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  • J.D., Wake Forest University, 2007, Fletcher Scholar, Editorial Staff, Wake Forest Law Review
  • B.A., The College of William & Mary, 2002, cum laude
  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States Fourth Circuit Court
Publications & News

Mr. Whitten is an International Trade partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Brussels and Washington, D.C. offices.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Whitten’s practice focuses on international trade compliance and investigation work.  He advises clients on detecting and deterring potential compliance issues with U.S. and international anti-corruption laws, export controls, and sanctions regulations. Mr. Whitten has also advised on anti-dumping, anti-boycott and Foreign Agent Registration Act compliance issues.

Before joining Sheppard Mullin, Mr. Whitten worked as an associate in the International Trade Group of another Washington D.C. firm.  Prior to that experience, he clerked for the Hon. Samuel G. Wilson in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Mr. Whitten was featured as the "Young Lawyer Member Profile of the Month" in the ABA Section of International Law June 2012 E-Update.

  • Washington D.C. Rising Star, 2014 - 2016

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

  • Represented U.S. energy company in a multi-national anti-bribery and FCPA investigation conducted in coordination between U.S. and Ghanaian authorities.
  • Defended U.S. energy company in FCPA investigation by U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 
  • Conducted internal investigation of FCPA red flag reports related to sales by U.S. oilfield equipment manufacturer from its agent in South America
  • Designed FCPA and Chinese anti-corruption compliance program for the Chinese operations of U.S. Fortune 100 electronics company
  • Advised on internal FCPA investigation of Fortune 100 U.S. agricultural products company related to bribery allegations on three continents
  • Counseled non-U.S. automotive company on developing and implementing compliance program and training

U.S. Sanctions

  • Performed compliance investigation for U.S. private equity company acquiring ownership of non-U.S. energy company with interests in Iran 
  • Advised non-U.S. bank on compliance with U.S. sanctions on Iran, Sudan, and other countries and individuals
  • Represented non-U.S. chemical manufacturer in negotiating removal from federal and state blocked lists under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA) 
  • Conducted internal review of reported sanctions for major U.S. medical equipment manufacturer investigating reports of an agent making unauthorized sales to Iran

Export Controls

  • Completed a company-wide ITAR compliance audit for the U.S. facilities of a global materials manufacturer and obtained a closed matter with no penalty or further action from The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC)
  • Executed an ITAR review for a U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturer, integrating the compliance policies of two merged companies and reporting to regulators on the same
  • Completed a review of EAR control compliance for a second-market microchip distributor pursuant to an FBI subpoena and negotiated closure of the investigation with significant reduction in penalties as a result of compliance improvements and cooperation
  • Represented major U.S. consulting firm in internal investigation relating to the inadvertent export of controlled technical data
  • Counseled Fortune 100 aerospace company concerning civilian and military export control matters, including controls relating to encryption and composites
  • Represented Non-U.S. multinational chemical manufacturer in obtaining licenses for the export of controlled chemicals for medical research
  • Advised multiple U.S. research universities on technology and deemed export issues related to non-U.S. campuses, students, and faculty
  • Represented global automotive company establish and deploy export compliance processes, agreement language, and training to U.S. and non-U.S. personnel
  • Defended U.S. electronics distributor in enforcement action by U.S. Attorney's Office for Middle District of Florida resulting in civil disposition with no criminal charges
  • Represented Non-U.S. multinational manufacturer obtain licenses under ITAR for sharing controlled technical data to produce protective equipment for the U.S. military

CFIUS and Customs

  • Represented U.S. and Canadian petroleum shippers, natural gas shippers, and pipelines in discussions with U.S. Customs and U.S. Census on regulatory interpretations
  • Represented U.S. entity in CFIUS submission in connection with sale to non-U.S. investment fund of critical infrastructure assets

Litigation and Other

  • Prepared a petition for certiori to the U.S. Supreme Court for a suit to protect the civil rights of immigrant detainees
  • Defended the District of Columbia in a civil suit against thirty-two DCPD officers for damages related to the service of a warrant on a murder suspect
  • Defended the District of Columbia in a civil suit against doctors at public hospitals who had performed free clinic care for patients underserved areas
  • Served as judicial clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Pro Bono

  • Represented the widows of U.S. veterans in efforts to obtain benefits from the U.S. Veterans Administration


Global Trade Law Blog Posts

Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

  • Inside Washington: Law, Development and Diplomacy, ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC), July 24, 2013
  • Panelist, ITAR and EAR Compliance Review and Investigations: Conducting Internal Audits and Determining Whether to Disclose Potential Violations to Mitigate Penalties, Strafford Webinar, June 26, 2013
  • Panel Chair and Moderator, Navigation without Maps: The Young Lawyer and the New Industry of International Anti-Bribery Compliance and Investigation, ABA International Fall Meeting, October, 2012
  • ABA Section of International Law, Pathways to International Law:
  • George Washington Law School - panelist - March 10, 2011
  • Catholic University, Columbus School of Law - panelist - October 18, 2011
  • University of Baltimore School of Law - panelist - November 3, 2011
  • International Law Student Association-Jessup Competition Finals Conference - panelist - March 30, 2012
  • ABA International Section Spring Meeting - panelist - April 17, 2012
  • ABA International Legal Education Summit - panelist - October 19, 2013


  • American Bar Association - International Law Section, Appointed Vice-Chair of the Law Student, LLM & New Lawyer Outreach Committee, August 2012 - August 2013
  • American Bar Association - International Law Section, Europe Committee
  • Virginia State Bar Association - International Practice Section