Principal Corporate Counsel - Export Controls and Sanctions

Posted Feb 12
Full Time
Redmond, Washington

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft’s Global Trade Legal team advances this mission through international trade policies, strategies and solutions that foster a culture of compliance, trust, and innovation across Microsoft and with our partners and customers worldwide.

This Principal Corporate Counsel - Export Controls and Sanctions role will focus on Microsoft’s commitment to partnering with governments, intergovernmental bodies, and other stakeholders in the various countries and regions where Microsoft operates on innovative and effective approaches to trade laws and regulations. You will proactively plan to address imminent trade-related regulatory developments and resulting compliance needs, and will work with internal stakeholders to build longer-term plans to address emerging trade regulatory measures. You will take a strategic view in driving beyond the day-to-day – helping to build a robust plan for both today and tomorrow to implement and drive continuous innovation and improvement in compliance solutions. In this role, you will lead the advancement and implementation of trade compliance strategies and solutions through engagement and collaboration with external stakeholders, as well as key internal business partners and stakeholders.

This role requires: sound, principled and consistent judgment in fast-paced ambiguous environments; a thorough understanding of trade – in particular export controls and sanctions – laws and regulations and the relevant government agencies and bodies responsible for their implementation and enforcement; a track record of cross-collaboration; commitment to integrity; solution-driven creativity and a business-enabling mindset; the ability to drive clarity from the complex. The role will report into the Global Trade Legal team within Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (CELA).


  • You will counsel Microsoft key stakeholders on trade-related legal and regulatory developments and strategies.
  • You will work with business partners and other key stakeholders to operationalize regulatory developments and risk mitigation strategies, and to assure compliance globally.
  • You will identify and anticipate legal risks in the client’s business, technology, and public policy, then develop solutions to mitigate risk.
  • You will identify and propose opportunities to reduce complexity and mitigate risk, including through automated solutions.
  • You will advance a collaborative, holistic, and compliance-by-design environment across the enterprise that fosters trust in Microsoft while enabling business.
  • You will improve decision-making on key compliance issues by, for example, driving clarity and managing a coordinated approach to a complex problem.
  • You will suggest improvements, identify best practices, and provide continuous feedback to make the delivery of legal services within your work group more efficient.
  • You’ll also propose efficiencies to budget management, and model compliance, privacy, and data security.
  • You will collaborate within and across the Legal and Corporate Affairs work group, using written and verbal communication to organize and simplify issues and ideas.


  • Embody our culture and values


Required/Minimum Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctorate Degree or Equivalent International Degree
    • OR Completion of a Legal Apprenticeship.
  • Active license to practice law in a jurisdiction and capable of meeting admission requirements in relevant jurisdiction.
  • 5+ years experience as a practicing attorney
    • OR equivalent practice of law.
  • Experience as an attorney in sanctions and export controls practice areas.

Other Qualifications

  • This role will require access to information that is controlled for export under export control regulations, potentially under the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations or Export Administration Regulations, the EU Dual Use Regulation, and/or other export control regulations. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of citizenship, U.S. permanent residency, or other protected status (e.g., under 8 U.S.C.
  • 1324b(a)(3)) for assessment of eligibility to access the export-controlled information. To meet this legal requirement, and as a condition of employment, the successful candidate’s citizenship will be verified with a valid passport. Lawful permanent residents, refugees, and asylees may verify status using other documents, where applicable.
  • This position requires verification of citizenship due to citizenship-based legal restrictions. Specifically, this position supports United States federal, state, and/or local government agency customers and is subject to certain citizenship-based restrictions where required or permitted by applicable law. To meet this legal requirement, and as a condition of employment, the successful candidate’s citizenship will be verified with a valid passport.

Additional Or Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with cutting-edge technologies, including disciplines such as digital and telecommunications, artificial intelligence, quantum, and space and satellites.
  • Knowledge and experience in exports, imports, supply chain, economic sanctions, and non-U.S. export regulations (e.g., BAFA, UN, EU, UK BIS) regulations.
  • Proven ability to distill the complex to non-SME or technical audiences.
  • Experience with assessing compliance risks in the business and developing proactive strategies to mitigate risks.
  • A mix of corporate law firm and in-house experience.
  • Hands-on project management experience, including excellent organizational skills, the ability to manage multiple and varying mission-critical projects at once, and to follow through and meet deadlines.

Legal Counsel IC4 - The typical base pay range for this role across the U.S. is USD $124,800 - $222,000 per year. There is a different range applicable to specific work locations, within the San Francisco Bay area and New York City metropolitan area, and the base pay range for this role in those locations is USD $159,000 - $238,600 per year.

Certain roles may be eligible for benefits and other compensation. Find additional benefits and pay information here:


Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. Consistent with applicable law, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, immigration status, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran or military status, race, ethnicity, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local laws, regulations and ordinances. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application process, read more about requesting accommodations.