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International Trade and WTO

Harnessing opportunities and mitigating risks


Our international trade group is dedicated to assisting clients in maximising the opportunities and minimising the risks deriving from the ever increasing regulation of international trade in goods and services.

Our trade team is comprised of seasoned private practitioners from across our competition, regulation and trade, corporate crime and investigations, and disputes practices, and includes a former head of Trade Policy and WTO law at the European Commission’s Legal Service. We have extensive experience advising both companies and sovereign governments on matters across the full spectrum of international trade law, including:

  • WTO law – acting in WTO dispute settlement proceedings and WTO trade negotiations, as well as developing strategies for our clients to best use WTO law in order to achieve practical results outside the context of formal dispute settlement;
  • Trade Agreements – acting in dispute settlement proceedings under EU free trade and economic partnership agreements;
  • Investor-state dispute settlement – acting for investors as well as for respondent States;
  • Trade policy – assisting international companies and government bodies with international trade negotiations, whether in the framework of WTO negotiations, free trade agreements or bilateral treaties;
  • Brexit advice – advising WTO members on the impact of Brexit on their EU trade agreements as well as rolled-over EU trade agreements with the UK post-Brexit;
  • Economic sanctions and export controls – advising on EU financial and trade sanctions as well as on EU export control regimes (military and dual-use goods);
  • Customs issues – assisting clients with a range of customs issues relating to inter alia, tariff classification, rules of origin, special customs procedures and payment and repayment of duties;
  • Market access issues – advising both EU and non-EU international companies on strategic issues pertaining to their EU market access;
  • Trade defence instruments – routinely advising clients on specific aspects of both EU and WTO anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules, as well as representing clients in proceedings before the EU Courts.

Furthermore, our team are not only experts in international trade law but also in all aspects of EU law, aimed at either implementing the EU's international trade obligations or regulating EU import and export flows of goods and services. This means that our trade team benefits from the necessary experience and expertise to provide comprehensive advice to companies operating in and/or exporting to the EU and to help them navigate the intricate network of international trade-related rules, whether defined at international, EU or national level.

Recent Experience


On its landmark legal challenge of an EU Directive extending EU gas law to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (while excluding all other similar pipelines) – this involves the first ever investor-state arbitration procedure against the EU under the Energy Charter Treaty and a challenge in the EU Courts


Advice and assistance to the Alternative Arrangements Commission on EU and international trade law issues in relation to the Irish Backstop and other elements of the Withdrawal Agreement Alternative Arrangements for the Irish Border


In an anti-dumping investigation concerning cardboard paper initiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council


In a web of innovative and highly technical court proceedings before the UK courts, the European General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union challenging EU trade and financial sanctions


Advice on the market economy status of China in the discussions in the WTO and more generally in relation to the approach adopted by the US and the EU


Advice and assistance to several public and private entities on the potential consequences of Brexit for the future trade relationship between the EU and the UK and the UK and third countries


Tier 1 for EU and Competition: Trade, WTO, Anti-Dumping and Customs

Legal 500 UK 2022
Lode Van Den Hende

Partner Lode Van Den Hende is recognised as a "Leading Individual" for Trade, WTO, Anti-dumping and Customs

Legal 500 UK 2022
Lode Van Den Hende

Partner Lode Van Den Hende is recommended for Trade & Customs

Who's Who Legal 2020
Morris Schonberg

Senior Associate Morris Schonberg is recognised as a "Rising Star" for Trade, WTO, Anti-dumping and Customs

Legal 500 UK 2022

Insights and updates

20th October 2021
Resolving the simmering post-Brexit dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol is proving as tough as...
18th October 2021
Brussels' proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism risks controversy at COP26 and conflict in the WTO...
22nd April 2021
The prospect of an independent Scotland raises questions on international trade for politicians and business...
17th March 2021
Eric White, an EU and Trade Law specialist in our Brussels office, has recently published...

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Competition, Regulation and Trade

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