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International Trade and WTO

Harnessing opportunities and mitigating risks


The rules governing international trade are complex, with corporations often required to navigate through an intricate network of multilateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements, as well as widely differing national laws and regulations. 

We have 20 years' experience in WTO matters but also in tune with current developments, such as the recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) covering the Asia-Pacific region and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the EU and the US, which means we are well-placed to advise clients and help them achieve their objectives.

We advise across the full spectrum of WTO and trade regulation work, including acting on disputes under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism and advising on market access strategies, sanctions, export controls and trade remedy matters (please consult our guide to EU anti-dumping here).

Our team has particular expertise in the use of trade law to challenge unfair regulatory barriers whether in the form of discriminatory or distortive taxation, disproportionate regulation, unbalanced licensing requirements or straightforward protectionism. We have litigated a significant number of such disputes in the WTO and the EU courts and have acted for and advised government, industry associations and leading corporations.

Focus on international trade
Lode Van Den Hende shares his views on the challenges facing international trade for the goods and services industry.

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Competition, Regulation and Trade

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Recent Experience

Chiquita Brands International

Advised on the high profile litigation against the EU Commission concerning the EU’s violation of WTO rules in the context of the EU's import regime for bananas. A grand chamber of the European Court of Justice ultimately redefined the circumstances under which WTO law can be invoked in courts throughout the EU

Government of Ecuador

Advised on its landmark WTO case on suspending the protection of EU owned intellectual property rights by way of sanction for the EU’s continued non-implementation of the WTO decisions in the dispute over the importation of bananas

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda

Advised on in its successful WTO claim against the US concerning market access for electronic gambling and betting services

Gazprom Neft

Advised in two cases before the EU General Court challenging EU trade and financial sanctions

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

Advised a number of Asian clients in relation to interpretation and implications of the TPP

British Sky Broadcasting PLC

Advising in relation to its successful EU court challenge concerning the customs classification of set-top boxes pursuant to EU customs law and the WTO's Information Technology Agreement