Tahlia Townsend

Partner

Tahlia Townsend
Partner
offices New Haven
Washington, DC
phone 203-498-4339
fax203-782-2889
emailttownsend@wiggin.com
view LinkedIn profile


Biography

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 obtained a degree in 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.

Representative export and sanctions compliance matters:

  • Conducted a Department of State directed audit of a U.S. subsidiary of a global defense contractor
  • Designed and implemented a global roll-out of U.S. economic sanctions compliance procedures and training for a major global logistics provider
  • Advised a major university on the export compliance implications of, and conducted investigation into, a data breach affecting engineering department servers
  • Retained by a major U.S. defense contractor to investigate and remediate unauthorized access to export-controlled information housed in a complex collaborative design tool
  • Retained by a major international defense contractor to investigate potential transactions with a Specially Designated National (SDN) identified by the buyer during sale of a U.S. subsidiary
  • Drafted complete export and sanctions compliance policy and supporting procedures for U.S. aerospace company
  • Retained by clients including major aerospace and logistics companies to provide training to compliance personnel on export and economic sanctions controls and compliance mechanisms
  • Advised a non-U.S. law firm on the implications of a client's designation as a blocked person under U.S. economic sanctions regulations
  • Retained by a manufacturer of electrical components in connection with an export-related investigation initiated by the Department of Commerce
  • Advised international reinsurers on scope and application of the Department of State's November 2017 list of entities determined to be under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services (Cuba Restricted List)
  • Created export and sanctions compliance policy and supporting procedures for manufacturer and operator of unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Drafted applications for ITAR Technical Assistance Agreements (TAA), Manufacturing License Agreements (MLA), and temporary and permanent export licenses for aerospace and defense companies
  • Drafted Commodity Classification Requests (CCATS) and assisted in self-classification of a wide range of products including laser driven lights sources, data cables, unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft components, metal alloys used in aerospace applications, and a polyester fabric used in the manufacture of aerostats
  • Advised on the application of U.S. economic sanctions to, and, where appropriate, identified general licenses or assisted in drafting and submitting applications for specific licenses for, a wide range of exports of U.S. and non-U.S. origin products and services, including oil-industry-related engineering services, medical devices, food additives, medicines, and contact lenses to Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Crimea
  • Advised U.S. companies and their European subsidiaries in a variety of industries on the feasibility of using and, where appropriate, designed and implemented procedures for complying with, General License H to the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations
  • Advised international venture capital company on the extraterritorial application of U.S. economic sanctions and procedures for performing sanctions screening and due diligence
  • Advised major international insurance company on scope and application to U.S. board members of OFAC "facilitation" prohibition
  • Retained by a leading U.S. aerospace company to investigate and remediate unauthorized access to export-controlled information housed in a tool for drafting, sharing and storing patent applications
  • Developed export compliance guidance documents and procedures for university faculty, including Technology Control Plan and Fundamental Research Questionnaire
  • Advised institutions of higher education on economic sanctions topics including the application of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations to graduate student research in Iran, the hiring of Iranian academics, attendance at conferences in Iran, payment of fees by Iranian students, and on application of Cuban Assets Control Regulations to proposed donation of laptop computers to Cuban academics and health research collaboration with Cuban institutions

Representative civil litigation matters:

  • 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
  • Defense of franchisors in disputes with franchisees over issues including the scope of or termination of franchise distribution agreements
  • 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
  • Defense of a manufacturer of air tools in a product liability suit
  • Representation of prisoners in civil rights matters involving military detention without charge, religious liberty, and freedom from involuntary medication

News

05.02.2018Wiggin and Dana to Publish an Article Series titled "Legal Issues for High-Growth Technology Companies"
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
fax203-782-2889
emailttownsend@wiggin.com
view LinkedIn profile

PRACTICE GROUPS

EDUCATION

  • Yale Law School, J.D.

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia

COURT ADMISSIONS

  • 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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