Image of Jonathan Gafni

Jonathan Gafni

Senior Counsel, Washington D.C.

“I support clients in obtaining successful outcomes in their current and future cross-border transactions that may trigger CFIUS issues. Having extensive experience both in government and private practice, I am able to provide authoritative guidance on how the U.S. government will react to proposed investments to assist clients develop clear, practical and achievable strategies to secure approvals for their investments.”

Overview

Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Overview

Jonathan advises clients in connection with national security reviews of foreign investments in U.S. businesses. He represents clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Defense Security Service and Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, as well as other U.S. government authorities responsible for cross-border investment controls. He heads the firm’s U.S. foreign investment practice.

In the past five years, Jonathan has represented clients in approximately 50 CFIUS filings, involving parties from jurisdictions including France, Singapore, Israel and Russia. He advises both companies investing in the U.S. and those whose mergers and acquisitions have a U.S. nexus.

Before moving into private practice, Jonathan accrued significant government experience, having served as deputy national intelligence officer for CFIUS support within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and, before that, as programme manager in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Jonathan also started and co-ran his own national security consultancy, where he served companies facing national security reviews by CFIUS.

Work highlights

Jonathan has advised parties across the globe on strategic and financial transactions in a variety of industries, including the aerospace and defence, infrastructure, information and communications technology, manufacturing, real estate, financial services and food sectors. Examples include advising:

  • a French professional services firm on its US$4bn acquisition of an information technology services provider
  • a U.S. fabless semiconductor company in connection with its US$6bn acquisition by a Bermuda-based semiconductor company
  • a German financial institution on its sale of a U.S. container terminal to an Australian private equity investor and a Japanese strategic investor
  • a Finland-based crane manufacturer on its US$1.3bn acquisition of a U.S.-based materials handling and port solutions business
  • a German chemical company on its US$2.5bn acquisition of a U.S. chemical manufacturer
  • a consortium of five investors on its US$11.7bn acquisition of a global portfolio of logistics properties
  • a French aerospace, defence and security company on two separate acquisitions, valued at €4.8bn and US$400m respectively, of providers of digital security solutions

Professional experience

Jonathan was a member of the interagency committee that wrote new CFIUS regulations following the 2007 amendment of the law governing CFIUS.

In both government and the private sector, Jonathan has supported the development and promotion of female colleagues. His pro bono work has included estate planning for LGBTQ and HIV-positive individuals and advising parents of adult children with developmental disabilities on the process for obtaining Supplemental Security Income benefits. He was selected to be on the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, which recognises the pro bono contributions made by members of the D.C. Bar and others authorised to perform pro bono work in the District of Columbia. He also assisted a non-violent drug offender to obtain clemency under the Obama Clemency Initiative under former President Barack Obama.

Jonathan has co-authored several articles on the implications of the CFIUS process and recent CFIUS reforms and has been cited by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Law360, as well as on Bloomberg TV and CCTV.

Education and qualifications

Jonathan studied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a Juris Doctorate from the Hastings College of the Law, University of California, an MBA in international business from Georgetown University and a master’s in strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College. He is also a certified public accountant.