Over the past twenty years Mohammad (Mo) Ali Syed has developed a thriving immigration, litigation and international business practice. In Immigration Law, for individuals, his experience includes family-based immigration, sponsorship, fiancé visas, asylum, naturalization, and U.S. citizenship. He has obtained EB1 expedited green cards for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics. For businesses, Mr. Syed has vast experience with nonimmigrant and immigrant visas including H-1B, PERM (employment-based green cards), E1/E2 treaty traders and investor visas, L1 intracompany transfer visas, O, P, foreign professionals, and multinational managers and EB5 investor green cards. Mr. Syed frequently lectures on conference panels on immigration law. He has written extensively and has also been interviewed by TV channels on immigration law matters.
Mr. Syed has experience with litigation cases nationwide focusing on tort and complex civil disputes. He has also worked for the Civil Litigation Branch of the District of Columbia Office of Attorney General (formerly D.C. Office of Corporation Counsel), as well as Rizvi, Isa, Afridi and Angell, a leading corporate law firm in Karachi, Pakistan.
A few recent successes in immigration law include:
- H1B visa approvals for employees of IT companies, medical professionals, accounting firms and others.
- Permanent Residence (PERM) applications for IT company employees and law firms.
- L1 intracompany transfer for large Argentinian wine producer.
- L1 intracompany transfer for U.S. based financial company for the CEO of its offshore affiliate in Pakistan.
- E2 visa for investor/owner and chef/employee of Korean restaurant in Georgetown.
- E2 visa for the investor/owner of a medical device related technology company.
- EB1, extra ordinary ability, green card for Indian Olympic swimmer.
- Permanent residence applications for spouses and other relatives of US citizens.
- Citizenship applications for green card holders.
International Business and Trade
Mr. Syed provides advice on corporate formation, sale purchase agreements, business contracts, and confidentiality issues to businesses. He also advises non-profit entities in operational matters. His clients have included health care companies, technology and energy sector entities.
His diverse cross-border experience includes: representing an industrial spirits manufacturer in Pakistan in contract negotiations for purchase of a distillery from a Spanish company; negotiating a commercial real estate lease for large multinational pharmaceutical co.; advising large Chinese and Middle Eastern companies in major energy sector operations in Pakistan; representing a large Pakistan power company in breach of warranty claims against manufacturer of defective thermal power turbine; representing a large hospital in an environmental claim; advising clients in matters involving foreign donors, including the World Bank, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), etc.; advising Pakistani and multinational companies on regulatory and legislative matters, including investment, telecommunications, banking, foreign exchange regulation, pharmaceutical, health law, cyber-law, intellectual property, oil and gas, utilities and labor.
He assists with international trade and customs matters including anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, obtaining rulings on classification, valuation, country of origin marking, developing compliance programs, and handling complex penalty cases. He was invited to be part of a team comprising of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank and the American Bar Association to implement a mediation training program in Pakistan. The goal of this ambitious program is to help Pakistan develop a mechanism to resolve business disputes efficiently and thereby promote investment.
Mr. Syed has broad experience in both trial and appellate work in state and federal courts. He represents clients in business disputes, intellectual property, complex multi-district civil litigation, product liability, federal labor litigation brought by pension/health and welfare funds and labor unions as well as employment matters. He has investigated claims of false advertising, breach of warranty, regulatory violations and fraud. He has represented media companies in litigation and arbitration of disputes under collective bargaining agreements. He also has experience in appellate work before the United States Supreme Court involving punitive damages in a copyright infringement case in the music industry. He has handled complex intellectual property disputes in the music industry often involving complex technology issues. He represented a large pharmaceutical company in multimillion-dollar collections work. He has represented foreign companies in litigation in U.S. courts in intellectual property and breach of contract matters. His experience covers mediation and arbitration proceedings. He has extensive experience with large electronic discovery projects.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation / Government Investigations
Mr. Syed has experience representing corporations in matters before the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), such as civil investigative demands and second requests under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR). His assignments often cover complex electronic discovery matters. His federal antitrust litigation experience includes the defense of a major newspaper company in claims brought by the DOJ and representation of the leading newspaper trade association as amicus in a federal court challenge to a DOJ merger approval under the Tunney Act.
