Michael Socarras has advised and represented companies, investors and sovereigns worldwide for over 27 years in a range of compliance, regulatory and dispute matters. His experience includes international audits and investigations, technology exports and sanctions compliance, and complex commercial litigation, arbitration and negotiations. His practice has focused on advising and representing clients in the aerospace, defense, mining, energy and financial industries.
In the compliance space, Mr. Socarras has led large legal and accounting teams in internal tax compliance investigations in the U.S., Europe and China. He has advised Russian and European companies on Ukraine-related sanctions, and advised companies on Iran sanctions and export license applications. Mr. Socarras has substantial experience helping large multinational companies strengthen their corporate governance, anti-corruption, accounting controls, and ethics monitoring systems.
In the disputes space, as lead counsel Mr. Socarras has successfully represented privately-held, publicly-traded and sovereign corporations, as well as individual investors, in a wide range of cases, including intellectual property, breach of contract, asset seizure and forfeiture, financial fraud, construction, and sovereign immunity claims. His experience includes first-chair responsibility for cases in U.S. federal and state courts, and forming teams with counsel in most of the world's major markets to resolve disputes in common law and civil law systems.
Mr. Socarras is an international human rights lawyer. He has acted as counsel before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and has substantial experience in African rule of law, good governance, democracy and civil society initiatives.
Mr. Socarras was a special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia during the Reagan Administration. He clerked for the Honorable James L. Buckley on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
In addition to his experience as an attorney and legal advisor, Mr. Socarras is a principal and shareholder in a private equity company active in South America focusing on sustainable energy and resource investments.
Mr. Socarras received his Juris Doctor degree in 1986 at Yale University, and is a 1983 summa cum laude graduate of Brandeis University. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and proficient in French. He co-founded Schmitz & Socarras LLP in October 2014.