Hogan Lovells has hired Andrew Keller, previously of the US State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, as a partner in its Washington, DC international trade and investment practice.

In his government position as deputy assistant secretary of state of counter-threat finance and sanctions, Keller played a key role in developing and implementing the sanctions relief aspects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, co-ordinating with Europe and Asia on Russian sanctions and preparing the easing of sanctions against Cuba.

He bore the responsibility of explaining US sanctions to business leaders domestically and abroad, and working with counterparts around the world to ensure implementation.

Keller also served as the main intermediary between the State Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), as well as the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce, on topics of economic sanctions and related export controls. As such, he was in charge of reviewing OFAC and BIS’ licence applications.

At Hogan Lovells, Keller will advise on sanctions, counter-threat finance, national security and export control regulatory, policy, legislative and enforcement matters.

Beth Peters, co-director of the firm’s international trade and investment group, says: “[Keller] has had an unparalleled vantage point for viewing and influencing how sanctions regulations and policy are developed, interpreted, and implemented both in the US and in foreign countries, and he will bring that unique perspective to strengthen the value of the counsel we provide to our clients on a global scale.”

Alice Valder Curran, global head of the firm’s government regulatory practice, adds: “As the Trump administration’s position becomes clearer on a number of key sanctions programmes, our clients must be ready for change and a potentially more aggressive approach to enforcement.”

Keller’s career also includes two stints as legal advisor to the State Department, and a four-year role as counsel to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC), during which he provided legal guidance to then-chairman John Kerry, as well as other senators and committee staff, on foreign policy, international trade and national security-related topics.