Timothy B. Mills is founder and managing partner of Asia and Middle East International Law Group P.C. (the “Firm”) As the Firm’s senior executive, Mr. Mills brings to bear more than 30 years’ experience in international business development, cross-border investments and complex cross-border commercial and white collar criminal disputes (and their resolutions). Specifically, the Firm provides advice and expertise at the highest levels to enterprises across the globe involved in intricate international business and investment transactions, as well as in complex, high-stakes cross-border commercial civil disputes typically involving claims ranging from $5 million to hundreds of millions of dollars and defense of cross-border white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions involving the extraterritorial application of U.S. laws to foreign enterprises in the areas of U.N and U.S. sanctions (particularly those directed at entities illegally involved in trading with Iran, Syria and North Korea), bribery, corruption, money laundering and U.S. export control laws. Mr. Mills has represented clients in litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, most of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Canada, the High Court of England & Wales (Queens Bench Division), courts in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, as well as before arbitral tribunals in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Mr. Mills founded Asia and Middle East International Law Group as a specialized international law firm with the purpose of providing advice and expertise at the highest levels to enterprises across the globe involved in intricate international business and investment transactions, as well as in complex, high-stakes cross-border dispute civil and criminal disputes.
Mr. Mills provides highly effective representation to clients in cross-border matters involving regulatory actions by the various agencies of the U.S. Government Executive Branch under the direction of the President of the United States and his Cabinet Officers, with an emphasis on national security, cross-border compliance with U.S. laws (including economic sanctions), technology, foreign direct investment, U.S governmental investigations and enforcement actions. In achieving extraordinary results for his clients, Mr. Mills and the Firm navigates the juncture between business, law and government, and draw on and manage the resources of the best legal talent in over 50 leading law firms internationally, as well as 20 law firms throughout the United States.
Mr. Mills’ expertise on issues of U.S. national security and defense issues is born of more than 23 years of service as a legal officer within the U.S. national security community. Simultaneously with his private practice of law, Mr. Mills served as an attorney/commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, where he rose to the position of a senior international law officer within the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, with responsibility for critical legal aspects of post conflict restoration of civil authority, particularly with respect to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, settlement of the Kosovo conflict, and post-conflict restoration of civil authority in Iraq following the end of the Saddam Hussein regime. Mr. Mills retired from the Army Reserve in Spring 2011 (after completing over 39 years of combined active Army and USAR service) with the rank of senior Lieutenant Colonel.
U.S. and International Economic Sanctions Practice
Mr. Mills represents foreign and U.S. corporations, financial institutions, exporters, insurers and investors in U.S. and international sanctions matters within the jurisdiction of the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the United States Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the U.S. State Department Office of Economic Sanctions Policy and Implementation, the U.S. State Department Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) National Security Division.
Client representations on OFAC matters include:
● applications for OFAC general and specific licenses to engage in otherwise prohibited transactions;
● responding to OFAC inquiries and investigations into potential violations of U.S. sanctions laws by international companies that appear to be in violations of U.N. and U.S. sanctions (typically as a consequence of appearing to transact prohibited business with Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Venezuela);
● at clients’ request and direction, conducting corporate internal investigations to provide corporate senior management and boards of directors with a clear picture of events for purposes of sanctions risk determination and response (including remedial measures and compliance);
● response to OFAC administrative subpoenas and US Justice Department (DoJ) grand jury subpoenas for corporate records relevant to potential sanctions violations;
● at clients’ requests, preparation and submission of client reporting and voluntary self-disclosures to OFAC of apparent sanctions violations;
● advocacy before OFAC for removal of client corporations and individuals from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List;
● develop and implement sector-specific OFAC compliance programs for U.S. and international businesses; and
● provide counseling on cutting-edge OFAC-related matters, including compliance with and risks of violations of primary and secondary sanctions arising from new and renewed OFAC sanctions programs, particularly involving Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela.
Client representations on BIS matters include:
● providing compliance advice and counsel to U.S. and international corporations on newly-imposed export restrictions on U.S. dual use technology (particularly critically-sensitive information technology (IT);
● counseling international corporations on re-export restrictions concerning US technology (particularly technology embedded in foreign-manufactured end products), particularly to countries or end users prohibited by U.S. export laws;
● advice and counsel on client responses to BIS inquiries, investigations and enforcement actions;
● negotiating and reaching resolution of BIS enforcement actions (including export restrictions imposed by BIS by virtue of BIS listing a corporation or an individual on the BIS “Denied Persons List”, “Entity List” and “Unverified List”) through binding administrative settlement agreements between BIS and the affected corporate entities; and
● advice, counsel and monitoring of implementation and compliance with BIS settlements.
