Photograph of Robert Clifton Burns Download V-card

Robert Clifton Burns

Senior Counsel
Phone: +1 202.688.3448
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Robert Clifton Burns is a senior counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington D.C. office. Clif focuses his practice on export controls, economic sanctions, customs, national security, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He represents clients in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and the United States.

His clients are in a broad range of industries including medical devices, military equipment, financial services, travel and hospitality, and agriculture. Clif counsels clients on compliance matters as well as, in handling internal investigations, voluntary disclosures, and criminal defense. In addition, he represents M&A clients in international transactions with national security implications before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Clif’s export control work encompasses a broad range of areas and includes matters involving the Export Administration Regulations administered by the Department of Commerce, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations administered by the State Department, and the country-based economic sanctions program administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Treasury Department. He also has experience in developing compliance programs for each of these three regulatory schemes, conducting due diligence for compliance with these schemes, and submitting voluntary disclosures of prior unlicensed exports.

Clif was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center from 2004 until 2016. He was editor in chief of the Northwestern University Law Review and a law clerk for the Honorable Robert A. Sprecher with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

He speaks fluent French. 


  • Northwestern University, B.A. (1975) with honors
  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D. (1978) cum laude


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Federal, and D.C. Circuits

View More

Companies Caught In EU-US Sanctions Crossfire Financial Times (January 30, 2020)
Media Mentions
What In-House Counsel Need To Know About New Export Control On Al Corporate Counsel (January 9, 2020)
Media Mentions
U.S. May Release More Guidance Alongside Sanctions Following Court Ruling, Experts Say Kharon (January 6, 2020)
Media Mentions
"Congress Passes New Russia and Venezuela Sanctions and Advances New Russia & Turkey Sanctions," International Trade Bulletin (December 27, 2019). Contacts: David (Dj) Wolff, Carlton Greene, Jeffrey L. Snyder, Adelicia R. Cliffe, David Baron, Robert Clifton Burns, Nicole Sayegh Succar, Erik Woodhouse, Maria Alejandra (Jana) del-Cerro, Brian McGrath, Nimrah Najeeb
Client Alert / Newsletter
US Exporters Reveal Impact Of Sanctions The Herald (October 24, 2019)
Media Mentions
OFAC's '50% Rule' Challenges Compliance American Shipper (October 22, 2019)
Media Mentions
Lawsuit Questions Constitution Of U.S. Treasury's '50 Percent' Sanctions Rule Kharon Brief (July 15, 2019)
Media Mentions
Iranian Biologists Face US Trial For Trying To Take Proteins Out Of The Country Nature Research (June 24, 2019)
Media Mentions
"The Month in International Trade – April 2019," International Trade Bulletin (May 13, 2019). Contacts: Jeffrey L. Snyder, Frances P. Hadfield, Edward Goetz, John B. Brew, Robert Clifton Burns, Spencer Toubia, David Baron, David (Dj) Wolff, Brian McGrath, Cherie Walterman, Alexander H. Schaefer
Client Alert / Newsletter
Crowell & Moring Expands International Trade and Global Employment Practices with Four Senior Lawyers; CMI Breaks New Ground in Shanghai (Mar.11.2019)
Firm News / Announcement

For all Highlights, News & Knowledge, please click here to view desktop bio.

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

View Desktop Site | Mobile Sitemap

Contact | Subscribe | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement | Alumni

© Crowell & Moring LLP 2020
Attorney advertising - prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.