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Michael T. Gershberg
Partner - Corporate
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Michael T. Gershberg, a corporate partner resident in Fried Frank's Washington, DC office, is a member of the International Trade and Investment Practice.
Mr. Gershberg's practice focuses on the representation of foreign and domestic clients regarding the application of economic sanctions and export control laws and regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Mr. Gershberg also advises clients on their obligations under the anti-boycott and anti-money laundering rules.

Mr. Gershberg's work in the export control and economic sanctions area includes advocacy before governmental agencies, conducting internal investigations, and preparing voluntary self-disclosures and other legal submissions. He also assists clients in connection with export transactions and enforcement issues, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, economic sanctions and export control training, determining export jurisdiction and classification, developing compliance plans and providing compliance counseling, and export licensing.

Mr. Gershberg also advises clients concerning regulatory issues related to foreign investment transactions, including proceedings before the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). He represents foreign investors and U.S. sellers throughout the CFIUS process, from negotiating CFIUS risk allocation with transaction counterparties to preparing CFIUS filings and negotiating mitigation agreements. He also advises public and private companies and investment managers regarding CFIUS jurisdiction and national security risk, and prepares related provisions in M&A transaction agreements and private fund formation documents.

Mr. Gershberg is recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading individual in International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, where clients have said that he is “very responsive, knowledgeable and practical” and that “he is commercially oriented and knows his stuff.” He has also been recognized by Chambers USA in International Trade: CFIUS Experts as a Recognized Practitioner. Mr. Gershberg is also recognized by Who's Who Legal: M&A and Governance in the Foreign Investment Review Chapter, and he was named a 2019 Law360 "MVP" in International Trade. He was also a member of Law360's International Trade Editorial Advisory Board (2016-2019).

Mr. Gershberg has authored or co-authored articles that have appeared in publications including WorldECR, Law360, Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, and PaymentsCompliance. He is the Editor of the ITAR Enforcement Digest and a contributor for the CFIUS chapter of the M&A treatise Takeover Defense: Mergers and Acquisitions. He is also a co-author of Fried Frank's International Trade and Investment Alert®, which reports on significant developments regarding CFIUS, economic sanctions, export controls, and other regulatory compliance matters affecting business activities.

Prior to joining Fried Frank in 2014, Mr. Gershberg was of counsel at a large international law firm.


  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • US Court of International Trade


  • Harvard University J.D., 2003, cum laude, Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Environmental Law Review 
  • Yale University, B.A., 1999, magna cum laude

Recent Articles & Comments

November 28, 2022

OFAC appears focused on the U.S. cryptocurrency system as it continues a recent pattern of pursing enforcement actions against players in the virtual currency industry. This settlement reinforces the importance of employing both sanctions screening and IP address blocking (or other location identification tools) upon account opening and prior to processing transactions.

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November 08, 2022

In response to criticism that Tornado Cash is not an "entity" that may be sanctioned under statutory authorities, OFAC provided additional identifying information. OFAC noted that Tornado Cash's "organizational structure" consists of its founders and other developers who launched the protocol, as well as the decentralized autonomous organization ("DAO") responsible for governance.

However, OFAC has not sanctioned any of these individuals or DAO members. While OFAC may have reasonable…

September 15, 2022

This EO does not make any legal changes to the national security factors that CFIUS is authorized to, and currently does, consider. Rather, in highlighting certain contemporary concerns, the EO appears to provide the private sector with guidance for future transactions. It may also be seen as a warning to certain foreign investors seeking access to U.S. technology and personal data.

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September 14, 2022

To mitigate at least some of the confusion that surrounded OFAC's designation of Tornado Cash, OFAC issued a few discreet items of guidance. Most notably, OFAC will have a favorable licensing policy for applications to unblock virtual currency that was frozen due to the involvement of Tornado Cash. While individuals will still need to apply for a license, which is often a very slow process, at least there is a path to access the virtual currency. OFAC also confirmed that sanctions do not…