Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Babak Hoghooghi

BABAK HOGHOOGHI’S practice is focused on U.S. economic sanctions and export control laws, domestic and international commercial and business transactions, including projects, foreign direct investments, financings, and cross-border trade, as well as corporate law.

Mr. Hoghooghi has had extensive experience on matters relating to U.S. economic sanctions laws involving compliance and enforcement issues as well as on a policy level. He has represented numerous public and private companies and individuals in the U.S. and abroad, providing them with counsel concerning compliance with the ever-changing and complex array of U.S. sanctions on Iran, Russia, and Cuba, with respect to licensing matters including for the release of blocked funds or other properties, and in connection with voluntary disclosures, investigations and civil/criminal enforcement actions. Babak’s U.S. sanctions practice has over the years included:

  • Representation of clients subject to criminal indictments alleging violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, including one of seven persons released from U.S. detention as part of a historic prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Iran in January 2016.
  • Providing advice to some of the largest and most prominent corporate entities in Russia and their U.S. counterparts concerning the application of U.S. sectoral sanctions on Russia.
  • Providing compliance advise and seeking specific licenses from OFAC in relation to (i) the export of medical equipment and supplies from the U.S. to Iran, (ii) the establishment and operation of an educational institution of higher learning in Iran, (ii) a proposed movie production based on a best-selling book about Iran, (iii) a major exhibition of Iranian art in the U.S., and (iv) the sale of commercial or personal properties in Iran.
  • Representation of clients seeking specific licenses from OFAC for the release of blocked funds and other properties involved in transactions relating to entities in Iran and Russia.
  • Providing compliance advice to European entities concerning the application of secondary U.S. sanctions on Iran, as well as U.S. export control regulations relating to the sale and export of U.S. origin goods to sanctioned countries or entities.
  • Providing compliance advice concerning proposed commercial transactions with Iran by foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies pursuant to General License H issued by OFAC in January 2016.
  • Providing compliance advice concerning transactions for the import of food, carpets, and other goods from Iran to the U.S.

Having practiced law for over twenty years, Mr. Hoghooghi has also represented clients on a wide range of domestic and international commercial and corporate matters. He has been involved in the structuring of corporate entities and joint ventures, as well as the drafting and negotiation of organizational, governance and equity documents. He has acted as counsel to Fortune 500 companies and small to medium size businesses in connection with the acquisition or sale of a variety of business entities or commercial assets, as well as the structuring and development of projects, including major domestic and international infrastructure and power projects. He has represented borrowers as well as lenders in connection with the financing of major projects by commercial banks and export credit agencies, drafting and negotiating Credit Agreements and other loan and security documents. A structural engineer by training and previously a practicing licensed professional engineer, he has also had extensive experience with engineering projects and construction law issues. Finally, his practice includes cross-border investment and trade. Babak’s corporate and transactional experiences have included:

  • Representing Caribbean and European clients in connection with the establishment and operation of non-profit corporations in the U.S.
  • Representing Indian company in connection with its establishment of a subsidiary and business presence in the U.S.
  • Representing real estate development companies in connection with the structuring and debt financing of major commercial projects in the Eastern United States.
  • Representing U.S. entity in connection with its investment in and operation of a transportation project in a West African country.
  • Representing Enron as lead counsel in connection with the sale of its majority ownership interest in the 2,450 MW Dabhol Project in India to two major U.S. companies that were its minority equity partners.
  • Representing major financial institutions as lead counsel in the $400 million portfolio financing of two power projects developed by a major U.S. utility company. (Selected as the Power Deal of the Year for the Americas by Project Finance International, and the Power Portfolio Deal of the Year by Euromoney Project Finance)
  • Representing major U.S. utility company as lead counsel in its $390 million portfolio financing of six power plants in the Eastern United States.
  • Representing Dabhol Power Company in connection with the $1.8 billion financing of Phase II of the 2,450 MW power plant and LNG regasification facility in Dabhol, India.  (Selected as the 1999 Asia Power Deal of the Year by Project Finance)

Having earned his law degree from Georgetown University, Mr. Hoghooghi practiced at the law firm of Skadden Arps for more than 12 years. Subsequently, he co-founded and was the first Executive Director of PAAIA, a non-profit educational and advocacy group representing the Iranian American community. Before joining Berliner Corcoran & Rowe, Babak was Lead Counsel at Clearspire Law Company. Mr. Hoghooghi was also a founding Board Member and the first President of the Iranian American Bar Association for five years, beginning in 2000.

Mr. Hoghooghi is admitted to the Bar in the State of New York and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Sections on Business Law and International Law, and Forum on Construction Law), the New York State and District of Columbia Bar Associations, and the International Bar Association.

Before entering law school, Mr. Hoghooghi received a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and worked as a licensed professional engineer (PE) at the Ralph M Parsons Company in Pasadena, California for four years. He is fluent in spoken and written Persian (Farsi).

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