Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Education

  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1996
  • M. Phil., International Relations, Cambridge University, 1993
  • B.A., University of Michigan, 1992
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Alexander W. Koff

Partner

Alex Koff is a partner in Venable’s Corporate and International Groups. His practice focuses on international trade, trade policy, and the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. He handles complex business transactions, regulatory matters, as well as arbitration and litigation. He serves as general counsel to U.S. companies and foreign subsidiaries in the United States, and he serves as special counsel to other attorneys on international issues.

Mr. Koff counsels clients across a number of industries and technologies. His work spans most of the world, including Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. His clients range from entrepreneurs to large, publicly-traded corporations. He also advises governments on implementation and enforcement of international obligations. His experience covers all aspects of international law, and he has lived abroad in both Europe and Asia. He resided in Vietnam as Legal Advisor to a U.S.-funded grant helping implement the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement from January to December 2000. Prior government and NGO experience includes working in the legal offices of the U.S. National Security Council (in Washington, D.C.), the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (in Geneva, Switzerland), the U.S. Agency for International Development (in Washington, D.C.), and the United Nations (in New York).

Representative Matters

International Litigation and Trade Policy

Drawing on his experience at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and as member of the U.S. Delegation to the WTO, Mr. Koff advises companies, trade associations and governments on the use of WTO, NAFTA, and other treaty-based trade and investment rules to open markets and resolve disputes. Examples include:

  • Representation of Canadian company in $970 million NAFTA Chapter 11 investor-state arbitration concerning fuel additive for the energy sector.
  • Representation of U.S. electronics manufacturer in AAA International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) action involving Swiss entity and brought against Indian entities regarding payment dispute with distributor.
  • Representation of the United States in dispute settlement consultations and submissions concerning various issues ranging from automobile parts to inspection and testing measures brought by Japan, South Korea, and others. Negotiate ethical and other rules governing the WTO for the United States.
  • Representation of the United States in the first case to reach the WTO appellate body brought by Brazil and Venezuela concerning measures affecting the sale of reformulated gasoline (RFG) in the United States.
  • Representation of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer in first-ever subsidies dispute argued before the WTO appellate body concerning financing and export credit rules Representation of large civil aircraft manufacturer in WTO dispute settlement issues concerning prohibited subsidies and WTO obligations.
  • Representation of a global telecommunications services supplier in WTO dispute settlement proceedings to combat unfair conditions of competition in Mexico.
  • Representation of pharmaceutical company as complainant in trade secret investigation in India and Austria brought under 19 U.S.C. 1337 (Section 337).
  • Representation of Chinese semiconductor chip manufacturer as respondent in Section 337 investigation.
  • Served as principal investigator of an independent study examining the "TRIPS-Plus" provisions of the 14 free trade agreements (FTAs) signed and implemented by the United States between 1995 and 2010. The study combines both an econometric analysis using a panel of 233 countries over eight years as well as over 130 on-site interviews in seven countries. Presented the study's findings at the WTO.

International Trade and Compliance

Mr. Koff has extensive experience advising clients concerning international trade and export compliance issues, including antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguards investigations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) concerning U.S. anti-bribery rules, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Examples include:
  • Representation of Chinese respondents in three of the seven Section 421 safeguards cases litigated in the United States, namely industries involving wire garment hangers, ductile iron waterworks fittings, and brake drums and rotors.
  • Representation of various respondents in antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations in various industries as well as U.S. importers concerning the impact of AD/CVD orders, including before the ITC, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), and the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT).
  • Representation of international humanitarian non-governmental organization (NGO) with $500 million budget and operations in over 90 countries with decentralized organizational structure regarding ITAR, EAR, OFAC, and FCPA compliance and the institution of a comprehensive, organization-wide internal compliance program.
  • Representation of 100-year old Colombian company and exclusive distributor for major U.S. brand concerning OFAC's Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions Regulations
  • Representation of major sports company concerning implementation of FCPA policy, compliance, and best practices.
  • Representation of large entity in the oil and gas industry in CFIUS matter.
  • Representation of European sub-sea construction company that lays pipeline for large oil and gas companies in ultra-deep water on maritime and Jones Act issues related to the operation of their vessels, letters of exemption from the U.S. Coast Guard, and installation and decommissioning of oil platforms in U.S. territorial waters and over the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

International and Corporate

Preferring long-term client relationships where he helps to identify legal solutions and strategies to drive revenue, Mr. Koff acts regularly as General Counsel to public and private companies as well as entrepreneurs. He assists also with all steps from corporate formation through sale of the company. Examples include:
  • Representation of U.S. subsidiary of $14 billion publicly-traded Japanese corporation involved in technology and digital imaging solutions.
  • Representation as worldwide IP counsel for open source Content Management System (CMS) which is estimated to run 2.7 percent of the Web.

Activities

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Mr. Koff to the Maryland/Washington, D.C. District Export Council, where he most recently served as its chair. He serves as chair of the International Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), where he most recently chaired a Task Force examining whether non-U.S. qualified lawyers should be permitted to practice as “foreign legal consultants” in Maryland (report adopted by the MSBA Board of Governors on September 15, 2016). Active in his community, Mr. Koff serves on several boards and advisory councils. He serves as a trustee and board member of the Enoch Pratt Free Library System, which serves as the Maryland State Library Resource Center and public library for the City of Baltimore (with a central library currently undergoing a $US 100 million renovation and 22 individual branches). He is also on the Advisory Board of Jhpiego, an international nonprofit health organization operating in over 155 countries and dedicated to improving the health of women and families in developing countries. He has been appointed by the governor of Maryland to serve on the board for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, and from 2013 to 2015, he was appointed to the Governor's International Advisory Council to provide strategic direction on ways to enhance Maryland's global profile. He served as an elected at-large member of the Executive Committee for the ITC Trial Lawyers Association for three years (2014 to 2016) as well as its membership chair for many years. Mr. Koff has also served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School's Creative and Innovative Economy Center and the University of Baltimore School of Law.