Linklaters Hires Market-Leading CFIUS Lawyer

Former U.S. National Intelligence official Jonathan Gafni expands Firm’s foreign investment control capabilities as Senior Counsel and Head of U.S. Foreign Investment Practice in Washington, D.C.

Linklaters is pleased to announce that Jonathan Gafni has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as Senior Counsel and Head of U.S. Foreign Investment Practice. Jonathan will focus on representing international clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the Defense Security Service and other U.S. government authorities responsible for cross-border investment controls.

Jonathan has significant government experience having served as deputy national intelligence officer for CFIUS support at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He also led U.S. intelligence community support to the CFIUS process as a member of the Senior National Intelligence Service, where he directed the preparation of national security threat analyses of more than 500 cross-border transactions. Jonathan joins the firm from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.   

There has been a rise in global activism in the approach to foreign investment and oversight of certain types of transactions. In the U.S., new legislation—the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA)—has broadened CFIUS’ authority to review certain transactions that were traditionally outside of its purview. 

Christian Ahlborn, Linklaters’ Global Practice Head for Competition and Antitrust commented,

“A veritable ‘arms race’ towards stricter foreign investment controls is in full swing in many jurisdictions and it is having a real impact on timing and strategy for M&A deals. Jonathan brings unparalleled experience to help clients navigate the complex and increasingly unpredictable regulatory environment.”

Tom Shropshire, Global Head of Linklaters’ U.S. practice added,

“Jonathan will enhance our excellent U.S. and global corporate and competition practices and will give us greater breadth to offer fully integrated advice and assistance on potential foreign investment control risk to clients.”