Most Highly Regarded Firms: Trade & Customs 2010

We have selected 251 experts in 31 jurisdictions who can be considered leading trade and customs lawyers. In this section, we analyse the findings of our research in greater depth to identify the firms and practitioners who had the strongest overall performance.

The International Who's Who of Trade and Customs Lawyers 2010
Most highly regarded individuals
Lawyer Firm
Gary Horlick Law Offices of Gary N Horlick, Washington, DC
Edwin Vermulst Vermulst Verhaeghe Graafsma & Bronckers, Brussels
Jean-François Bellis Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels

Charlene Barshefsky Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC
Susan Esserman Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington, DC
Scott Andersen Sidley Austin LLP, Geneva
Joseph Dorn King & Spalding LLP, Wasington, DC
Paulette Vander Schueren Mayer Brown LLP, Brussels
Marco Bronckers Vermulst Verhaeghe Graafsma & Bronckers, Brussels
Lourdes Catrain Hogan Lovells, Brussels

Leading Firms

Leading Trade & Customs Firms

Sidley Austin LLP is the recipient of our award for trade and customs law firm of 2010, and once again distinguishes itself as the leading firm according to our research for this edition. Ten Sidley lawyers from Europe and the United States feature prominently, and were praised by peers as the “unparalleled leaders” of the trade and customs field.

More than half of the Sidley lawyers we feature are based in the Washington, DC office, including international trade and dispute resolution practice head Andrew W Shoyer. His experience working for the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the WTO make him a “go-to-guy” for advice on treaty-based trade and investment rules, and his disputes work is hailed as “second to none”. The firm’s “superb” senior partner for global issues, Daniel M Price, was the senior White House official responsible for international economic issues during the second Bush administration and is “highly regarded” for his advisory work for clients around the world on regulatory, transactional and policy matters. Richard M Belanger is particularly well thought of for his customs work and has developed import/export compliance programmes for a number of major multinationals. Neil R Ellis has represented clients before the US Department of Commerce, the International Trade Commission and the federal courts in regulatory proceedings and is hailed as “exceptional” for competition-related work. Richard L A Weiner divides his time between DC and Brussels and boasts a “first-rate” knowledge of EU and US regulatory law, as well as a “brilliant” disputes practice. Lisa Crosby advises clients on NAFTA origin requirements, tariff classification and US Treasury Office sanctions, having formally acted as an honours attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the US Department of the Treasury, and sources consider her to be “exceptional”.

Scott D Andersen is co-managing partner of Sidley’s Geneva office and one of the most highly regarded practitioners internationally in this edition. A WTO disputes expert, Anderson is a “go-to-guy” for market access and unfair competition advice, according to sources. Nicolas J S Lockhart and Todd J Friedbacher are also listed in Geneva and both combine trade work with a strong arbitration focus. Arnoud Willems is based in Brussels and frequently acts on behalf of governments as well as multinational companies in the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements and WTO rules.

Hogan Lovells fields nine lawyers, the most highly regarded of whom is the European trade group director for Brussels and Geneva, Lourdes Catrain. A “world class” expert in trade defence and safeguard investigations as well as anti-subsidy proceedings, Catrain was praised by peers for her recent complex anti-dumping work on behalf of clients such as Philips and Timberland. Fellow Brussels resident Nikolay Mizulin is also recommended for his anti-dumping expertise, having handled matters before EU institutions and investigating authorities in the US and China among other countries. Mark S McConnell’s recent clients include the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the government of Ontario as well as Ford and General Motors, and peers rank him in the “top tier” of the DC-based lawyers in these pages. Lewis Leibowitz is mentioned for his “great” trade remedies, foreign-trade zones, free-trade agreements and negotiation work. Warren Maruyama is a “leading” legislative specialist, who offers clients “invaluable” insights into US trade law and policy as well as handling WTO and NAFTA disputes. Also noted for her policy knowledge is Jeanne Archibald who heads the firm’s government regulatory practice group and is “grade A” according to our sources. Clayton Yeutter is a former USTR; he led the US team in the negotiation the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement, the precursor to NAFTA, and since entering private practice he has developed an “incredible” reputation. Craig Lewis and Deen Kaplan also rank prominently in the US capital.

Baker & McKenzie also finds nine of its lawyers in this book. “Excellent” senior counsel William Outman is based in Washington, DC and specialises in foreign trade matters, encompassing import transactions, unfair trade practices and export controls. In New York, Steven Becker is lauded for his tax expertise and frequently represents clients before US Customs and Border Protection, the IRS and the federal and state courts. Mexico City-based Raymundo Enríquez chairs the firm’s Latin American regional council and combines his trade work with “admirable” tax, competition and disputes acumen. Other prominent names in Latin America include Edmundo Elías-Fernández in Guadalajara, Esteban Pablo Rópolo in Buenos Aires and Enie Neri de Ross in Caracas. In Hong Kong, Eugene Lim is a member of the firm’s trade, compliance and customs group steering committee and is a “leading authority” in WTO, APEC and ASEAN developments according to peers. James Lockett is a special counsel in the firm’s Hanoi office and has recently handled complex contract negotiations, farmout agreements and supply chain issues for numerous high-profile Asia-Pacific clients. Amsterdam-based Jasper Helder is a “brilliant” EU customs lawyer, whose transfer pricing, customs classification and valuation and agricultural import and export work is well admired.

