By Philippe De Baere, Van Bael & Bellis
For the arsenal of EU trade defence instruments, 2016 is likely to be crucial. The main issue in debate is whether China should be granted market economy status (MES) after 11 December 2016. Linked to this question is whether the granting of MES to China should be accompanied by a modernisation of the trade defence instruments in order to mitigate the effect of China's new status. Finally, following a number of lost WTO disputes and cases before the European Court of Justice, it is widely felt that the EU should reinforce the transparency of its investigations.
Who’s Who Legal brings together Ana Caetano of Veirano Advogados, Brazil, and Edwin Vermulst of VVGB Advocaten, Belgium, to discuss issues facing trade and customs lawyers and their clients in 2016.
"Economic regulation is entering a new stage of development, one where the traditional role of national governments and multilateral agreements is being supplemented, and in many instances supplanted, by trade agreements."
Who’s Who Legal brings together Richard Luff of Van Bael & Bellis, David Christy of Perkins Coie, Daniel Crosby of King & Spalding and Warren Maruyama of Hogan Lovells to discuss the key issues facing trade and customs lawyers and their clients in the industry today.
"The EU and US have departed markedly from established practices in their sanctions regarding Ukraine, and the innovative approach presents global companies and compliance practitioners with new challenges."
This year we recognise over 350 leading trade and customs lawyers from the international legal marketplace. Below we highlight some of the best-known individuals and law firms, according to our research.
The research for this year’s WWL: Trade & Customs has expanded to include trade economists and anti-dumping consultants. These experts provide clients and law firms with litigation support and analysis in trade policy, anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings.
Nominees hail from both law firms and external trade consultancies, including Capital Trade and Economic Consulting Services.
The legal market supporting the practice of trade and customs law is somewhat unusual. In one respect, the trade area is no different than any other highly competitive area of law: in order to deliver value, lawyers must have a high level of expertise and be able to translate this expertise into practical and commercially beneficial results. However, the nature and intensity of this expertise has developed over the last 20 years of WTO practice, and for some time now more generalist practices have fallen by the wayside. While the ultimate aim of the WTO and many individual governments is to move progressively towards a liberal and fair system of trade, the consequence is an evolving body of rules and procedures that put pressure on companies and their legal counsel.
Economic sanctions have been the buzzword among trade and customs lawyers for this year. The increase in sanctions across a wider geographical region has led to an upsurge in the demand for specialist expertise in this area, as companies find that consideration for such economic measures have become a central concern to their business.
Our new Trade & Customs publication comprises a total of 334 practitioners from 184 firms in 36 countries who are considered leaders in this field of law.
In this section, we have highlighted four global firms and one boutique as leading players due to the high number of listings they receive. Sidley Austin once again dominates our research with world-leading practitioners from its DC, Geneva and Brussels offices; Baker & McKenzie, meanwhile, displays an authoritative global reach with ranked lawyers from 10 different offices. King & Spalding and White & Case are also preeminent in the market. Specialist firm Appleton Luff is strongly placed with leading lawyers listed in four jurisdictions.
We also select the most highly regarded individuals in the world, including the very best lawyers in the international trade centres of Brussels, Geneva and DC.
Who’s Who Legal brings together Edmund Sim of Appleton Luff, Adrián Vázquez of Vazquez Tercero & Zepeda, Ekaterina Zabello of VMP Vlasova Mikhel & Partners and Daniel Crosby of King & Spalding to discuss a range of key issues, including present activity in traditional trade measures, the growing body of work in the sanctions area, the impact of trade agreements and the growth in trade-related work in Africa.
“Sanctions” was the first word on the lips of almost every practitioner we spoke to this year when asked to identify the biggest development in the trade and customs arena. Iran and Libya were already providing lawyers with significant amounts of work – and with Russia now targeted by the US and the EU, as well as responding with its own sanctions, the area is booming. Trade remedy matters continue to be a solid source of work for many, with some noting an uptick in anti-dumping cases (or predicting one for the near future), and customs-related advice and disputes work have also steadily increased.
This year, we recognise 310 lawyers from 181 firms and 41 countries who are leading lawyers in this field. Thirteen firms stood out in our research due to the number of practitioners they have listed in this edition. Sidley Austin leads the way in our research, with 12 individuals featured, seven of whom hail from the firm's Washington, DC office. Next is Baker & McKenzie, which fields eight lawyers, followed closely by White & Case and King & Spalding, both of which have seven practitioners featured.
We also single out the 10 most highly regarded trade and customs lawyers in the world.
Trade and customs work sits at a unique junction between legal, political and economic spheres of influence, and by definition it is among the most international in scope of the practice areas we cover. A range of factors are driving work in this sector and making new demands of the world’s leading firms and counsel.
Click on the name of an expert below to view their profile. Experts shaded in blue have professional biographies in one or more practice areas.
There are also lawyers available in these sectors:
Click on a Firm below to view their profile.
It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication
Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.