Del Mar
T: 858.720.8920 (DM)/415.774.3269 (SF)
F: 858.523.6726
San Francisco
T: 415.434.9100
F: 415.434.3947


  • LL.B., London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice, The College of Law, London
Publications & News

Neil Ray is an international trade and technology transactions attorney who works from Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco and Del Mar offices. He is dual-qualified as an English solicitor (non-practicing) and California attorney.

International Trade Law

Mr. Ray advises on all aspects of U.S. and EU law relating to international trade and investment and has substantial experience with export controls (EAR/ITAR), economic sanctions (OFAC), and customs laws and regulations. Neil also regularly counsels clients on anti-bribery/anti-corruption, anti-competition, and privacy laws and regulations and has substantial experience of defending companies against U.S. government investigations.

Technology Transactions

Mr. Ray also advises on technology and intellectual property transactions including related compliance issues such as data protection, privacy, consumer protection, and antitrust laws. He has developed a strong background in counseling clients on the development, commercialization and licensing of ecommerce platforms, Internet websites, digital media, mobile device technologies, and commercial and consumer software, including cloud computing applications such as software as a service (SaaS) or hosted software solutions.

Representative Matters

International Trade

Acting as international trade counsel to one of the world’s largest engineering, construction, and technical and management services firms which has included advising on the application of U.S.-UK Defense Treaty provisions; ITAR issues related to the design, planning and construction of military and nuclear facilities; exemptions for exporting ITAR-controlled defense articles for delivery to DoD government installation overseas; encryption software reporting requirements for exports under EAR; EU sanctions related to Libya; deemed export control issues relating to the hire of foreign employees who handle, treat and dispose of hazardous chemicals; and, due diligence relating to new acquisitions. 

Acting as international economic sanctions counsel to one of the lead satellite broadcasting and telecommunications companies in Asia Pacific which includes advising on the application of U.S. and EU sanctions to providers of satellite communications services to sanctioned countries, and the implications of commercial satellite export control reform. 

Counseling a Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company on the application of U.S. and EU restrictions on the sale of communication products, services and technologies to sanctioned countries and permissible payment methods; the jurisdictional reach of the FCPA to the company’s global activities; and potential implications of national security investigations by U.S. Congress and potential anti-subsidy / countervailing duty suit by European Commission. 

Advising a U.S.-based office supplier on a range of UK and U.S. customs matters such as standard of care related to proof of origin declarations; preferential duty rates; mitigation of customs penalties; rates of ADD and CVD on common office supply products; use of licensed broker from affiliate company to file on behalf of related subsidiary; participation in Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs) process to request the temporary reduction or suspension of duties on certain U.S. imports; and C-TPAT compliance advice. 

Acting as international trade counsel to a global supplier of photonics technology and products on a wide variety of matters which have included advising on U.S. export issues related to export of electronic products destined for Israeli-based customer; export of EAR99 U.S.-origin goods to third country for incorporation into potential non-EAR99 item for potential transshipment to sanctioned countries; whether to continue open shipments to newly added SDNs; research and analysis of potential classification of new products and technologies; and, deemed export control issues relating to the hire of foreign employees. 

Acting as international economic sanctions counsel to a leading global pharmaceutical company which includes advising on the application of U.S. and EU sanctions to the sale of medical products by U.S. entities and foreign subsidiaries to sanctioned countries; application of OFAC’s TSRA licensing program; and, related foreign payment restrictions. Also conducted due diligence for acquisition of private European pharma company. 

Advising a U.S. based, leading supplier of high-quality analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products on a wide range of export control issues which has included advice on U.S. and EU export control issues relating to Product Development and Licensing Agreements for high performance analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs) which required technical disclosures to foreign employees in the U.S. and employees of subsidiary companies in foreign companies for ultimate end-use in telecommunications equipment in Israel and analysis of re-export control exceptions for the exportation of U.S. origin goods incorporated into a foreign-made good in a third country. 

Acting as U.S. customs counsel to a leading regional U.S. airline which has included advising on application for U.S. customs approval to expand air cargo facilities at airports nationwide; exemptions to the electronic export filing requirements; compliance procedures for the Maintenance and Engineering group to move parts and other items to and from the U.S.; and compliance procedures for transportation of chemicals subject to export control. 

Acted as international trade counsel to a leading developer and licensor of 3D cinema technology on a wide range of matters including conducting international customs investigation and compliance and, advising on its suppliers’ compliance with SEC conflict mineral rules. 