He has prepared HSR merger filings on behalf of media industry clients. He has advised clients on several antitrust matters including tying concerns in distribution agreements, the ancillary restraints doctrine, exclusive dealing claims involving magazine distribution arrangements, exemptions to antitrust laws, as well as assessed claims under state antitrust laws. He has given advice on the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, confidentiality agreements and Federal Election Commission regulations. He has advised a national transportation trade association on antitrust matters.
Mr. Syed has been named to Martindale-Hubbell's AV Preeminent® Top Rated Lawyers, which recognizes attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards. He also has a10 out of 10 ranking on AVVO.
- Speaker, “Visas and Working in the United States,”Aurora Hills Branch Library, Arlington Public Library, Arlington, Virginia (October 1, 2019).
- Speaker,“Expand Your Business Globally,” hosted by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, International Business Realtor Forum, Fairfax, Virginia (October 3, 2019)
- Moderator and Program Chair, “Startups: A Comparative Immigration Law Perspective from Australia, UK, US, and Singapore,” American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Immigration and Naturalization Committee, Panel Discussion and Teleconference. (July 16, 2019)
- Speaker, “What Lawyers Need to Know About Business Immigration in the Trump Era,” D.C. Bar, CLE Program, Panel and Webinar, Washington, D.C. (May 14, 2019)
- Speaker, “Overview and Current Developments of Regulations and Policies Impacting Family Separation at the U.S. Border,” American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2019)
- Speaker and Program Chair, “How Foreign Law Firms Can Establish Offices in the U.S.: Immigration, Business and Ethics Considerations,” American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Immigration and Naturalization Committee, Panel Discussion and Teleconference, Washington, D.C. (April 3, 2019)
- Speaker, “Advanced L Visa Issues,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, DC Chapter, Annual Fall Conference, Rockville, Maryland (November 7, 2018)
- Speaker, “Hot topics in adjudications and consular processing of H-1B, L, and E visas,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, DC Chapter, Webinar (September 26, 2018)
- Speaker, “No Passport Required: Expand Your Business Borders with International Clients,”hosted by the NVAR International Business Forum, Fairfax, Virginia (August 16, 2018)
- Speaker, “Chain Migration, Points Based Immigration, RAISE ACT, Trump Administration Changes to Immigration in the United States,” Voice of America’s Urdu Language Program View 360, Washington, DC (April 30, 2018)
- Presenter, “Strategies of success with E and L visas” American Immigration Lawyers Association DC Chapter, Webinar, (November 29, 2017)
- Panel Chair and Speaker, “Beyond the Wall: The New Administration’s Impact on Immigration Policy” ABA, Section of International Law, Fall Meeting, Miami, Florida (Oct 25, 2017)
- Speaker, “Business and Employment based visas,” Seminar on Immigration and Refugee Rights, Islamic Circle of North America, Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland (April 15, 2017)
- Speaker, “Top Questions Asked by Business Immigration Practitioners in the Trump Era,”MyLawCLE Video Broadcast, sponsored by the Federal Bar Association, Arlington, Virginia (April 7, 2017)
- Speaker, “What Foreign Lawyers Need to Know About Changes in US Immigration Laws,”American Bar Association Section of International Law, Seminar, Washington, D.C. (April 4, 2017)
- Author, “The H-1B Visa and the Employment based Green Card: Explaining the Difference,”American Bar Association Section of International Law, Immigration and Nationality Law News (Spring 2017)
- Interview, “Trump Administration’s Impact on Immigration Law and update on Travel Ban,” Nasim Zehra @ 8, 24 News HD (TV News channel in Urdu), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgqDcMEABJU (February 5, 2017)
- Speaker, TV Interview, “President Trump’s Impact on Immigration,” Washington Night Show with Asim Siddiqui, Urdu TV news channel (February 5, 2017)
HONORS AND AWARDS