Tahlia Townsend


Tahlia Townsend
offices New Haven
Washington, DC
phone 203-498-4339
view LinkedIn profile


A graduate of the Yale Law School, former federal law clerk, and partner in the International Trade Compliance practice, Tahlia is an experienced international trade compliance counsellor and federal civil litigator trusted by Fortune 50 defense contractors, major universities, and small businesses alike to litigate complex civil issues, interpret thorny portions of the ITAR, EAR, and U.S. sanctions regulations, implement compliance programs, conduct internal investigations, develop and drive corrective actions, draft voluntary disclosures, and defend against enforcement actions by the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, and Treasury.

Leading a team of seasoned associates with a sophisticated appreciation for the practical challenges of trade compliance learned first-hand through secondments to leading multi-national defense contractors, Tahlia has conducted hundreds of internal investigations into potential violations of U.S. export and sanctions laws, and teaches a class on International Trade Compliance at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Tahlia also assists U.S. and international clients in classifying products, analyzing regulatory requirements, obtaining export licenses, training employees, and conducting voluntary or directed site audits.

Tahlia is also an accomplished federal civil litigator, whose cases have included defense of a former foreign president against allegations of violations of international law, defense of a museum in disputes over Incan artifacts claimed by a Latin American nation, representation of a museum in a dispute over title to one of van Gogh's most famous paintings, defense of a foreign sovereign nation in a dispute over title to medieval artifacts, and representation of prisoners in civil rights matters involving military detention without charge, religious liberty, and freedom from involuntary medication.

Before joining Wiggin and Dana, Tahlia earned her J.D. from the Yale Law School and served as law clerk to Judge Robert N. Chatigny and Judge Mark R. Kravitz, both of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Before law school, Tahlia studied physics and chemistry, performed research in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, taught English at the Lauder Javne community school in Budapest, and studied French, German, and Hungarian.


11.20.2017Super Lawyers Recognize 37 Wiggin and Dana Attorneys
10.24.2017Benchmark Litigation 2018 Ranks Eight Wiggin and Dana Partners "Litigation Stars" and Five Partners as "Future Stars"
10.28.2016Super Lawyers Recognizes 40 Wiggin and Dana Attorneys
03.28.2016ABC News Reports on Wiggin and Dana Win on Van Gogh Case in U.S. Supreme Court
02.12.2016Benchmark Litigation Names Wiggin and Dana's Litigation Department as The 2016 Connecticut Litigation Department of the Year
11.02.2015Leading German Newspaper Mentions Wiggin and Dana Efforts in Guelph Treasure Case
10.27.2015Benchmark Litigation 2016 Highly Recommends Wiggin and Dana
10.20.2015Super Lawyers Recognizes 38 Wiggin and Dana Attorneys
10.20.2015Wiggin and Dana Partner Jonathan Freiman Wins Second Circuit Appeal in Battle Over Van Gogh Painting
05.28.2015Wiggin and Dana Receives Litigation Department of the Year Award for White Collar and Government Compliance Practice
10.29.2014Super Lawyers Recognizes Wiggin and Dana Lawyers
10.13.2014Jonathan Freiman Quoted in ABC News Regarding Victory for Former President of Mexico
05.02.2014Wiggin and Dana Awarded Litigation Department of the Year for Government Investigations and Corporate Compliance
02.18.2014Second Circuit Victory for Former President of Mexico
07.18.2013Victory in Defense of Former Mexican President
02.14.2013Wiggin and Dana Announces Leadership Appointments
01.02.2013Wiggin and Dana Announces Attorney Promotions
04.19.2012Wiggin and Dana Announces 2011 Pro Bono Achievement Award Recipients
04.29.2011Wiggin and Dana Lawyers Travel to United Kingdom for Trade Mission
10.13.2008Subway Affiliate Wins Franchising Case

offices New Haven
Washington, DC
phone 203-498-4339
view LinkedIn profile



  • Yale Law School, J.D.


  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia


  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US District Court (District of Connecticut)

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