Ama A. Adams
Ama Adams is managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office and a partner in the firm's Litigation and Enforcement practice. She has over 20 years of experience advising clients on international transactions and the U.S. government’s regulation of trade and investment. This includes most notably export controls, economic sanctions, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering, foreign direct investment and customs laws and regulations. She advises clients on these complex issues in a range of industries, including the financial services, aviation, biotechnology, life sciences, oil and gas, manufacturing, technology, and chemical sectors.
In addition to advising clients on the application of international trade regulations to their global business operations, Ms. Adams also assists clients in developing compliance programs, handling pre-and post-acquisition due diligence, conducting internal investigations relating to potential violations of trade laws and representing clients before the U.S. government agencies in connection with, license requests, enforcement matters, and government inquiries. She also advises clients on cross-border investment and national security matters, including national security reviews and investigations before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Ms. Adams has successfully represented a number of foreign and domestic clients through the CFIUS clearance process and regularly advises clients on managing CFIUS risks across investment scenarios.
International Trade Enforcement and Compliance Matters
- Represented U.S. private equity firm and its portfolio company, a software and automation solutions company, in responding to OFAC subpoena concerning potential diversion concerns
- Represented life sciences company in disclosure to the U.S. Department of Justice concerning potential misconduct involving sanctioned jurisdictions
- Represented ship management company in navigating disclosure and licensing issues concerning SDN designation of counterparty
- Represented non-U.S. financial institution in voluntary disclosure and favorable settlement negotiations with OFAC concerning potential violations of sanctions
- Represented international life sciences company in reinstating Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) status
- Obtained a favorable resolution with BIS in connection with a voluntary disclosure of certain exports of equipment by a U.S. biotechnology product development company in connection with the Russia/Ukraine and Crimea sanctions regulations.
- Advised a global private equity firm with an internal investigation involving a technology product and services portfolio company for potential violations of the Iran sanctions regulations
- Performed a global risk assessment on export controls, sanctions and anti-corruption program for a multinational energy corporation involved in over 30 jurisdictions around the world, including the development of risk mitigation plans and protocols.
- Conducted a comprehensive due diligence review of the export control compliance programs of a large aircraft part supplier in connection with its acquisition by another company, which involved a review of compliance procedures with respect to the EAR and ITAR.
- Performed a comprehensive deemed export risk assessment of a multinational biopharmaceutical company, including a review of the company’s technology control plan, classification procedures, human resources policies and intra-company system processes.
- Conducted a global risk assessment of the supply chain and trade compliance program of multinational off-price department store corporation, including a review of restricted party screening protocols, licensing processes and anti-boycott procedures.
- Lead trade compliance counsel for several leading private equity firms, which involves, inter alia, conducting extensive international risk assessment of sanctions, export control, antiboycott and FCPA compliance practices of contemplated target companies with global operations, advising on contractual remedies and mitigation strategies, and implementing sanctions compliance programs and uplifts for incoming portfolio companies
CFIUS – Reviews, Investigations, and Compliance
- Represented a Hong Kong-based technology company in securing CFIUS clearance in connection with its acquisition of a U.S.-based semiconductor advanced packaging business.
- Represented a German-headquartered copper manufacturer in obtaining CFIUS approval in regards to its acquisition of a leading, value-added converter, fabricator, processor and distributor of specialized non-ferrous products in North America.
- Represented a U.S. health care software company in obtaining CFIUS clearance for investment by Asia-based investor
- Represented a U.S. health care management company in obtaining CFIUS pre-clearance in connection with the acquisition of board rights by a European investor
- Represented European asset management firm in obtaining CFIUS clearance in connection with the transfer of a sensitive infrastructure asset located on a U.S. military base to a Canadian investor
- Represented a U.S. infrastructure platform backed by European and Middle Eastern institutional investors in successful CFIUS filings in connection with the acquisition of infrastructure assets
- Represented a U.S.-based manufacturing company in navigating non-notified CFIUS inquiry and filing concerning investment by Asia-based investor
- Represented a large non-U.S. exploration company in connection with its acquisition of a U.S. navigation company.
- Represented a major U.S. chemical company in its acquisition of a U.S.-based subsidiary of a state-owned company based in the Middle East.