Mr. Mills’ advice, counsel and representation on OFAC and BIS matters is highly sought by corporations and investors. As a consequence, most recently Mr. Mills has provided advice and commentary concerning the following areas of OFAC and BIS concern:
North Korea Sanctions:
● Advice and counsel concerning the order of a U.S. District Court Judge in Washington, D.C. that banks must comply with U.S. subpoenas (issued under the U.S. Patriot Act)for customer records relevant to a U.S. criminal investigation of a Hong Kong-registered front company to conduct more than $100 million in prohibited U.S. financial transactions on behalf of a North Korean bank to finance North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
● Advice and counsel concerning OFAC’s imposition of sanctions in May 2019 on Dalian Haibo International Freight Co. Ltd and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co. Ltd on grounds that each company assisted North Korea evade UN and U.S. sanctions.
● Advice and counsel concerning OFAC’s imposition of secondary sanctions in August 2017 against Chinese and Russian entities, for trading with North Korea and acting as a front company for a North Korean bank.
● Advice and counsel to international corporations and financial institutions in Europe and the Middle East concerning compliance with re-imposed U.S. secondary sanctions on Iran following the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
● Advice and counsel to an international corporation involved in a long-term project in Iran concerning complex re-adjustments of the project’s supply chain necessary to avoid disruption to the project from the then-forthcoming U.S. re-imposition of Iran secondary sanctions.
● Advice, counsel and representation before OFAC of a non-U.S. international manufacturing corporation that had been listed by OFAC as an SDN as a consequence of contractual dealings with the Government of Syria following the imposition of UN and U.S. sanctions, for the purpose of reaching settlement and removal from the SDN list.
BIS Denied Persons and Entity Lists/Enforcement Actions
● Advice, counsel to investors concerning bases and legal merits of BIS enforcement actions against Zhongxing New Telecommunications Equipment Co Ltd. (“ZTE”), potential for resolution, effect on ZTE corporate governance and enterprise value.
● Advice, counsel to investors concerning bases and legal merits of U.S. Justice Department and BIS enforcement actions against Huawei, potential for resolution, effect on Huawei corporate governance and enterprise value.
For more than 20 years, Mr. Mills has been involved in the successful representation of foreign clients involved in merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions in the United States that trigger review and potential disapproval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Mr. Mills’ CFIUS practice involves providing counsel to purchasers, sellers, minority investors, financial institutions, private equity consortia and other institutional investors, to identify and address likely CFIUS issues at the outset of contemplated transactions so as to reduce the likelihood of a CFIUS investigation and mitigation demands or disapproval of the transaction.
CFIUS review and approval is particularly critical in transactions in the realms of defense, homeland security, law enforcement, intelligence, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, semiconductor and high technology manufacturing processes, telecommunications, and assets subject to U.S. export controls.
Mr. Mills’ experience with the CFIUS process provides him with deep knowledge of issues of concern to the CFIUS principals and the actions to take in advance of. and during, CFIUS review and investigation to alleviate those concerns. In CFIUS matters, the Firm functions seamlessly as an integral part of the client’s M&A/investment legal team.
Mr. Mills has successfully advised investors on CFIUS review of such transactions. He has conducted multiple assessments and advised M&A clients of the risk of CFIUS finding that national security issues merit a foreign M&A/investment transactioneither being subjected to a CFIUS investigation or being subjected to CFIUS-mandated measures to mitigate national security concerns.
Cross-Border White Collar Criminal Defense, Serious Financial Fraud, Corporate Internal Investigations, Corporate Due Diligence, Corporate Compliance
Mr. Mills has over 40 years’ experience in cross-border financial and corporate due diligence, stemming from his exceptional experience in the field of white collar criminal defense of major corporations, shareholders, officers and directors.
