Olga Torres
About

Olga Torres is the Founder and Managing Member of Torres Law and its affiliate advisory firm Torres Trade Advisory, LLC. A dynamic and experienced attorney, she regularly guides clients – businesses in the hi-tech, defense contracting, telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductor, and satellite industries as well as highly regulated technology start-ups, blue-chip investment funds, and private equity groups – through a broad range of complex strategic and regulatory trade controls and national security matters, including developing effective strategies and conducting negotiations with U.S. regulatory agencies and, when needed, other regulators around the world.

Ms. Torres works with clients to identify and respond to a variety of supply-chain risks and issues related to due diligence, foreign investment, sustainability and ESG, export control, and national security. She has particular strengths helping them create operational efficiencies, develop strategy, and keep their companies compliant and prosperous.

Clients with operations around the globe turn to Ms. Torres for assistance in ascertaining legal risks and improving legal compliance, and to manage complex investigative and administrative enforcement cases involving U.S. federal agencies. They also seek out her experience and guidance to obtain clearance of transactions that are subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and to identify and negotiate measures to mitigate Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI).

In addition to her representation of private and public companies based throughout the world, Ms. Torres also advises the U.S. Department of State on defense trade matters as part of her appointment, by the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, to the Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG).

Ms. Torres regularly counsels clients on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-bribery laws, and has broad experience developing compliance programs, providing training, and conducting sensitive internal FCPA compliance investigations in English and Spanish for companies large and small.

Ms. Torres is a widely recognized attorney, public speaker, writer, and subject-matter expert on strategic trade risks. She brings a diverse perspective to both domestic and international companies in sensitive and hi-tech industries on highly regulated, technical, and complex areas of the law.

She regularly represents companies before, and coordinates on behalf of her clients with, multiple federal agencies, including U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, to name a few.

Ms. Torres frequently lectures on export controls and international trade for organizations, universities, and government agencies in different countries, including in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand, France, Canada, and the United States. She is the author of several chapters on international trade in the WorldECR's Export Compliance Manager's Handbook, the Society of International Affairs Export Voluntary Disclosure Handbook, and other global publications.

Throughout her career, Ms. Torres has been selected for recognition in multiple attorney ranking guides and publications including in Chambers and Partners USA (2018, 2019, and 2021), Who’s Who Legal (2017-2021), and SuperLawyers Rising Stars (2015-2018). Prior to founding Torres Law, she was an attorney in the International & Cross Border Transactions group at an Am 100 Law Firm in Washington, D.C.

In her spare time, Ms. Torres likes to travel, work out, attend the opera, eat spicy Indian, Thai, and Mexican food, and spend quality time with her family and sons.

Education & Admissions

A native Spanish speaker, Ms. Torres obtained her J.D. from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and her B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. As part of her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas, she studied French language and culture at La Sorbonne.

Ms. Torres is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C., the State of Texas, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Court of International Trade.

Representative Experience
  • Advisor for more than a decade to publicly traded supplier of aerospace services, structures, and systems, and providing legal support to its more than 44 subsidiaries with annual sales of $2.9 billion across the world. Ms. Torres is deeply familiar with aerospace technologies and parts as well as their regulation by U.S. federal agencies and other legal concerns that oversee the industry. In addition, she regularly advises the company on trade and national security due diligence for its multiple mergers and acquisitions and has a track record of successfully navigating complex internal investigations and creating companywide compliance programs. She has successfully closed multiple voluntary self-disclosures with the U.S. Department of State and helped the company meet U.S. Department of Defense 72-hour cyber security reporting obligations. She also advises the company’s General Counsel and Corporate Trade and Cybersecurity Director on daily trade matters.
  • Advisor on national security laws to global leader in sensor, software, and autonomous solutions. Ms. Torres has represented the company and its affiliates before various government agencies including the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce and successfully closed voluntary disclosures to these agencies with no penalties. She advises CEO, COO, and General Counsel directly.
  • Advisor to publicly traded manufacturer of precision-control components and systems in aerospace products, defense, and industrial markets ($2.8 billion in annual sales). Ms. Torres works directly with the company’s General Counsel on government security issues, review of Foreign Ownership Control and Influence issues, correspondence, and coordination with various U.S. government agencies including Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) officials.
  • Advisor to one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the United States. Ms. Torres assists the company on a broad range of national security issues, as well as responding to government investigations related to federal export regulations.
  • Advisor to multiple law firms, private equity firms, and companies on issues related to CFIUS filing determinations and preparation of filings as implemented by the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA).
  • Advisor to global manufacturer of optical materials and semiconductors (approx. 2.4 billion in revenue), including advice with respect to all trade and national security matters for their entire operations worldwide.
  • Advisor to a U.S.-based government contractor in connection with its acquisition by a Japanese company and related CFIUS issues, including CFIUS mitigation plan compliance and meetings with CFIUS Department of Defense monitors.
  • Advisor to private equity division of a blue chip, global investment bank with merger and acquisition trade due diligence concerns related to the potential impact of U.S. Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods, including preparation of public comments/exclusion requests for Section 301 tariffs on behalf of target company.
Appointments

