Ross Evans is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie's Competition, Trade and Foreign Investment Department in London. He is a highly regarded advisor on sanctions, export controls, and foreign investment and national security laws, with particularly deep expertise in the technology, media and telecoms sector, and in relation to cryptography and cybersecurity, data infrastructure, AI, and key advanced and emerging technologies.
Ross advises clients on the challenges and opportunities arising from geopolitical developments and risks, and on strategies and responses to the increased deployment of sanctions, trade controls and foreign investment laws by governments to achieve their foreign policy and industrial strategy goals. He works closely with many US, UK and global technology and telecoms businesses, engineering and research businesses, financial institutions, investors and funds, as well as governments and trade associations. Ross is a trusted advisor to the industry and regularly speaks at industry and trade association events and meetings (including techUK and DigitalEurope).
Ross trained with the firm in London but has also worked in Singapore and Stockholm. He has completed two secondments to the international trade team at a global technology company, working in London and in California.
Ross's practice is centred around supporting businesses with the evolving challenges in international trade (sanctions and export controls), foreign investment and national security law. This practice covers government/regulatory engagement (including licencing, audits/enforcement and investigations), transactional advice and securing FDI clearances, and compliance risk assessment, policy and strategy.
He has considerable experience supporting clients with complex sanctions analysis and trade/export control classifications, including the application of controls concerning goods and equipment, technology, technical assistance, brokering and financial services; as well as managing financial sanctions due diligence. He has successfully helped many clients to apply for and secure licences from the UK Department for Business and Trade (formerly DIT and BEIS), HM Treasury, and other competent authorities in respect of sanctions developments, urgent business requirements, and in relation to important transactions and divestments.
Representative Legal Matters
International Trade, Sanctions, Export Controls
- Advising a leading global technology business/holding company on cross-border export control and sanctions matters, including in connection with data infrastructure, cloud services and SaaS, emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, consumer electronics and telecoms; and managing the impact of sanctions developments relating to Russia.
- Advising an S&P 100 technology-focussed consultancy/professional services business across a wide range of trade matters, including technology and services-focussed trade sanctions measures, financial sanctions, export controls, trade compliance policies and procedures, and licence applications and other engagement with national authorities; and advising on the divestment of its Russian operations through a local management buyout.
- Representing an S&P 100 multinational technology corporation on UK and EU export controls matters and developments, including internal investigations and regulator facing matters, and advising on UK and EU export control and sanctions restrictions relating to software distribution and licencing, services, and support.
- Advising major multinational financial services business (including FTSE 100 and S&P 100 listed banks) on sanctions and export control matters including internal investigations and voluntary disclosures, engagement with authorities, and on sanctions considerations in connection with divestments/exits from Russia, and securing licences and authorisation from authorities to support exit plans.
- Advising multiple leading tech/fintech businesses on export and sanctions compliance matters, reporting and compliance, and regulatory engagement in relation to financial services and payments technologies.
- Assisted several international NGOs with trade and financial sanctions matters, including securing licences and authorisations, supporting on policy, training, and investigations, and strategic and operational guidance on humanitarian work in high risk areas; further supported NGOs and the humanitarian sector in pushing for adoption of humanitarian work exemptions in sanctions regimes at national and international/UN level.
Foreign Investment and National Security
- Supported a major global technology business and holding company on multiple aspects of, and matters in connection, with UK foreign investment review and the National Security and Investment Act (NSIA), including engagement with industry and government consultation, and supporting strategic assessments relating to the new regime in key areas (artificial intelligence, communications, fibre/networks).
- Advised on foreign investment and national security assessments and clearances in connection with high-profile transactions relating to technology/cybersecurity businesses, including (i) advising a leading cybersecurity business in connection with the USD 4 billion divestment of its enterprise security arm to a private equity group and on the USD 14 billion consortium buyout of its business; (ii) advising a further multinational cybersecurity business on global foreign investment review and national security clearances in connection with a USD >1 billion spin out of its products business to private equity consortium.
- Advising on foreign investment clearances relating to communications, data infrastructure and cloud services/data analytics related deals, including advising (i) a major multinational telecommunications, connectivity and data infrastructure business on key strategic transactions in connection with its data centre business, (ii) a leading colocation data centre and connectivity business on the NSIA and application to investment and growth plans for UK and European data centre operations (and related transactions), (iii) global data and analytics company on UK foreign investment regime aspects of its USD 16 billion sale to private equity consortium.
- Advised a major European engineering company on securing clearance under the National Security and Investment Act for the EUR 1.6 billion divestment of a technology/transport infrastructure business to a Japanese conglomerate.
- Advised on multiple transactions concerning chip/semiconductor businesses, including (i) representing parties in front of the Investment Security Unit and UK Government stakeholders (including in connection with financial investments, business transfers, and technology licences called-in for review under the NSIA), and (ii) advising a global semiconductor company on UK foreign investment and national security analysis in relation to the business integration of a >USD 18 billion B2B and security software business.
- Consulted by the UK government to provide expertise in connection with mandatory sector definitions for sensitive technology businesses.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- England & Wales~United Kingdom (2016)
- King's College London (EU Competition Law, PgDip) (2017)
- University of Law (International Legal Practice, LLM LLP) (2014)
- University of Law (Graduate Diploma in Law) (2013)
- University of Oxford (Mathematics and Philosophy, MMathPhil (Hons)) (2012)