What We Do

Miller Canfield Global Strategies (MCGS) provides advice on all aspects of the sale of U.S. defense goods and services to international customers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we advise both U.S. industry clients and the procurement authorities of U.S. partner nations (that is, the purchasers of U.S. defense goods and services) to structure and implement the sale and purchase of U.S.-sourced defense goods and services in a timely and cost-effective manner. We have worked across the entire sale process, with particular expertise with respect to Foreign Military Sales (FMS), Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), Offset Programs, and Risk Management advice.

For U.S. defense companies, our services simplify decision-making processes and increase the chances of success of international sales efforts. We provide not only a deep understanding of the local market, but also provide U.S.-centric advice and bridge the gap between a client's U.S.-based legal teams and business teams. We assist our defense industry clients with entry and expansion in international markets through direct sales, merger and acquisitions, and joint ventures and other partnerships overseas to advance their in-country visibility.

For the procurement authorities of U.S. partner nations, MCGS's consultants can advise on all aspects of the FMS process and on U.S government policies and procedures.  MCGS's consultants have worked on numerous high-profile matters in the past decade in furtherance of U.S. government strategies to strengthen security relations with U.S. partner nations.

MCGS is a Washington D.C.-based advisory and consulting arm of Miller Canfield, an international law firm based in the industrial heartland of the United States, which assists government entity clients and private corporate entities in the defense, aerospace, and security areas. Complementing the rich industrial heritage of the law firm, each of our consultants has at least over 20 years of global experience in their respective fields in government and military service, defense companies, consultancy, law firms and lobbying.  

Clients will not find a more qualified group dedicated to ensuring our client’s success. Our goal: the program's success. The ultimate report card for our team is a program that is on time, under budget, and meets the requirements of U.S. partner nations.  

We assist our U.S. defense industry clients in all aspects of executing and implementing agreements with U.S. partner nations to: 

• Develop, and assist with execution of, business development strategies to enter new geographic or product markets and accelerate growth

• Establish relationships with private sector partners located in U.S. partner nations

• Increase visibility among U.S. partner nation decision-makers and guide interaction with U.S. partner nation ministries, defense attaché offices, government agencies, state-owned defense holding companies and other entities engaged in the procurement process

• Provide situational awareness overview to support the client's marketing activities

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• Work with business development teams to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the client's position among the stakeholders, including appointed and elected officials, media and expert community, and other relevant constituencies

• Provide an assessment from the relevant markets on attitudes towards you or your competitors

• Assist in negotiations of DCS agreements and implementation of FMS programs

• Advise on offset issues and programs, which are often required in connection with the sale of defense goods and services

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Foreign Military Sales

We differentiate ourselves from other firms and consultants by offering unique expertise on FMS programs.

The MCGS team brings in decades of FMS and DCS experience from senior positions inside the U.S. government and with U.S. defense companies, leading major defense acquisitions at the Program Office level, directing programs from U.S. Embassies, embedded with foreign partner acquisition teams, advising on Export Controls practices, providing policy and lobbying advice and negotiating multi-billion dollar offset programs.

The FMS processes can be complex and opaque in the best of times, but this has been further complicated by the massive increase in order volume over the past two years. The FMS process does not traditionally include any organization advocating exclusively for the interests of U.S. partner nations; engaging our highly experienced team ensures the interests and rights of the U.S. partner nation are at the center of the FMS acquisition process by seeking to identify areas of potential cost saving (such as travel and FMS administrative/processing fees amounting to millions of dollars), enhancing communication, and advocating for client value. MCGS team members previously assisted U.S. partner nations navigate the FMS process, usually with a cost saving to the client. In fact, to date, the MCGS team members have documented over $350 million in program savings in support of U.S. partner nations engaged in FMS transactions.

Our services include:

  • Assist with the requirements definition to support a valid Letter or Request (LOR)
  • Engagement with U.S. agencies during the pre-Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) process to ensure the right equipment and services are delivered
  • Coordination with organizations responsible for the funding of defense acquisition programs to ensure there is a full understanding of the process and requirements
  • LOA reviews, with a focus on ensuring waivers, fee reductions, and other cost savings steps are properly actioned
  • Program management services to support partner nations, which ensure effective and efficient program execution—key to on time and on budget programs

Direct Commercial Sales

Our experienced consultants can also assist with DCS sales/acquisitions, providing advice to both U.S. defense industry clients and to U.S. partner nations who may not have extensive experience (or sufficient staff and/or institutional experience) to effectively engage in the DCS process. By helping work through export policy restrictions and monitor the acquisition process, we can help achieve significant cost savings and value capture.

Offset Programs

Offsets are often required in connection with the sale of defense goods and services to U.S. partner nations, and offsets pose unique challenges to both U.S. industry sellers and U.S. partner nation purchasers of defense goods and services. Offset requirements, and offset regulatory regimes, vary from country-to-country, and are often a confusing and misunderstood requirement of the international defense sales process.

We have extensive experience advising defense industry clients on how structure their sales agreements and offset programs to efficiently and strategically satisfy their offset obligations, with a particular focus on offset requirements in Europe and the Middle East. We also advise procurement and offset authorities of U.S. partner nations to structure and implement their offset programs in a way that provide maximum benefits to their countries while minimizing the costs associated with offsets.  

Risk Management and Strategic Counsel

Today, domestic and international business opportunities for our clients seem limitless—they can be almost anywhere, produce almost anything and can do it faster and better than anyone else. Our clients recognize that to get to the top, and stay there, to be successful while others languish behind, you need intelligence about growing risks and resulting business implications. You need a trusted and experienced go-to partner who will help you understand what forces shape your competitive environment, recognize what hidden threats lurk around the corner and what action to take to ensure that a risk does not become a crisis.

In a world of contradictory information, political and economic turmoil, cyber threats, rising crime, systemic corruption and fraud it is that much more important, while at the same time that much more difficult, to know-your-customer or potential business partner, and to understand the local realities of a new and exciting market. Hence, you need the right insight from the right go-to partner to support your strategic decision-making and enhance your advantage.  

By combining our multidisciplinary experience and expertise from private sector, military, law enforcement and intelligence community we are here to help and support you across the gamut of your business activities. We deliver proven and discreet solutions to your individual needs by providing geopolitical and strategic threat intelligence, compliance and due diligence reports, internal investigations support, and incident response and mitigation to ensure your business continuity and competitive edge.  

Our Industry Partners

To better enable our clients to succeed, we partner on a case-by-case basis with:

  • Former high-level U.S. administration officials
  • Former chiefs of office of defense/military cooperation and former defense attachés with considerable experience of work in partner nations
  • Offset and public procurement experts
  • Other consultants in the defense and security industry

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