Dr. John Vafai is Senior Of Counsel to Lally & Misir, LLP. An expert in international law, Dr. Vafai is recognized as a leading practitioner in the areas of international business law, business immigration, foreign direct investment and licensing, and natural resources and energy law. He has advised national governments and multi-national oil companies at the highest levels, previously serving as Deputy Minister of Social and Economic Development of Iran, Counsel to the Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Province, Russia, and the Director of Legal Affairs and OPEC Negotiations for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). He regularly appears on the BBC and other global media to provide expert opinion on international investment and migration issues.
Dr. Vafai has had a distinguished career in private practice, government practice and academia. His past private practice includes serving as lead legal counsel to numerous energy and natural resources companies, founding the Baku offices of Baker Botts, and establishing his own highly-successful energy law consultancy in Azerbaizan. He has advised senior government officials in Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, and the United States.
Dr Vafai is also a highly regarded legal scholar. He was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, a Visiting Legal Scholar at Columbia University School of Law, editor of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and winner of Yale University’s Ford Foundation James Raymond Goodrich Prize for legal scholarship. Dr. Vafai has taught law and international business management for over four decades at universities around the globe, including Rutgers University Graduate School of Management, the Western Kentucky University Department of Business Administration, the Caucasus University Graduate Schools of Business and Law in Tibilisi, Republic of Georgia and the University of Teheran Law School in Iran. He served as Director of the Pacific Asian Legal Studies Program and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Hawaii School of Law. He is the author of the textbook INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (1986) and of the first English language translation of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran in CONSTITUTIONS OF THE WORLD (1981).
Dr. Vafai earned his Doctorate in Juridicial Science (J.S.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.), with Honors, from Yale University; his Masters in Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Harvard University; and his Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of Tehran, School of Law.
At Lally & Misir, LLP, his practice focuses on international business transactions and business immigration. His clients include major multi-national oil companies, property managment and development firms, transportation and shipping firms, and construction firms. He also works with individuals who are relocating to the United States for business purposes.
Dr. Vafai serves on the National Board of Directors of the Karabakh Foundation, and is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Academy of International Business. He is fluent in Farsi and Azerbaijani, and also speaks Russian, Turkish and Arabic.