Charles is senior counsel in the Transportation practice group. He focuses his practice on all aspects of transportation and logistics, with particular emphasis on government regulatory matters and international policy. His background includes extensive experience in transportation policy and international trade, having served with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Charles represents U.S. and non-U.S. air carriers in matters involving U.S. Department of Transportation rules, policies and procedures; Federal Aviation Administration rules and policies; and bilateral and multilateral aviation agreements, including the Warsaw, Montreal and Chicago Conventions. He provides counsel on matters within the jurisdictions of the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Justice (antitrust) and State, as well as various international civil aviation bodies. In addition, he advises on federal subsidy grants and government financial guarantees, and provides strategic business planning advice relevant to the most current legislative and regulatory environment.
From January 1996 until March 1999, Charles served in the U.S. Department of Transportation as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs. In this position, he was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Transportation on commercial aviation policy, including economic and regulatory issues, as well as other international transportation and trade matters. He directed activities involving the negotiation and implementation of international aviation agreements, including the negotiation of numerous "Open Skies" agreements. He also was charged with the development of international aviation policy, oversight of domestic aviation issues, and the DOT's international activities in maritime, highway and rail transportation.
Charles also has considerable international trade experience. From 1980 to 1987, he was legal adviser to the Chair of the International Trade Commission. He served as Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade from 1979 to 1980. From 1977 to 1979, he was Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce responsible for textile trade policy. His trade experience includes representing clients in unfair trade actions, such as countervailing duty and antidumping investigations, as well as NAFTA and World Trade Organization issues. Charles assists clients with the regulatory aspects of international corporate mergers, acquisitions, takeovers or other foreign direct investment in U.S. corporations by foreign entities. This not only includes compliance with various Department of Commerce and Department of State regulatory mandates, but importantly includes filings and proceedings before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) for approval of foreign entities control over U.S. companies. In addition, Charles advises on Foreign Corrupt Practice Act compliance, as well as, Section 337 intellectual property proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Charles is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel, LL.M., 1976
- University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1975, editor-in-chief, Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law
- American University, B.S., 1972
Professional & Civic Involvement
Professional AssociationsAmerican Bar Association, International Trade Law Section, Steering Committee
American Bar Association, Air and Space Law Forum
American Society of International Law, counsellor
Washington Foreign Law Society, former president and board member
International Aviation Club, former president and board member
Community ActivitiesChair, Dean Rusk Center for International and Comparative Law Advisory Board
- “U.S. – EU Second Stage Air Transport Agreement: Toward an Open Aviation Area” · Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, Volume 39, Issue 3, Spring 2011
- “Advantage: Anchorage” · The Journal of Commerce, Volume 5, Issue 18, May 2004
- “US and EU: New Era, New Agreement?” · The Air and Space Lawyer, Fall 2003
- “Proposed Co/DL/NW Marketing Alliance Good For Consumers” · Aviation Daily Departures, December 2002
- “Global Commercial Air Services: Laying a Foundation for Liberalization” · International Business Lawyer, International Bar Association Section on Business Law Journal, February 2000
- “Wheat Trade Issues Between the U.S. and Canada”, North Dakota Grain Growers Association Convention; Fargo, North Dakota, December 5, 2000
- “Trends in the U.S.-China Civil Aviation Market”, Chinese Aviation Symposium for Chinese and U.S. government and business officials, October 16, 2000
- Selected as a leading lawyer in Transportation by Chambers USA (2009-2012)