundational technologies, including artificial intelligence; machine learning; positioning and navigation technology; semiconductor technology; data analytics, additive manufacturing; and surveillance technologies.
- Advising clients on the application of military end use and end user rules.
- Obtaining favorable commodity jurisdiction and commodity classification determinations for clients in the high-tech, telecommunications, electronics, and defense industries.
- Assisting clients with the interpretation and application of recent sanctions actions related to Turkey, Venezuela, Iran and Cuba.
- Assisting clients subject to economic sanctions, including parties on the Specially Designated Nationals List.
- Conducting internal investigations related to export and sanctions compliance.
- Counseling clients under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
- Providing pre-closing and post-closing acquisition export compliance due diligence for CFIUS matters.
- Revising and providing counsel regarding regulatory compliance procedures and training, most recently for defense contractors, high-tech companies, , automotive parts suppliers, materials suppliers, and the oil and gas industry.
- Benchmarking export compliance programs for small, midsize, and large entities.
Prior to joining Arent Fox, Marwa was an international trade associate in the Los Angeles and Washington, DC offices of two prominent international law firms. She also served as a law clerk to the US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California while attending law school.
Marwa is affiliated with:
- The American Bar Association
- The Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Women in International Trade (Los Angeles, Orange County and Northern California chapters)
- The Society for International Affairs
- The International Compliance Professionals Association
- The National Defense Industrial Association
- Women in Defense
- The Arab American Lawyers Association of Southern California
Marwa was formerly on the board of directors for the California Global Trade & Logistics Advisory Committee.
Publications, Presentations & Recognitions
The Daily Journal has named Marwa among the Top Women Lawyers in California for her work in international trade for the past two years.
- “The Future of Marijuana in the Americas: Legalization and Trade Impacts,” American Bar Association, International Section Annual Meeting, April 15, 2021.
- “Violations: How to Prepare and Submit a Voluntary Disclosure,” International Compliance Professionals Association ITAR Conference, April 14, 2021.
- “A Deep Dive into U.S. and Canadian Export and Reexport Controls: Comparing and Contrasting Classification Under ITAR, EAR, ECL, CGP,” The Canadian Institute, U.S. Export & Reexport Compliance for Canadian Operations, January 25, 2021.
- “Fundamentals of U.S. Encryption Rules: Update on Legal and Compliance Issues and the Key Components of an Effective Compliance Program,” American Conference Institute, 10th Advanced Forum on Global Encryption, Cloud & Cyber Export Controls, September 9, 2020.
- “COVID-19 Global Trade Webinar Series: Financial Programs Under the CARES Act,” Massachusetts Export Center, April 9, 2020.
- “FIRRMA & ECRA? Making Sense of Alphabet Soup on Foreign Investment Screening and Emerging Technology Controls,” National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) webinar, September 25, 2019.
- "CFIUS, FIRRMA & ECRA? Making sense of the regulatory alphabet soup surrounding foreign investment screening and emerging technology controls," Lexology webinar, May 2, 2019.
- "CFIUS 2.0: Foreign Investment Screening After the Enactment of FIRRMA,” Department of Defense, Defense Innovation Unit headquarters staff roundtable, April 8, 2019.
- “Staying Compliant with Rapidly Changing Economic Sanctions: How to Strengthen Your Compliance Program to Avoid Potential Sanctions Landmines,” American Conference Institute, 11th Industry Forum on International Technology Transfers, Cloud Computing & Deemed Export Compliance, Washington, DC, February 6 – 7, 2019.
- “How Your Company Could Benefit from ITAR Licensing Exemptions: The Top 5 Most Common Missteps to Avoid When Applying Tricky Eligibility Criteria,” American Conference Institute, ITAR Bootcamp, San Diego, California, May 22, 2017.
- “ITAR Sections 120.3 and 120.4: How to Structure Your Classification Approach, and Draft a CJ Instead of Conducting a Self-Determination,” American Conference Institute, ITAR Bootcamp, San Diego, California, May 22, 2017.
- “The Legal Do's and Don'ts of an International Transaction,” Los Angeles Board of Equalization, in cooperation with the Port of Los Angeles, the Mayor's Office of International Trade and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, American Jewish University, Simi Valley, California, January 20, 2017.
- “How to Find and Make Sense of Evolving Encryption Controls across Multiple Jurisdictions: Who to Contact and Where to Look Toward Mapping Out Your Global Classification and Licensing Strategy,” American Conference Institute, 6th Advanced Industry Forum on Global Encryption and Cybersecurity Controls, San Francisco, California, March 30, 2016.
- “Developing and Implementing Global Legal Compliance Systems in a Multicultural World,” plenary panel at American Bar Association, International Law Section Fall Conference, Montreal, Canada, October 21, 2015.
- “Export E-Commerce with China & Hong Kong,” Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County Bar Association Advanced TradeConnect Workshop, San Gabriel, California, August 11, 2015.
- “Export Controls Overview: Focusing on Legal and Business Strategies for Exporting to China,” Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County Bar Association Advanced TradeConnect Workshop, Los Angeles, California, April 17, 2015.
- “The Future of US – China Trade Relations,” 2015 LegalPorts Conference, Cal State Long Beach Center for International Trade and Transportation and Los Angeles County Bar Association, Long Beach, California, March 19, 2015.
- “Export Controls Overview: Focusing on Legal and Business Strategies for Exporting to Japan and the Philippines,” Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County Bar Association Advanced TradeConnect Workshop, Los Angeles, California, January 23, 2015.
Life Beyond the Law
In her spare time, Marwa enjoys anything to do with astrophysics and space exploration, arts and crafts with her twin daughters, and crosswords.
Marwa is fluent in Arabic.
Bar & Court Admissions
- California Bar
- US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- US District Court, Northern District of California
- US District Court, Central District of California
- US District Court, Southern District of California
- US District Court, Eastern District of California
University of California, Berkeley, School of LawJD,2007University of MinnesotaMA,2003University of MinnesotaBA,summa cum laude,2000