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Baker Donelson Grows Global Business Practice with Addition of Senior Commerce Official in D.C. and Cross-Border Transactions Attorney in Atlanta

Baker Donelson has expanded its Global Business Team and Corporate Group with the addition of two attorneys with significant experience in international trade and transactions. P. Lee Smith, who previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement in the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, has joined as leader of the Firm's International Trade and National Security practice. Also joining is Maximilian "Max" Oehlschlaegel, an experienced cross-border transactions attorney.

Mr. Smith, who is of counsel in Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C. office, brings a wealth of government and private practice experience, including leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In his most recent role as Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement in Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, he implemented and enforced U.S. national security regulations and policy as it relates to dual-use commodities and technology controlled by Commerce. He oversaw one of the most prolific policy change periods in the agency's history. He assisted in the preparation and implementation of policy, regulations, and enforcement strategies to support these policy changes, including the Military End User rule, Foreign Direct Product rule, and entity listings related to the South China Sea, Human Rights Abuses/Forced Labor in Xinjiang, and intellectual property theft. He also helped update the enforcement portion of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) pursuant to the 2018 Export Control Reform Act.

Prior to his role at BIS, Mr. Smith served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy & Negotiations in Enforcement and Compliance in Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA). In this role, he managed the policy decisions in antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations. He led the Commerce team in multilateral engagement on steel issues at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Steel Committee, Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, and the North American Steel Trade Committee.

Mr. Smith worked closely with colleagues at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on steel, World Trade Organization (WTO), AD/CVD, and market access issues. He played an instrumental role in seeking approval for and standing up the aluminum monitoring system and expanding the steel monitoring system. He also led the ITA portion of the 232 Steel and Aluminum exclusion process. During his government service, Mr. Smith briefed Congressional staff on several trade remedy and export control issues and provided comments on numerous pieces of draft legislation.

Prior to his government service, Mr. Smith practiced in the International Trade and WTO group at an AmLaw 100 international law firm. He managed AD/CVD investigations from the petition phase to the appeals phase, including appeals to the Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and WTO.

John McJunkin, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C. office, said, "It is difficult to overstate the depth of knowledge that Lee brings, given his 17 years of international trade and national security experience. His inside understanding of international trade regulations and policy gives him a singular ability to assist businesses with compliance issues. We believe his unique insight will be invaluable to our clients looking to minimize risk and maximize potential in their global business ventures."

Mr. Oehlschlaegel, who joins as an associate in the Firm's Atlanta office, counsels domestic and international clients in a variety of areas including corporate and partnership law, cross-border transactions, mergers and acquisitions, foreign direct investment, real estate transactions, and corporate tax. As a native German who has been licensed to practice in Germany since 2014, he has experience representing national and international clients expanding globally and taking part in transactions across industry sectors. Mr. Oehlschlaegel also counsels medium and large companies, public companies, and individuals in the fields of national and international tax law. He joins one of the South's largest German-speaking cross-border transactional teams.

"Lee and Max are outstanding additions to both our Corporate Group and our Global Business Team," said Baker Donelson's Business Department Chair Tonya Mitchem Grindon. "As our clients continue to face the many challenges of the current international trade landscape, we're committed to providing them with the guidance and counsel they need to ensure their success. Lee and Max exemplify the talent, experience, and skills that our clients need and that we believe are the defining characteristics of our entire global business practice."

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