Counseling Korean financial institution with U.S. branch on how to structure transactions with certain Burmese banks in view of OFAC’s Burmese Sanctions Regulations and General Licenses. 

Acting as international trade counsel to leading U.S. industrial supply company including advice on compliance with SEC conflict mineral rules. 

Advised a leading Mexican chain of retail stores on a U.S. Customs seizure matter involving alleged breach of copyright protection which required drafting petitions to obtain relief from U.S. Customs forfeiture. 

Advised leading U.S. manufacturer of biomedical laboratory instruments on the export control implications of a diagnostic tool that allows for remote review and diagnosis of medical instrument issues, and remote repair and upgrades to medical devices. and liaised with USTR and local counsel in Ukraine and Russian Federation on local import control legislation and possible exemptions from import licensing requirements. 

Advising U.S. subsidiary of leading Japanese-based auto manufacturer on a wide range of free trade agreement issues including NAFTA matters which has included advice on various post-importation NAFTA issues, and the importer’s duty to verify qualification for NAFTA treatment claimed in a NAFTA CO and advice on KORUS issues including qualifying originating goods under the net cost method. 

Advising one of the world's leading manufacturers of packaging products on obtaining an export control license for foreign nationals, currency exchange and foreign payment issues relating to foreign-based suppliers and various U.S. Customs issues. 

Acting as international trade counsel to a French-based company entity specializing in international online fashion and home furnishing distribution on a wide range of matters including advising on methods to transfer personal data from the EU to the US (such as US-EU Safe Harbor); compliance with UK Bribery Act; U.S. customs rules on unused merchandize drawback; and, coordinating global advice on internet price, marketing and privacy disclosures in new markets. 

Advised international mobile and web software company on the methods of transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S. and other third countries.

Advised Japanese-based technology company on designing, developing, implementing, training and auditing global data privacy policies and procedures, in particular, advising on how to transfer personal data from the EU to non-EU jurisdictions. 

Advised global company specializing in products for the construction industry on various NAFTA compliance issues, in particular, counseling on how to calculate and certify manufactured products as NAFTA-originating based on RVC method. 

Represented leading Spanish telecommunication infrastructures and services company on ITAR clearance for sale of shares in a third party commercial satellite operator.

Technology / Telecommunications

Advised a U.S. semiconductor company on the transactional terms and regulatory issues of a Master Development Services with a leading cell phone manufacturer for the design, manufacture and sale of high performing Bluetooth technology supporting sophisticated audio and video processing.

Represented a technology consortium on the development, acquisition and licensing of new digital rights management technology. Assisted on drafting the Operating, Master License and Collaboration Agreements and on the application of U.S. and EU antitrust issues.

Counseled a leading global licensor of 3D visual technology on international compliance issues and its agreements with European exhibitor licensees.

Advised on terms and conditions and regulatory implications of the Electronic Signatures Act, Wiretap Act, and CALEA for a smart phone application developer whose software enables wireless devices to automatically connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots, personal home Wi-Fi networks and office Wi-Fi networks.

Advised UK subsidiary of U.S. multinational software enterprise company on the negotiation and drafting of a wide range of commercial agreements; licensing of intellectual property rights; the application of the merger control roles to various joint ventures, and responding to UK and EU government investigations.

Advised U.S. set-top box manufacturer on the negotiation and drafting of Multiple System Operator Agreements with European Cable-TV operators, and submissions to the European Commission and the UK's OFT regarding various investments in European digital cable operator customers.

Represented multinational electronic manufacturing service (EMS) provider in a merger filing with the European Commission and related antitrust issues arising from its $2.7 billion acquisition of C-MAC Industries Inc; and a $2.2 billion Supply Agreement with Lucent Technologies for the production of optical networking equipment.

Advised U.S. multinational company on its contractor agreements appointing system houses and building control distributors, and the application of related EU regulatory laws.

Represented diversified U.S. industrial manufacturer on the licensing and technology transfer agreements related to hydraulic couplings, and the application of related EU regulatory laws.

Advised U.S. spatial information management software company on distribution and licensing agreements for computer software and related products in the shipbuilding industry, and the application of related EU regulatory laws.

Represented KPMG on international telecommunications litigation against German and U.S. telecommunication carriers.