As a recognized leader in trade law, Ms. Torres was recently reappointed by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs to the Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) for her fourth term. In this capacity, she advises the U.S. Department of State on its regulation of defense trade in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act and its implementing regulations under the ITAR.

Honors and Awards
  • Ms. Torres is an Executive Member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association.
  • In 2019, Ms. Torres was a finalist in the category Compliance Lawyer of the Year for the Women in Compliance Awards. In 2017 and 2018 Chambers and Partners USA listed Ms. Torres as a Recognized Practitioner in the areas of International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions law.  Ms. Torres was also named to the Who's Who Legal: Trade and Customs 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 publications.
  • In 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Ms. Torres was rated as a “Super Lawyer” for Thompson Reuter’s “Super Lawyers” publication, a distinction given to less than 2.5 percent of the attorneys in the State of Texas.
  • Ms. Torres was elected as a member of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations in 2016. Members are elected on the basis of their demonstrated value and informed interest in foreign policy, international affairs, and international business. She is a member of the Society for International Affairs and the Washington International Trade Association.
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, she was recognized by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for her legal pro bono services, Washington, D.C. (2012 and 2013).
  • Dedman School of Law, (Merit-Based) Ford Foundation Scholarship Recipient.
  • University of Texas at Austin, (Merit-Based) Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient.
  • University of Texas at Austin, College Scholar and University Honors.
Selected Publications & Speaking Engagements
  • Olga Torres, Maria Alonso, and Donna Wedgeworth, Due Diligence and Best Practices to Avoid Forced Labor in Supply Chains, Bloomberg Law, Professional Perspective, December 2020.
  • Olga Torres and Maria Alonso, What Corporate Lawyers Need to Know About Changes in U.S. Foreign Investment Laws, State Bar of Texas International Law Section, International Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 2020.
  • Olga Torres and Maria Alonso, Complying with US Export Control and Immigration and Anti-discrimination Laws, WorldECR, Issue 84, November 2019.
  • Olga Torres and Maria Alonso, Proposed Regulations Set to Expand Authority of CFIUS, State Bar of Texas International Law Section, International Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 2, Winter 2018.
  • USMCA Rapid Response Panel, National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA), (September 9, 2020).
  • How to Make USMCA Work for You – Changes in Customs and Rules of Origin, Virtual Women’s Global Trade Empowerment Forum (September 1, 2020).
  • USMCA, Richardson Chamber of Commerce (August 20, 2020).
  • Best Practices for Export Compliance/Drafting an Export Compliance Policy for Your Company to Deal with Heightened Export Control, National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA), Virtual Conference, (August 5, 2020).
  • Investigations and VSDs, Professional Association of Exporters and Importers (P.A.E.I.), (June 18, 2020).
  • USMCA Preparedness, New Jersey District Export Council (June 11, 2020).
  • Labor & Trade: Is Mexico Ready for USMCA’s Labor Chapter?, The U.S.-Mexico Bar Association & Vazquez Tercero & Zepeda Abogados (June 2, 2020).
  • USMCA Preparedness, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), (May 21, 2020).
  • USMCA vs. NAFTA, Professional Association of Exporters and Importers (P.A.E.I.), (April 16, 2020).
  • The Paradox of Compliance: ITAR and Anti-Discrimination Concerns, Export Compliance Training Institute (February 11, 2020).
  • Exporting By or For the U.S. Government: ITAR 126.4 Exemption Expansion and Benefits to Exporters, Defense Trade Solutions & the National Defense Industrial Association (August 22, 2019).
  • Preparing Voluntary Self-Disclosures: Requirements, Best Practices, and Pitfalls to Avoid, Export Compliance Training Institute (ECTI) (July 18, 2019).
  • Mitigating the Financial Impact of Venezuelan Sanctions, Hanson Wade Oil & Gas Supply Chain Compliance Conference, Houston, Texas (April 26, 2019).
