Photo of Fatema K. Merchant

Fatema K. Merchant

Washington, DC
T: 202.747.2306
F: 202.747.3855


  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 2008
  • B.A., Al-Jamea-Tus-Saifiyah Arabic Academy, 2003
  • District of Columbia
  • Texas
Thought Leadership

Fatema Merchant is a senior associate in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

Fatema’s practice focuses on investigations and compliance counseling related to international trade laws.  She has extensive experience with U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S.-Sanctioned Countries investigations, compliance, due diligence, and training.  Fatema also advises clients on compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Export Administration Regulations, Customs and Anti-Money Laundering regulations.  At Sheppard Mullin, she serves on the D.C. Diversity Working Group, Recruiting Committee, and is co-chair of the DC women lawyers’ group.  Fatema also serves on the pro bono committee and is actively involved in various pro bono matters, including preparing asylum applications and working with students at American University to seek resettlement for Iraqi refugees as part of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Program.   

Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Fatema worked in the D.C. office of another international law firm, where she was also seconded as a Special Assistant Attorney General with the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General. At the OAG, Ms. Merchant negotiated settlements, prepared dispositive motions, handled pleadings and discovery, and argued motions. She served as co-counsel in a jury trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, securing a favorable verdict for the District.

Fatema was recognized on the Lawyers of Color's Hot List in 2014 and by Super Lawyers as a Washington D.C. Rising Star in 2015 and 2016.


  • Washington, D.C. Rising Star, Super Lawers, 2015-2017
  • Lawyers of Color's 2014 Hot List


Global Trade Law Blog Posts

Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Blog Posts

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Pathways to International Law," ABA International Section's Spring Meeting, New York, April 12, 2016
  • Panelist, "Pathways to International Law," ABA International Section's Spring Meeting, April 28, 2015
  • Panelist, "Women and Minorities: Willing Partners or Reluctant Allies?" July 15, 2014
  • Panelist, "Export Control Reform Level Set: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed?” Momentum Webinar, July 8, 2014
  • Panelist, "Doing Business in India: Anti-Corruption Best Practices," Momentum Webinar, May 29, 2014


  • American Bar Association, International Section
  • ABA International Anti-Corruption Committee
  • ABA India Committee