Cecil Hunt



Cecil Hunt is of counsel to the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.  The focus of his practice is on national security and foreign policy related governmental requirements affecting global business operations, such as export controls, economic sanctions, national security review of foreign acquisition of U.S. firms, and the U.S. anti-boycott regulations.  In this practice, he has provided advice to companies on compliance issues, guidance in internal investigations, representation before government agencies, and defense in enforcement proceedings.

A few highlights:

  • He led a company’s fight against a flawed regulatory interpretation and enforcement action that threatened to put the client company out of business, ending with the agency’s revision and reversal of the regulation.
  • He made a presentation to the President’s Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration calling for elimination of certain outdated and ineffective export documentation requirements that placed a broad and unnecessary burden on U.S. exporters. The Department of Commerce thereafter largely eliminated these requirements.
  • U.S. export controls include complex rules on access that foreign nationals may be given to controlled technology or data, within the U.S. or elsewhere. Mr. Hunt’s deep knowledge of the “deemed export” rules has been applied to help client companies be compliant without undue burden on operations and to deal with inquiries by licensing and enforcement officials.

Mr. Hunt joined the firm from the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he served as Assistant General Counsel for International Trade and Deputy Chief Counsel for Export Administration.  His work as counsel to the International Trade Administration included advising the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in the drafting of foreign investment review rules.  He was the senior career lawyer for what is now the Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, serving for extended periods as Acting Chief Counsel.  Mr. Hunt received the Commerce Gold Medal for his role in the restructuring and rewriting of the Export Administration Regulations in the mid-1990s.

Before serving in the Department of Commerce, Mr. Hunt was counsel to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, helping draft the legislation that established this innovative government-owned institution.  Given line responsibility for handling claims against OPIC under political risk insurance, Mr. Hunt developed claims handling and recovery measures that enabled OPIC to cope with the hundreds of millions of dollars of expropriation insurance claims in its early years.  Following his extended intermittent service as Acting General Counsel, the OPIC Board named Mr. Hunt Vice President and General Counsel, a position that he later resigned to make way for a political appointee.

Mr. Hunt has served as chairman of the International Law Section of the District of Columbia Bar and on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.  He has been awarded an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. His extensive lecturing activity has included service on the faculty of the ALI-ABA program Fundamentals of International Business Transactions and as founder and long-time co-chair of the annual PLI program on export controls.

Mr. Hunt received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his law degree from the university’s Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was an editor of the California Law Review.  Mr. Hunt is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and a retired member of the California Bar.


University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D.

University of California, Berkeley, B.A.



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