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The ATA, JASTA and Other Anti-Terrorism Statutes

When it comes to representing clients in terrorism-related matters, Mayer Brown has extensive experience achieving favorable solutions.


Many leading financial institutions have been sued under the US Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) based on allegations that they provided financial services that ostensibly benefited terrorists. The US Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which became law in 2016, expands on the ATA by adding claims for aiding and abetting and conspiracy in certain circumstances. Mayer Brown has extensive experience—and has had considerable success—in representing clients in terrorism-related matters and is well positioned to help clients navigate the legal issues posed by the ATA and JASTA, as well as an array of terrorism-related developments.

Our widely recognized commercial defense work includes representing leading banks in the United Kingdom, continental Europe and the Middle East in defense of suits alleging liability for terrorist attacks by organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah. We also represent individuals, as well as charitable and commercial entities, in a wide range of terrorism-related matters, including criminal defense and opposition to the improper imposition of US economic sanctions on the basis of purported terrorist connections.

Mayer Brown has successfully resolved such cases using a variety of techniques, including by seeking and achieving early dismissal on jurisdictional grounds, early dismissal for failure to state a claim and settlement on terms our clients deemed highly favorable.

Among our accomplishments, we pioneered—and won—a cutting-edge lack of causation defense. In so doing, we won new and favorable precedent in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which decides federal appeals arising in New York. In another instance, we persuaded potential plaintiffs not to sue our clients, and our clients did not make any payments to the plaintiffs. We defend these cases in a manner that is sensitive to all aspects of our clients’ concerns, including the need to minimize adverse publicity and reputational injury.

We also represent many non-US governments in a wide range of litigation, arbitration and government relations matters. In the Middle East, for example, we have represented governments and government agencies and instrumentalities (e.g., embassies, consulates, ministers, princes) in at least eight nations. On the transactional side, we have represented Middle Eastern clients in restructuring their US investments.

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