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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.

Accolades

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

Legal 500 UK 2020

Tier 3 for Trade, WTO, Anti-Dumping and Customs

Legal 500 EMEA 2020, Belgium
Lode Van Den Hende

Lode Van Den Hende, Head of International Trade and WTO law, is recommended for Trade & Customs

Who's Who Legal 2019
Lode Van Den Hende

Lode Van Den Hende, Head of International Trade and WTO law, is recognised as a "Leading Individual" for Trade, WTO, anti-dumping, and customs

Legal 500 UK 2020
Morris Schonberg

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

Legal 500 UK 2020

Recent Experience

SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENTS

Representing a number of confidential sovereign governments in ongoing, high-profile WTO dispute settlement proceedings

FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS

A number of international companies in relation to the interpretation and implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

THE EUROPEAN BANKING FEDERATION

In connection with the preparation of a brochure advising on the WTO implications for banks in case of a no-deal Brexit

EU INTERNATIONAL TRADE AGREEMENT PARTNERS

On extending their trade agreements to the UK during a transition period after Brexit and on rolled-over trade agreements with the UK once it has an independent trade policy, including impact of WTO rules and interaction of certain changes with most-favoured-nation (MFN)

EU SUBSIDIARY OF A RUSSIAN FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY

Advice in relation to possible exposure under EU sanctions laws in connection with entry into the Iranian market

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