Sean Seelinger is a U.S.-trained lawyer based in London and a member of the firm’s Litigation and Enforcement practice group. Sean’s practice focuses on government-initiated and internal investigations of cross-border anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and trade compliance matters, as well as advising private equity firms regarding compliance and CFIUS risk associated with cross-border transactions. He also regularly advises multinational corporations on corruption, money laundering, and sanctions issues associated with prospective business agreements, and assists companies implement best-practice compliance programs. Sean also frequently assists newly acquired non-U.S. portfolio companies of U.S. private equity firms review their business dealings and internal procedures to ensure compliance with applicable OFAC sanctions.
Sean has deep experience advising on compliance risk in the pharmaceutical/medical device and energy industries. Sean has conducted numerous corruption investigations and deep-dive risk assessments in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device companies subject to DOJ monitorships, Deferred Prosecution Agreements, as well as ongoing FCPA and UK Bribery Act investigations.
While previously based in the New York office, Sean was seconded to the Global Compliance Group of a Fortune 100 multinational oil & gas company. During his secondment, Sean led several internal investigations and assisted with the restructuring of the company’s anti-corruption and anti-boycott compliance program. Sean has also advised investors on energy investments in high-risk markets, particularly in Africa, and conducted on-the-ground assessments of potential local partners.
Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, Sean served as an Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York. During his tenure, he represented New York’s former Department of Insurance in one of the largest administrative law challenges in the state’s history.
- Represented international pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers as well as global energy firms in numerous investigations into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
- Frequently conducts pre-acquisition anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and trade compliance due diligence for corporate and private equity clients.
- Advises acquirers on CFIUS risk associated with acquisitions of U.S. businesses by foreign parties.
- Advises corporate and private equity clients regarding the impact of evolving economic and trade sanctions on existing business opportunities and potential transactions.
- Assisted with the implementation of compliance program modifications and supervised monitoring efforts for an international medical device manufacturer subject to a DOJ monitorship.
- Conducted deep-dive in-country risk assessments for global energy and pharmaceutical companies operating in high-risk markets.
- Represented an international pharmaceutical manufacturer in a FINRA investigation into pre-acquisition insider trading.
- Assisted an international pharmaceutical manufacturer with in-country post-acquisition diligence.
- Conducted in-country diligence of potential joint venture partners in West Africa on behalf of a global energy firm.
- Assisted multiple global energy companies with the restructuring of their anti-corruption and anti-boycott compliance programs.
- Successfully represented victims of persecution seeking political asylum in the United States.
- Co-author, “Self-Reporting to the Authorities and Other Disclosure Obligations: The US Perspective,” Global Investigations Review’s Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations (2022)
- Quoted, “Q&A: Effective legal risk management,” Financier Worldwide Magazine (March 2021)
- Co-author, “Self-Reporting to the Authorities and Other Disclosure Obligations: The US Perspective,” The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations, Third Edition (2019)
- Co-author, “Revoking Sudan Sanctions Brings New Prospects, Old Risks,” Law360 (October 10, 2017)
- Co-author, “CFIUS Continues To Present Obstacle To Chinese Acquisitions,” Law360 (September 19, 2017)
- Co-author, “Self-Reporting to the Authorities and Other Disclosure Obligations: The US Perspective,” Global Investigations Review’s The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations (January 2017)
- Co-author, “Practice Note: How to handle real estate compliance risks,” The FCPA Blog (August, 25, 2016)
- Co-author, “Compliance Alert: Enforcement hammer falls on real estate,” The FCPA Blog (August 23, 2016)
- Zachary Brez, Michael Casey and Sean Seelinger, “Potential Traps When Doing Business in Iran,” New York Law Journal (February 10, 2016)
- Co-author, “FinCEN’s Proposed AML Program & Reporting Requirement Rules,” Bloomberg BNA “Securities Regulation & Law Report” (December 2015)
- Co-author, “The UK Anti-Corruption Plan: what impact will it have?,” Global Investigations Review (March 9, 2015)
- Joshua Levy and Sean Seelinger, “DOJ ushers in a new era of post-plea compliance obligations,” Law360 (September 23, 2013)
- Yvonne Cristovici, Amanda Raad, and Sean Seelinger, “Medical Industries Under the Anticorruption Lens,” Corporate Counsel (April 15, 2013)
- Sean Seelinger, “Auction-Rate Securities: A Fast & Furious Fall,” North Carolina Banking Institute Journal (March 2009)
DisclaimerRopes & Gray International LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in Delaware, United States of America and is a recognised body regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (with registered number 52100).
- JD, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2010; North Carolina Banking Institute Journal , Executive Editor
- BA (Economics, Political Science), magna cum laude, Vanderbilt University, 2007
Admissions / Qualifications
- New York, 2011
- Massachusetts, 2010
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2011