Tahlia Townsend

Litigation Partner and Co-Chair of the International Trade Compliance group, Wiggin and Dana

Tahlia is a litigation partner and co-chair of the International Trade Compliance group at Wiggin and Dana LLP. A trusted counsellor to multinational defense contractors, universities, and small businesses on compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Tahlia has conducted hundreds of internal investigations into potential violations of those laws and routinely assists U.S. and international clients in implementing compliance programs, training employees, conducting audits, performing acquisition due diligence and, when necessary, investigating, reporting, and remediating compliance violations.  With a degree in physics and chemistry, and experience as a researcher in computer science, Tahlia enjoys learning the technology behind her clients’ products and has extensive experience tackling complex investigations involving Information Technology systems. 

In litigation matters, Tahlia represents universities, corporations, individuals, and sovereign nations in complex civil disputes, including transnational matters.  Tahlia’s civil cases have included defense of a former President of Mexico against claims that he violated international law; defense of a museum in disputes over Incan artifacts claimed by a Latin American nation; representation of a museum in a dispute over title to one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings; defense of a foreign sovereign nation in a dispute over title to medieval artifacts; and representation of prisoners in civil rights matters involving military detention without charge, religious liberty, and freedom from involuntary medication.

Before attending Yale Law School, Tahlia clerked for judges Mark R. Kravitz and Robert N. Chatigny of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, performed research at the Dependable Systems Laboratory in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, taught English at the Lauder Javne Jewish Community School in Budapest, Hungary, and learned French, German, and Hungarian.