Photo of Allan Topol

Allan Topol

Allan Topol is a resident in the firm’s Washington office.  While practicing law with Covington, he has written ten novels of international intrigue and numerous articles dealing with foreign policy issues in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and

Mr. Topol’s law practice has involved extensive civil and criminal litigation, with an emphasis on water, air and major hazardous waste enforcement cases, as well as international environmental law and toxic torts.  He has also advised clients on many of these environmental issues assisting them in dealing with immediate problems as well as developing long term strategies.

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Brexit And Its Implications

Sebastian Vos, a Partner and co-chair of the firm’s global Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice, appeared on CNBC this morning (CET) to discuss Brexit and its implications.  He outlined the likely timeline for the next two years and key players in the negotiations. Mr. Vos discussed the likely pressures, positioning and messaging around the … Continue Reading

Business Opportunities in Latin America

There is considerable turmoil in several Latin American countries including Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. To gain some insight into what lies ahead in our southern hemisphere and the likely impact on business in the area, Global Policy Watch (GPW) spoke with Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Georgetown … Continue Reading

Bringing Copyright Office into 21st Century

The House Judiciary Committee has held some 20 hearings in the last two years as part of its comprehensive review of the copyright laws.  Its hearing scheduled for this afternoon will focus on the functions and resources of the U.S. Copyright Office.  In an opinion piece that appears in The Hill today, Covington’s Howard Berman … Continue Reading

Developing Consensus on Patent Legislation

The legislative debate over patent legislation began again yesterday with the reintroduction of the Innovation Act by Chairman Goodlatte.  In a piece that appeared in The Hill on February 5, Covington’s Aaron Cooper, formerly Chief Intellectual Property and Antitrust Counsel for Senator Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee, encourages “industry participants [to] work together, and … Continue Reading

Latin America in 2015: A Year of Challenges and Opportunities

As the new year begins, numerous Latin American issues have moved to the center stage, including Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, and Cuba.  To gain some insights into what lies ahead for our southern neighbors, Global Policy Watch (GPW) spoke with Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. GPW:  Dr. Valenzuela, what … Continue Reading

Colombia: Much Needed Tax Reform

The next few years will be difficult for Latin American countries.  Low petroleum and commodity prices are adversely affecting the economies of the region.  At the same time, there is increased pressure on the governments for economic and social reforms. Colombia, which has had a strong economy, recently passing Argentina as the third largest in … Continue Reading

The Root of Middle East Turmoil

Iranian jets struck ISIL targets in Iraq, according to a senior U.S. defense official.  What makes this report so bizarre is that it means the Iranians are working toward the same objective, destruction of ISIL, as their avowed enemy, the Great Satan, according to Iran’s Supreme Leader.  Here is one more indication that companies doing … Continue Reading

Senator Jon Kyl and Congressman Howard Berman on the Election

GlobalPolicyWatch (GPW) interviewed former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and former Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA) about the election and its likely aftermath. GPW:  Senator Kyl, what do you think the primary objectives will be of the Republican leadership in the new Congress? Senator Kyl:  Both Senator McConnell and Congressman Boehner will want to return to the … Continue Reading

Mexico Business Summit

Members of Covington & Burling’s Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice Group were in Mexico last week for the 12th annual Mexico Business Summit, which convened heads of state and business leaders from around the world to engage in discussions about Mexico’s future economic development and tapping into Mexico’s new sources of growth.  Over the … Continue Reading

High Stakes in Brazil’s Election

The second round of the Brazilian Presidential election coming on October 26 will be decided between incumbent Dilma Rousseff from the left leaning PT (Workers Party) and the challenger Aécio Neves from the centrist PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party).  The stakes are huge for the country and for companies doing business in Brazil.  Not so … Continue Reading

Data Collection and Privacy

In view of the importance of privacy issues to readers of GlobalPolicyWatch,  we have reprinted below a blog post by Morgan Kennedy from Covington’s Washington office  which appeared on the Covington InsidePrivacy blog on September 12. *   *   * Forever 21 Faces Point-of-Sale Data Collection Class Action Lawsuit Fast fashion retailer Forever 21 Retail Inc. … Continue Reading

Senator Carl Levin on American Foreign Policy in Iraq

While members of Congress, the news media, and the American public debate the merits of President Obama’s new strategy to confront ISIS in the Middle East, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, participated in a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday on this topic.  Kaitlyn McClure of Covington’s … Continue Reading

Federal Election Contributions: Sky’s the Limit

The Washington Post yesterday quoted Covington’s Rob Kelner in a front page article about the Supreme Court’s recent decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. From the Post, “Even though the additional millions flowing to candidates and parties ‘is real money, in the grand scheme of our campaign finance system, it’s background noise,’ said Robert … Continue Reading

Cutting the Salami with Putin

For companies doing business in Russia and following with concern the possibility of further sanctions, next week will be critical. On August 26, senior EU officials will be gathering in Minsk, Belarus. It is likely that Russian President Putin will also be meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Poroshenko, for the first time in two months. … Continue Reading

The Disintegration of Iraq

The news almost every day contains events which harken the end of Iraq as a nation state.  Radical Sunnis take over Mosul for their ISIS state.  Kurds tighten their control over oil in the north.  Shiites kidnap a top Sunni leader and his security men in Baghdad. It is not surprising that Iraq should be … Continue Reading

Will Anyone Act Against Putin?

A myriad of investigators have descended upon Ukraine ostensibly to find out what happened to the downed Malaysian plane.  But much is already plain:  pro-Russian separatists, trained by Russia and  utilizing Russian supplied antiaircraft weapons, mistakenly believed they were aiming at a Ukraine military aircraft. Separatists had shot down a Ukrainian military aircraft earlier in … Continue Reading

New Food Safety Law for China

China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), has released a draft of the revised Food Safety Law (Draft FSL) for public comment. The comments are due on July 31, 2014. The Food Safety Law was last revised in 2009, when the government changed the Law’s name from the Food Hygiene Law and altered most of … Continue Reading

FDA Grapples with Nanotechnology

On June 24, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released three final guidance documents addressing the agency’s general approach to nanotechnology and its use by the food and cosmetics industries, as well as a draft guidance on the use of nanomaterials in food for animals. These guidance documents reflect FDA’s understanding of nanomaterials as … Continue Reading