  • Trade Wars: Trade Compliance Strikes Back, International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) 2019 Annual Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida (March 24, 2019).
  • ITAR Boot Camp, American Conference, Chicago, Illinois (June 5, 2018).
  • Harmonized Tariff Schedule Classification Webinar, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (NCBFAA) (April 19, 2017).
  • Preparing Successful ITAR Commodity Jurisdiction Requests, International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA), Miami, Florida (March 14, 2017).
  • Exports & Imports into China, International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) DFW Conference, Grapevine, Texas (October 11, 2016).
  • Merger & Acquisition Trade Due Diligence Webinar, Clear Law Institute (August 29, 2016).
  • Merger, Acquisition, Divestitures and Trade Compliance Considerations, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (NCBFAA) NEI Annual G-TEC Conference, Atlanta, Georgia (August 9, 2016).
  • Customs Audits, Clear Law Institute, (July 12, 2016).
  • Torres, O. and Sefton, D., BIS Is Stepping Up Enforcement – Are You Ready? Law360 April 10, 2014. Torres, O. and McCauley, A. (2014) The Intersection of Anti-Corruption and Export Enforcement: Why Compliance Programs Should Include Both, WorldECR, March 2014.
  • Braumiller, A. and Torres, O. (2014) A Closer Look at Weatherford’s Export Violations, Law360 January 2014. Epstein, J. and Torres, O. (2013) Initial Export Control Reforms Take Effect: Is Your Company Ready?, Compliance Alliance Update, October 2013.
  • Oleynik R. and Torres, O. (2013) Are Voluntary Self-Disclosures with the U.S. Export Agencies a Good Idea?, WorldECR, May 2013.
  • U.S. Export Reform Developments and Impact on Business, The WorldECR Export Controls & Sanctions Forum, London, United Kingdom (October 12, 2015).
  • U.S. Export Reform Developments and Impact on Business, The WorldECR Export Controls & Sanctions Forum, Washington, DC (September 21, 2015).
  • Export Enforcement Trends, 9th Annual Defense Exports Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (October 1-2, 2014).
  • Traversing the Leading Logistical Trade Corridor, Laredo International Trade Conference, 2014 Laredo, Texas (October 8-10, 2014).
  • North American Strategy for Competitiveness: International Trade Considerations, 2014 NASCO Conference, Mexico City, Mexico (September 25, 2014).
  • Export Controls & Sanctions Enforcement Panel, Washington Foreign Law Society, Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2014).
  • Routed Export Transactions: Mitigation of Risk and Best Practices, National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America Educational Institute, (June 10, 2014).
  • Introduction to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America Educational Institute, (May 13, 2014).
  • What Keeps You Up at Night? Mitigating Trade Compliance and Corruption Risks, Texas Lawyer Events, (March 27, April 10, October 16, and November 6, 2014).
  • Creating a Successful Export Management and Compliance Program, webinar for Compliance Online (June 11, 2013). Exporting & Doing Business Abroad, International Panel – BUSINESS EXPO 2013, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC (April 2, 2012).
  • What Canadian Companies Should Know About ITAR Export Reform, AERO Montreal Aerospace Summit Global Supply Chain, Montreal, Canada (September 28, 2012).
  • Legal Aspects of Globalization and International Trade, Burgundy School of Business, Dijon, France (October 19, 2011).
  • U.S. Export Controls and FCPA, Exporting with the Experts at the University of Texas at Dallas and Richland College, a five week educational program focused on business of exporting products and services abroad (2011-2012).
  • International Trade Compliance, Investment and Risk Mitigation Panel for the 13th Annual African Economic Forum and Heritage Festival. Dallas, Texas (July 15, 2011). Creating a Successful Export Management and Compliance Program, webinar for Compliance Online (February 22, 2011).
  • U.S. Export Controls, Industry-Government Seminar on Strategic Trade Management for the Department of Foreign Trade Ministry of Commerce in Thailand and the U.S. Department of Energy. Bangkok, Thailand (November 16, 2010).
  • Non-U.S. Trade Controls: A Deeper Dive, Latin American Panel Moderator, presented by the North Texas District Export Council. Dallas, Texas (May 18, 2009).
  • International Trade Due Diligence: Merger and Acquisition Transactions, Annual Export/Import Conference for NEC Corporation. Dallas, Texas (April 28, 2009).
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