(June 1, 2021, New York) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Dave Stetson, a former senior lawyer at the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), who’s spent nearly a decade at Goldman Sachs as the lead sanctions lawyer for the firm’s global business lines, has joined Steptoe’s International Trade and Regulatory Compliance Group as a partner. Based in the firm's New York office, Stetson will provide legal advice and lead investigations related to economic sanctions and anti-money laundering laws, and advise on other regulatory and reputational risk matters.
In government service, Stetson was an attorney-advisor in OFAC’s Office of the Chief Counsel. In that role he advised on the drafting and implementation of sanctions statutes, Executive Orders, and regulations for various US sanctions programs. He performed detailed, extensive reviews for OFAC licenses, interpretive guidance, and enforcement matters, including the then-largest OFAC civil monetary settlement ($536 million). Stetson also cooperated closely with counterparts from the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and National Security Council staff. While at Treasury, Stetson worked with current Steptoe partner Brian Egan, who later served as legal advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Stetson then served in various senior roles during his tenure at Goldman, including as vice president and associate general counsel in the Business Intelligence Group in Goldman's Legal Division, and vice president, senior regulatory advisor to Financial Crime Compliance (FCC), and global co-head of sanctions compliance in Goldman’s Global Compliance Division. In these roles he advised on Goldman's rapid compliance response to novel and complex sanctions relating to China, Russia, Venezuela and other countries. He also oversaw implementation of newly adopted New York state regulations regarding anti-money laundering and sanctions screening, served on a senior-level reputational risk vetting group, and assisted with complex cross-border customer due diligence matters. Stetson also played a leading role in assessing compliance issues arising from cryptocurrencies. During his career at Goldman, Stetson participated actively in multiple major regulatory examinations of the Goldman FCC program.
In welcoming Stetson to the firm, Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: "Dave’s skills, experience in government and business, and knowledge will complement our top-ranked sanctions practice, and will add great value to clients in the financial sector and other industry sectors seeking guidance in relation to sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance and government investigations."
Ed Krauland and Meredith Rathbone, co-chairs of Steptoe’s export controls and economic sanctions practice, added, "Dave’s stellar credentials and deep experience with sanctions and AML laws, from his time at OFAC and Goldman Sachs, will enable him to provide clients with sophisticated and practical advice. We are very excited to have Dave join us, as he will expand our team’s capabilities and enhance our service to clients. Dave will be in our New York office which is a key part of our financial services practice."
Stetson commented: "I am thrilled to be joining the Steptoe team with its unparalleled depth and breadth of expertise in international trade and regulatory compliance. Steptoe offers an ideal opportunity for me to put my experience – from my time in public service, through many years helping Goldman Sachs and its clients navigate complex sanctions issues – to work serving the firm's clients. As sanctions regulations continue to evolve in the US and around the world, and increasingly affect dealings with China, Russia, and other major economies, no one is better positioned than the Steptoe team to help clients achieve the best possible outcomes."
Steptoe has one of the largest and most experienced International Trade and Regulatory Compliance teams of any major international law firm, counting more than 40 lawyers dedicated to these matters in the United States, Europe and Asia. The team expanded its presence to Hong Kong in 2019 with the addition of a group of export controls and sanctions lawyers led by former prosecutor and Commerce Department lawyer Wendy Wysong. Steptoe's economic sanctions, export controls and international trade practices are consistently top-ranked by Chambers. The group has also achieved recognition and success in its WTO litigation practice, cross-border litigation, arbitration and investor-state dispute resolution. Named six times each to Law360’s list of International Trade Firms of the Year and Global Investigations Review's list of the top 30 firms for investigations worldwide, Steptoe was most recently awarded the China Business Law award in international trade for the eighth consecutive year. World ECR has also singled Steptoe out as the US firm of the year in both export controls and sanctions.
Stetson received a bachelor’s degree in economics and Russian from Duke University, a master’s degree in Russian Studies from Harvard University, and a law degree from Harvard where he was an executive editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, he clerked for then-Judge John Roberts on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.