Represented Easynet, a major pan-European telecommunications provider, on various carrier agreements and telecommunications regulatory matters.

Represented Einstein Channel in the negotiation of a Digital Satellite Transmission Agreement with SC4 for the transmission of science and technology programs on UK's Sky Digital.

Represented CityReach International and DigiPlex, owners of carrier neutral collocation facilities, on contracts for the installation of carrier communications equipment, the provision of telecommunications and data services in their data centers and coordinating the regulatory rollout of their European network.

Assisted on representation as FCC and satellite industry counsel to the Committee of Unsecured Creditors of TerreStar which has included advice on satellite licensing advice, transfer of control procedures and negotiating spectrum allocation disputes.

Assisted on representation as corporate and FCC counsel to San Diego Gas & Electric in the acquisition of wireless spectrum for a Smart Grid project. Advised on proposed network solution, acquisition of spectrum rights and related hardware equipment, as well as risk transfer and due diligence issues.

Assisted on the drafting of U.S. opinion letter on FCC regulations concerning "seamless roaming" on behalf Canadian communications company, in respect of foreign telecommunications litigation.


Representing Samsung Electronics in TFT-LCD DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury criminal price fixing including coordinating defense of related international enforcement investigations.

Representing Samsung SDI America, Inc. and related entities in DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury criminal price fixing and foreign enforcement investigations involving cathode ray tubes.

Represented Samsung Electronics in Flash memory chips DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury criminal price fixing investigation.

Represented Samsung Electronics in SRAM memory chips DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury criminal price fixing investigation including coordinating defense of related international enforcement investigations.

Represented Samsung Electronics in DRAM memory chip antitrust price fixing DOJ criminal investigation, and related national federal MDL civil class actions and state indirect purchaser class actions.

Represented an international shipping transport company in a criminal grand jury investigation involving price fixing allegations in the tank container industry.

Represented an Asian Airliner in a criminal grand jury investigation involving price fixing allegations in the international airline cargo industry.

Representing MasterCard International Incorporated in a series of actions challenging foreign currency conversion practices under California's Unfair Competition Law.

Representing risk arbitrage managers of various institutional investors and investment funds in connection with US and EU antitrust and regulatory advice on strategic investments and sophisticated trading strategies in the securities of publicly traded companies that are parties to either hostile or friendly mergers.

Advising on domestic and international distribution and antitrust compliance strategies (including product pricing, incentive programs agreements, internet advertising) including compliance training for sales and marketing employees on behalf of numerous U.S. corporations.

Represented numerous US and international corporations on Form CO merger filings with the European Commission, and merger notifications to the UK's OFT.


  • Co-author, "An Outline of the Principal U.S. Export Controls and Current Export Control Reforms," October 17, 2012
  • Author, "Why You Need a Robust EU Antitrust Compliance Program & How to Implement It," Corporate Compliance Insights, April 12, 2012 
  • Author, "Regulating VoIP: An Overview of the Main Regulatory Challenges Governing the Deployment of VoIP Services in the US and EU", Telecom Law Best Practice: Leading Lawyers on Regulatory Compliance, Tax Planning, and the Federal Communications Commission, Aspatore Books, January 2006
  • Co-author, "Role of Customer Complaints and Testimony in Merger Enforcement Post-Arch Coal and Oracle," The Sedona Conference Journal 2005
  • Co-author, "E.U. Electronic Communications Law," Richmond Law & Tax, London, August 2004
  • Author, "Modernizing the UK Competition Regime," Chartered Secretary Magazine, May 2002
  • Contributor, "Regulatory Aspects of Acquisitions in the UK and EU," Tolly's Company Acquisitions Handbook, June 2001

Antitrust Law Blog Posts

Climate Change and Clean Technology Law Blog Posts

Global Trade Law Blog Posts

Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Blog Posts

Social Media Law Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

  • Co Chair, "Balancing National Security and Global Competitiveness: Government and Industry Address Unprecedented Export Control Reforms," October 17, 2012
  • Panelist, "Antitrust and Intellectual Property Rights: Limiting Intellectual Property Rights for Unlimited Competition," August 29, 2012
  • "Maximizing Opportunities...and Minimizing Risk," Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, San Diego, January 12, 2012
  • "A Gathering Storm: How Competition Issues Threaten California's Agricultural Operations," California Farm Bureau's Annual Conference, Sparks, Nevada, December 5, 2011