In the realm of serious financial fraud, white collar criminal defense, and Government civil and criminal enforcement investigations, Mr. Mills’ expertise extends to the most complex and highs stakes areas, inclusive of:
● Defense of investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. securities exchanges (i.e., NYSE, NASDAQ) and the U.S. Justice Department into the conduct of publicly-listed companies – including alleged fraud and bookkeeping violations;
● U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Anti-Bribery Act and the European Anti-Corruption Conventions;
● U.S. Anti-Kickback Act;
● Defense of U.S. Government criminal grand jury investigations and prosecutions of contractors and their employees;
● Defense and prosecution of civil False Claims Act qui tam cases brought in U.S. federal courts;
● Advice and counsel to corporate management when the possibility of misconduct is discovered or substantiated and assisting corporate entities and individuals to resolve the potential exposures (whether administrative, civil or criminal) through dealings with appropriate governmental authorities);
● Defense of major civil and criminal investigations by the U.S. Government, foreign governments and international organizations relating to alleged misconduct by corporations and their officers and directors; and
● Defense of audits by the U.S. Government, foreign sovereigns and international organizations.
Mr. Mills has world-class experience in advising corporate clients on the establishment and operation of corporate compliance programs that reduce or eliminate the likelihood of both U.S. and non-U.S. corporations violating U.S. and international laws and regulations applicable to an organization’s business activities. (Corporate compliance involves the design, implementation, and monitoring of effective policies, programs, procedures and practices surrounding compliance by an organization and its employees and other representatives with legal and regulatory requirements applicable to the organization’s business activities as well as detection of potential violations of these legal and regulatory requirements by an organization’s employees and other representatives. Corporate compliance also encompasses internal policies and procedures adopted by organizations to minimize risk to the organization and ensure ethical behavior and personal conduct by the organization’s employees and other representatives.)
A successful program demands the timely reporting of potential violations of the program to appropriate leaders within the organization and the prompt handling of those apparent violations through corporate internal investigation by qualified U.S. legal counsel. Mr. Mills has over 20,000 hours of professional experience in conducting relevant corporate internal investigations.
Compliance programs previously designed by Mr. Mills on behalf of Fortune 1000 corporations have been reviewed and approved by appropriate agencies of the U.S. Government, including the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Treasury.
The Firm is expert is designing and supervising the implementation of industry-specific custom compliance programs that are appropriate in light of an organization’s size, form of entity, operational focus, complexity, management structure, and breadth of operations. As well, the Firm is expert in identifying appropriate measures to instill a top-down leadership culture within an organization that fosters adherence to the compliance program at all levels.
Complex International and National Civil Dispute Resolution
Mr. Mills possess decades of experience and are highly expert in litigating, arbitrating and resolving the most complex, very high-value cross-border (international) State-to-State and commercial controversies and claims, as well as high- and medium-value business disputes that arise in a national (domestic) context, and in cross-border enforcement of judgments, particularly in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Cross-Border and National Litigation
From 2007 through 2014, Mr. Mills was designated by His Excellency (HE) the Prime Minister of Iraq and the various HE Ministers of Justice of the Republic of Iraq to serve as the senior international legal advisor of choice with respect to the most critical international legal disputes (of the character of State-to-State as well as commercial disputes) facing the Government of Iraq. In this capacity, from 2008 through early 2013 Mr. Mills served as the senior international legal advisor in defense of Iraq and Iraqi Airways in the international litigation of the Kuwait Airways Corporation v. Iraqi Airways Company case before courts in Canada, London and throughout Europe and the Middle East, as well as in the settlement negotiations that ultimately settled the dispute on a State-to-State basis, reducing the international judgment liability against Iraqi Airways Company from $1.2 billion to the settlement amount of $500 million.
From 2004 through present, Mr. Mills has represented the Republic of Iraq, its Ministries and State-Owned Enterprises in litigation in U.S. Courts. Mr. Mills defended Iraq against of Saddam-era terrorism claims totaling more than $1 billion, which were extinguished by Mr. Mills strategizing and prosecuting litigation up to the Supreme Court of the United States, obtaining a 9-0 decision in favor of Iraq in the cases of Simon-Seyam v. Iraq.
Mr. Mills also has handled and successfully resolved approximately more than 100 international civil commercial controversies between enterprises in the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia, arising out of contractual relationships, unfair competition claims, alleged anti-trust and anti-corruption violations, including through litigation in courts in the U.S,, European Union and Middle Eastern countries.
