Law firm Akin has appointed the US government’s former chief counsel for the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) as a partner.

Opher Shweiki joins Akin’s Washington, DC office, bringing 25 years’ experience in the US departments of justice and commerce to the role, Akin says.

“Our clients are facing regulatory changes daily and an unprecedented expansion in export control-related regulations. Enforcement actions also show no signs of slowing,” says Akin international trade practice head Jonathan Poling.

While chief counsel with the BIS, Shweiki worked on the agency’s export control-related regulatory changes and enforcement actions, including a case that resulted in a US$300mn civil penalty against Seagate – the largest standalone fine of its kind in BIS history – for alleged violations of US export controls when it continued to sell hard disk drives to Huawei.

Shweiki also led the legal review of changes to the export administration regulations affecting semiconductors and related manufacturing equipment, Akin says.

Before his role with the BIS, Shweiki was the national security and cybercrime coordinator at the Executive Office for US Attorneys and an assistant attorney with the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, focusing on threats posed by advanced technologies.

“As government investigations, in particular those relating to export controls and economic sanctions, continue as a top priority for regulators, Opher’s experience enhances our capabilities and further strengthens Akin’s ability to help our clients effectively navigate an increasingly complex world,” says Akin chairperson Kim Koopersmith.

“I have worked alongside or across the table from many of the partners at Akin for years, and the firm’s outstanding reputation in advising and representing clients and its commitment to excellence align perfectly with my professional goals,” adds Shweiki.