- Assisted leading life sciences company develop and implement a customized CFIUS playbook of policies and procedures
- Assist multiple private equity firms, venture capital firms, and sovereign wealth funds conduct CFIUS assessments of hundreds of investment targets per year
- Quoted, “Lawyers Skeptical That US-China Audit Agreement Will Succeed,” Law.com International (August 30, 2022)
- Profiled, “How I Made Office Managing Partner: ‘ Being Light on Ego and Heavy on Collaboration,’ Says Ama Adams, of Ropes & Gray,” Law.com (August 29, 2022)
- Quoted, “Roman Abramovich U.S. Hedge Fund Investments are Frozen,” The Wall Street Journal (March 11, 2022)
- Quoted, “’Outbound-CFIUS’ Could Change US National Security,” International Financial Law Review (March 3, 2022)
- Quoted, “Tougher Sanctions on Russia Needed,” International Financial Law Review (March 1, 2022)
- Quoted, “Global M&A Market in Limbo as Russian Sanctions Unfold,” Law360 (February 28, 2022)
- Quoted, “Russia Sanctions Have Lawyers Scrambling to Help Clients Comply,” Bloomberg Law (February 28, 2022)
- Quoted, “Explainer: The New US Export Rules Designed to Freeze Russian Tech,” Reuters (February 25, 2022)
- Quoted, “Ropes & Gray Names Trade Expert As DC Managing Partner,” Law360 (January 27, 2022)
- Quoted, “Ropes' DC Leader Keeps Focus on Retaining and Fostering Talent,” The American Lawyer (January 26, 2022)
- Co-author, “Biden Sanctions Reinforce Trump-Era Foreign Policy,” Law360 (June 23, 2021)
- Quoted, “Lawmakers Call for Tighter Money-Laundering Rules for Private Equity,” Wall Street Journal Pro PE (May 12, 2021)
- Quoted, “Ropes & Gray Boosts Latin America Business,” Latinvex (January 27, 2021)
- Co-author, “Pandemic Poses Distressed Debt Opportunities, CFIUS Risks,” Law360 (March 26, 2020)
- Co-author, “Avoiding Inadvertent Sanctions Violations In Latin America,” Law360 (March 10, 2020)
- Co-author, “OFAC's New Iran Sanctions May Not Signal Seismic Change,” Law360 (January 14, 2020)
- Co-author, “US Strengthened And Expanded Economic Sanctions In 2019,” Law360 (December 10, 2019)
- Featured, “The DC sanctions lawyers to have on speed dial,” Global Investigations Review (November 1, 2019)
- Quoted, “The Great Balancing Act,” Real Deals (October 30, 2019)
- Co-author, “INSIGHT: Mid-2019 CFIUS Review—The ‘Calm’ Before the Storm,” Bloomberg Law (July 11, 2019)
- Co-author, “A Dramatic 6 Months For OFAC Sanctions Enforcement,” Law360 (June 28, 2019)
- Quoted, “OFAC sanctions guidance is a 'toolkit for compliance',” International Financial Law Review (May 28, 2019)
- Co-author, “Key Takeaways From OFAC’s Compliance Program Guidance,” Law360 (May 28, 2019)
- Co-author, “INSIGHT: Why Am I Receiving New Questions About My Firm’s Anti-Money Laundering Program?,” Bloomberg Law (May 1, 2019)
- Quoted, “Cfius takes bold move into enforcement with mitigation fine,” International Financial Law Review (April 26, 2019)
- Co-author, “OFAC Is Raising The Compliance Bar,” Law360 (April 3, 2019)
- Quoted, “OFAC designation of Russian bank a warning to Maduro's supporters,” International Financial Law Review (March 25, 2019)
- Editor, The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations, Volume I: Global Investigations in the United Kingdom and the United States, Third Edition (2019)
- Quoted, “PRIMER: US and EU sanctions against Russia,” International Financial Law Review (December 17, 2018)
- Co-author, “A Review Of US Economic Sanctions in 2018,” Law360 (December 11, 2018)
- Co-author, “Société Générale: Sanctions Enforcement Is Alive And Well,” Law360 (November 30, 2018)
- Quoted, “The New Wave of Protectionism,” Mergermarket (October 16, 2018)
- Co-author, “CFIUS Pilot Program: Immediate Investment Implications,” Law360 (October 15, 2018)
- Co-author, “US' Secondary China Sanctions Signal New Risks For Cos.,” Law360 (September 26, 2018)
- Co-author, “US sanctions and export controls: What every healthcare and life sciences compliance officer needs to know,” WorldECR (September 2018)
- Quoted, “3 Takeaways From New Export Control Act,” Law360 (September 14, 2018)
- Co-author, “Iran Sanctions Snapback: Practical Implications and Compliance Considerations for Japanese Companies,” Japan Institute of Business Law (August 23, 2018)
- Quoted, “Primer: Russian sanctions: a steady wave,” International Financial Law Review (July 16, 2018)
- Quoted, “European finance departments brace for new Iran sanctions,” Financial Management (July 9, 2018)
- Quoted, “Primer: US and EU Sanctions against Russia,” International Financial Law Review (June 21, 2018)
- Co-author, “Mid-2018 Sanctions Review: A Turbulent Year So Far,” Law360 (June 21, 2018)
- Co-author, “How Iran Deal Pullout Will Impact Cos. And Investors,” Law360 (May 9, 2018)
- Quoted, “Complex Choices Await World if Trump Exits Iran Nuclear Deal,” Associated Press (May 4, 2018)
- Quoted, “Ofac: Venezuela's crypto offering could be sanctions breach,” International Financial Law Review (March 1, 2018)
- Quoted, “Targeted sanctions help US maintain financial influence abroad,” International Financial Law Review (February 22, 2018)
- Co-author, “A Review Of US Economic Sanctions In 2017,” Law360 (December 20, 2017)
- JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 2001
- BA (French & History), Wesleyan University, 1996
Admissions / Qualifications
- District of Columbia, 2002
- Maryland, 2001
- Latinvex: Top 100 Female Lawyers in Latin America – Trade & Sanctions (2020-2021)
- Benchmark Litigation: Top 250 Women in Litigation (2018)