Arbitration and Arbitration Enforcement
Mr. Mills also has been involved in and successfully resolved more than 40 matters of controversy arising out of arbitration proceedings conducted and awards made by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”), the London Court of International Arbitration (‘LCIA”) and the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”).
With respect to arbitration enforcement, Mr. Mills has been involved in both obtaining and defending against enforcement of arbitration awards in more than 20 arbitration award recognition and enforcement proceedings in 15 different international jurisdictions.
COMPLEX CROSS-BORDER CIVIL LITIGATION
Beaty and Simon-Seyam v. Republic of Iraq et al.(United States Supreme Court)
Lead Counsel for Petitioner Republic of Iraq: Timothy B. Mills
Architect of Merits Brief and Oral Argument: Timothy B. Mills
Co-Counsel Selected by Mr. Mills: Fulbright & Jaworski, Washington, D.C.
Amount in Controversy: More than $1.2 billion(all related casesin which Mr. Mills was lead counsel for Iraq):
Types of Claims:
Saddam-era “State Sponsor of Terrorism” claims against Iraq by American citizens taken hostage by the Saddam Hussein forces during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the 1991 liberation by U.S. and Coalition forces and the aftermath
Prior Litigation Leading to Supreme Court Review:
More than 20 cases active for more than 9 years in the U.S. Federal Courts. All prior rulings uniformly held that jurisdiction existed in U.S. Courts for the State-Sponsor of Terrorism claims against Iraq, notwithstanding that U.S. foreign sovereign immunity law prohibited the exercise of jurisdiction of these types of claims forall States except those listed by the President of the United States on the “State Sponsor of Terrorism List” (from which Iraq had been removed in June 2003).
Did the U.S. Congress legislatively authorize President George W. Bush to restore the foreign sovereign immunity of Iraq against all such claims following the military removal of the Saddam Hussein regime as the Government of Iraq in 2003 by the U.S.-led coalition?
Unanimous (9-0) decision in favor of Iraq (opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia), permanently extinguishing all such claims (more than $1.2 billion) pending in U.S. Courts.
Kuwait Airways Corporation v. Iraqi Airways Company Worldwide Litigation
(High Court of England and Wales, Queens Bench Division longest running commercial litigation in the history of the English High Court Superior and Appellate Courts of the Province of Quebec, Canada and Supreme Court of Canada Court of First Instance, Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Court of First Instance, Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt Court of First Instance, Beirut, Lebanon Commercial Court, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Commercial Court, Dusseldorf, Germany Commercial Court, Malmo, Sweden)
Lead Counsel for Defendant Iraqi Airways Company: Timothy B. Mills
Architect of Defense: Timothy B. Mills
Opposing Counsel: More than 50 attorneys from the largest, most powerful litigation law firms in England, Canada, Europe and the Middle East
Amount in Controversy: More than $1.5 billion
Types of Claims:
International enforcement of judgments of the High Court of England and Wales in favor of Kuwait Airways Corporation (Kuwait Airways) and against Iraqi Airways Company (“Iraqi Airways”) in an amount in excess of $1.5 billion arising out of the 1999 theft by Iraqi Airways of the entire commercial aircraft fleet of Kuwait Airways immediately following the former Saddam Hussein regime’s August 1999 military invasion of Kuwait.
Are the assets of the Republic of Iraq subject to seizure by the Courts of various jurisdictions to satisfy the judgment of the English and Wales High Court against Iraqi Airways, when the judgment is against Iraqi Airways (an Iraqi State-owned enterprise) which is a separate juridical person from the Republic of Iraq?
Special Advocacy Activities:
Lead counsel for Iraqi Airways in defense of Kuwait Airways judgment enforcement legal actions in Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Developed and supervised defense legal team of more than 30 attorneys from more than 7 world-class law firms in more than 10 jurisdictions.
Lead international settlement counsel advising the Legal Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq in settlement negotiations that resolved the claims and related Iraq-Kuwait State-to-State issues upon the approval of the Parliament and Head of State of Kuwait and the Parliament and Prime Minister of Iraq.
Favorable negotiated settlement of $500 million by Iraq and Iraqi Airways (against a judgment value of $1.5 billion), settling all claims and resolving State-to-State issues or more than 22 years duration between Iraqi and Kuwait.
