Richard L. Matheny III

Richard L. Matheny III

Richard L. Matheny III

Rich Matheny, a partner in Goodwin’s Washington D.C. office, heads the firm’s National Security & Foreign Trade Regulation Practice and is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and Impact and Responsible Investing Practice. Mr. Matheny advises clients on a broad range of U.S. regulatory issues concerning international trade and investment, including the exportation of controlled goods and services from the United States; the provision of defense articles and services; transactions involving sanctioned countries, persons, and entities; and cross-border investments and transactions that may impact the national security or foreign policy of the United States.

He is particularly adept at helping technology companies and private equity firms to successfully navigate these critical regulatory regimes, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Antiboycott Regulations of the Commerce Department; the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) of the State Department; the economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department; national security reviews conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Mr. Matheny is included in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of International Trade, Economic Sanctions and Export Controls. Chambers describes Mr. Matheny as “a great resource” to clients with “impressive responsiveness and ability to organize his thoughts.”

Professional Experience

Mr. Matheny was an attorney at Shea & Gardner prior to its combination with Goodwin in 2004.


Mr. Matheny is listed by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of International Trade, Export Controls and Economic Sanctions for 2016.

In law school, Mr. Matheny was an associate editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He is the author of “In the Wake of the Flood: ‘Like Products’ and Cultural Products After the World Trade Organization’s Decision in Canada: Certain Measures Concerning Periodicals,” 147 U. Pennsylvania L. Rev. 245 (1998).

Areas of Practice


A significant part of Mr. Matheny’s practice involves internal investigations in support of voluntary disclosures or in defense of agency-initiated investigations and prosecutions of the export controls and sanctions laws. His recent experience includes:

  • Defense of a California resident and his company in a federal criminal prosecution involving the export of laptop computers to Iran through Dubai, U.A.E. (United States v. Online Micro, D.D.C.).
  • Investigation and disclosure to OFAC of a U.S.-owned foreign subsidiary’s transactions with airlines owned by the Cuban government and listed as Specially Designated Nationals.
  • Representation before the SEC Office of Global Security Risk of a major travel website company in an investigation of travel-related services pertaining to Iran, Sudan and Syria; and of a test-preparation company in an investigation of a franchisee located in Syria.
  • Investigation of a tactical electronics manufacturer regarding hundreds of unauthorized exports of military equipment in violation of the ITAR.
  • Defense of an OFAC investigation regarding retention of Iranian nationals for Farsi translation services.
  • Representation of a client investigated for brokering transactions for the development of petroleum resources in Sudan.
  • Representation of an analytical instruments company investigated simultaneously by the Commerce Department and the FBI for exports to China and Dubai that raised nuclear proliferation concerns.
  • Over a dozen investigations and voluntary disclosures to the Commerce Department relating to the unlawful export of software and hardware containing encryption functionality.

Mr. Matheny has helped hundreds of clients on compliance and export licensing matters, including with respect to:

  • The export of multi-million dollar equipment to China for use in a third-country nuclear power plant;
  • U.S. sanctions against a hospital associated with a Colombian drug cartel;
  • Underwater autonomous vehicles exported for scientific exploration;
  • “Deemed” exports relating to the disclosure of EAR-controlled ultraviolet LED technology to Chinese nationals and the disclosure of ITAR-controlled optoelectronics technology to Israeli nationals;
  • An ocean common carrier regarding ITAR ramifications of carrying armed security personnel to defend against piracy in the Gulf of Aden;
  • Compliance with SEC reporting requirements pertaining to Iran-related transactions of affiliates of U.S. public companies; and
  • Over 100 different companies that manufacture software enabling encryption functionality.

Mr. Matheny has handled numerous national security reviews conducted by the federal interagency CFIUS in connection with investments from French, Israeli, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian and Singaporean entities in U.S. businesses, including investments in: a hydrogen fuel-cell manufacturer; an instant messaging service provider; a network security software company; an ultraviolet LED developer; an X-ray fluorescence analyzer manufacturer; an optoelectronics/photonics manufacturer; a composite materials manufacturer; a logistics software company; a machine tools manufacturer; and a global containership operator. 

Mr. Matheny’s CFIUS experience includes the negotiation of mitigation agreements, CFIUS review of investments by foreign-government entities, responding to CFIUS-initiated post-closure investigations and CFIUS reviews complicated by simultaneous disclosures of export-control violations.

Mr. Matheny’s FCPA work includes the development and installation of FCPA compliance programs for companies in diverse industries, from private equity firms and equipment manufacturers to software developers and satellite communications companies.  He has investigated potential corrupt practices in Brazil, China, India, and Saudi Arabia, and has advised investors on the potential risks of acquiring companies where the risk for corrupt practices is apparent.



J.D., 1999
University of Pennsylvania Law School
M.A., 1996
University of California
B.A., 1991
Duke University


1999 to 2000 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Honorable Robert E. Payne



District of Columbia


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
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