Former U.S. Official Michael Gunnison Joins Crowell & Moring in Qatar

Sep 08, 2021 by Ogilvy

Crowell & Moring is expanding its Doha presence by adding Michael Gunnison to the team, a former U.S. Justice Department official who served as the Resident Legal Advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Qatar. Mike is joining as senior counsel in the White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group and will expand the firm’s offering to clients in Qatar and the region in the areas of AML/CFT, investigations, sanctions, compliance and government contracts. Mike brings more than three decades of experience from serving in senior Justice Department roles in the Middle East, including Qatar and the GCC, as well as in the U.S. as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, and the District of New Hampshire.

The Justice Department and the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism tapped Gunnison to implement the U.S.-Qatar Memorandum on Combatting Terrorism Financing in 2018. He subsequently worked with senior Qatari leadership and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to strengthen Qatar’s AML/CFT and targeted financial sanctions regimes. Prior to that, Gunnison worked in the Justice Department’s Fraud Section handling cases involving bribery, corruption and defense contract fraud for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

As the political and economic realities of the Middle East continue to evolve, Gunnison will broaden the capabilities of the Doha office, specifically in the regulatory compliance and investigations spaces. He will advise U.S. and international companies on compliance with new anti-money laundering standards in Qatar, as well as investigations into sanctions matters throughout the region. Gunnison will also work on issues related to FCPA, FARA, and defense contract fraud.

“Crowell & Moring, with its deep experience working with the Qatari government, provides the perfect platform for me to advise local and multinational clients on their compliance requirements, as well as international companies rebasing from Afghanistan and other jurisdictions into Qatar on the next steps they need to take while complying with international laws and local requirements,” said Gunnison.

“Mike’s experience and background with the U.S. Embassy in Qatar have given him a strong network and close relationships throughout the country’s government and business communities,” said Charbel Maakaron, managing partner of the Doha office. “As more and more companies begin to recognize how attractive Qatar is for foreign direct investment, Mike’s experience navigating the landscape and ensuring compliance with new regulatory frameworks will be invaluable.”

Gunnison is available to support ongoing reporting related to white collar investigations in the Middle East and provide commentary on breaking news developments. To schedule a time to speak with him, please contact prteam@crowell.com.