In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001(U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York)
Lead Counsel for Defendant Republic of Iraq: Timothy B. Mills
Architect of Defense: Timothy B. Mills
Opposing Counsel: More than 200 attorneys from the largest, most powerful litigation law firms in the United States
Amount in Controversy: More than $1 billion
Types of Claims:
Allegations against the Republic of Iraq by families of persons killed and injured and property owners suffering loss in the September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks by Al Qaeda on the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. (the “9-11 Attacks”). Theory of claims: factual allegations – based on initial U.S. Government reports, including the public statements of then-U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney – that the regime of then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein provided material assistance to Al Qaeda in Al Qaeda’s planning and carrying out the 9-11 Attacks.
Did the Republic of Iraq under the former Saddam Hussein regime provide material support to Al Qaeda in Al Qaeda’s planning and carrying out the 9-11 Attacks.
Corporate Internal Investigations and Criminal Defense
In addition to the foregoing, Mr. Mills has conducted tens of thousands of hours of corporate internal investigations and criminal defense of financial audits and fraud allegations brought by executive branch agencies of the U.S. Government, including, the U.S. Defense Department, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Mr. Mills’ clients have included:
● Northrup Grumann Corporation, a Fortune World 300 Company
● Honeywell Aerospace and Defense, a division of Honeywell Corporation a Fortune 100 Company
● Compass Group International, a Fortune World 400 Company
● Defendant corporations, officers and directors in the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of bribes paid to the former Saddam Hussein regime in the United Nations Oil for Food Programme scandal, in violation of UN and U.S. sanctions laws and accounting laws applicable to publicly-traded companies
● British military aviation manufacturer Hunting PLC
● Valentec International Corporation and Valentec Systems Inc., privately-held U.S.munitions manufacturers/suppliers to U.S Department of Defense and various Ministries of Defense
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States v. Saavides & Partners/PKF Cyrpus
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; SEC Administrative Proceeding
Lead Counsel for Defendant Saavides& Partners/PKF Cyprus: Timothy B. Mills
Local Counsel: Mark Powers, Baker & Hostetler, New York City
Architect of Legal Defense and Author of All Legal Materials: Timothy B. Mills
Amount in Controversy: More than $1 million
Types of Claims:
Securities fraud by AremisSoft Corporation (“AremisSoft”) and its Cyprus subsidiaries, consisting of the booking of false/non-existent customer accounts, resulting in the financial statements of AremisSoft Corporation falsely reporting more than $3 million in annual revenue when in fact AremisSoft and its subsidiaries has virtually no assets, business revenues, or income, and, according to its own records, had not even begun business operations until three months after the close of that year.
Accounting fraud by Saavides & Partners/PKF Cyprus (a member of PKF International Ltd., a network of independent firms of accountants and business advisors with more than 430 offices and 12,800 staff and partners in more than 100 countries). The SEC alleged that PKF Cyprus issued false unqualified audit reports for one AremisSoft subsidiary in 1999 and two AremisSoft subsidiaries in 2000 that falsely stated that its audits were conducted in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (“GAAS”) and that the AremisSoft subsidiaries’ financial statements were fairly presented in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”).
Whether PKF Cyprus had a reasonable basis for issuing the unqualified audit reports for AremisSoft subsidiaries stating that its audits were conducted in accordance with U.S. GAAS and that the AremisSoft subsidiaries’ financial statements were fairly presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
Special Advocacy Activities:
As lead counsel, Mr. Mills was: (1) was lead investigator in the defense of PKF/Cyprus, overseeing all investigative activity on behalf of PKF/Cyprus in Cyprus and the United States, including the activities of specially-hired forensic accountants; (2) lead negotiator with the SEC Enforcement Division, Washington, D.C.
Result:Favorable negotiated settlement: $261,565 total in civil penalties, disgorgement and prejudgment interest. Undertakings to comply with U.S. Securities laws.
- 1986, California
- 1986, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- 1990, U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- 1994, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- 1995, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. Military Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Fourth District of Columbia Circuits
- U.S. Supreme Court
Law School Attended
- University of California, Hastings College of Law, Class of 1986, J.D.
- University of California, Santa Cruz, Class of 1982, M.A.
- University of California, Santa Cruz, Class of 1980, B.A.
- Long Beach, California, February 18, 1951