Washington, DC

The US capital is home to more leading trade and customs than any other international jurisdiction. Leading the field is Gary Horlick, a six-time recipient of our trade and customs lawyer of the year award, whom peers describe as “simply the best trade lawyer on the planet”. A former international trade cousel for the US Senate Finance Committee, Horlick has chaired numerous WTO and Mercosur panels as well as NAFTA tribunals and is recognised as an “unparalleled authority” on US anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, customs and tariff classification and valuation, export controls and investor-state disputes.

As well as representatives in London and Brussels, Steptoe & Johnson LLP fields five “brilliant” lawyers in DC. Susan Esserman is chair of the firm’s international department and is noted for her dispute resolution, anti-dumping and countervailing duty work, as well as her “exceptional” knowledge of US-India trade matters. The “great” Richard Cunningham frequently litigates cases under US import relief laws and assists clients in negotiating government agreements and developing international strategies. Mark Moran focuses on international trade litigation and arbitration and has handled matters before the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Court of International Trade and the US Federal Circuit among many others. Edward Krauland and George Grandison are both “top tier” names and they complete Steptoe’s impressive showing in this book.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP also has five DC-based lawyers in our rankings. Spencer Griffith divides his time between the US and China and is a “leading expert” in US-China trade matters, including anti-bribery law, countervailing duty and anti-dumping cases and litigation. Valerie Slater heads the firm’s international trade group and represents clients in regulatory matters before the US International Trade Commission and the USTR. The “very strong” Lars-Erik Hjelm is an international trade policy expert who represents clients from the airline, customs brokerage, electronics and food industries in customs audits and matters before the Court of International Trade. Warren Connelly and Hal Shapiro are also hailed as “outstanding”.

Other prominent names in DC include former USTR Charlene Barshefsky, one of three lawyers listed from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, whose “exceptional” work in private practice encompasses international litigation, commercial negotiations, investment and regulatory advice. Joseph Dorn founded the international trade practice group at King & Spalding LLP and counts Bridgestone Firestone North America among his clients. Jorge Miranda, Stephen Orava and Gilbert B Kaplan are also highly regarded at King & Spalding.

Matthew Clark is one of four lawyers from Arent Fox LLP in our list and he comes highly recommended for his “first-rate” trade disputes and import and export regulatory work. Paul Rosenthal’s name is “synonymous with trade law in the United States”; he manages the DC office and co-chairs the government relations and public policy group at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, where Kathleen Cannon and David Hartquist also rank highly. Jean Anderson is a senior partner in Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP’s DC-based international trade team and is known for her countervailing duty and anti-dumping work, having acted as counsel to the Canadian government in landmark softwood lumber matters. Joanne Osendarp and Charles Roh join her in the upper reaches of the research.

Brussels

Van Bael & Bellis is the dominant firm in Brussels in terms of lawyers listed, and the firm’s founding member and managing partner Jean-François Bellis is one of the most highly regarded trade lawyers internationally. Alongside his work as a WTO panellist, Bellis is a “leading light” in EU anti-dumping matters with extensive litigation and competition expertise. Philippe De Baere is another “big name” at the firm and is renowned for his anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and EU customs work. Fabrizio Di Gianni combines a strong knowledge of EU trade law with “invaluable” experience of Italian competition law. Benoît Servais and Richard Luff also rank “among Brussels’ best”.

Two of the three lawyers we feature from Vermulst Verhaeghe Graafsma & Bronckers rank among the world’s most highly regarded. Edwin Vermulst is “one of the most active lawyers in Brussels” and has been involved in numerous WTO dispute proceedings. Marco Bronckers is “well respected” for his trade and competition work, and has argued before EU and national courts as well a WTO panels and the WTO appellate body. Folkert Graafsma completes the firm’s listings and his international customs, EC and WTO law experience are “high quality”.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP places two “highly regarded” lawyers in our Brussels listings. Senior counsel Claus-Dieter Ehlermann spent six years as a member of the appellate body of the WTO in Geneva and is “exceptional” for EU regulatory, competition and international trade work. Jacques Bourgeois acts as counsel to the firm’s regulatory and government affairs department and advises the firm and its clients in European trade law, having handled matters before the European Commission and the Council of the EU. The firm also fields the “first-rate” Stefan Ohlhoff in Berlin and three “great” lawyers in DC.

Further to the inclusion of David Levine in DC, McDermott Will & Emery LLP fields two representatives in Brussels. Clive Stanbrook QC is the head of the firm’s EU regulatory practice and is lauded for his merger control and competition practice as well as his anti-dumping and WTO work. Philip Bentley QC is a trade defence and customs expert with “very strong” EU litigation expertise.

Paulette Vander Schueren of Mayer Brown LLP is an “excellent practitioner” in Brussels, where she leads the firm’s government and global trade group. Vander Schueren has advised numerous private companies and governments in matters related to WTO provisions and market access issues. A further three lawyers based in DC and Beijing add to Mayer Brown’s strong presence in this edition.

Other Jurisdictions

Our research finds a total of 12 leading trade lawyers in China. Zhong Lun Law Firm fields two attorneys in this edition including Jianwei Liu, a former legal director of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, and an “excellent practitioner”, according to sources. Lingchen Pu is selected alongside him and earns particular praise for his anti-dumping work. AllBright Law Offices places Li Fayin and Beijing managing partner Donghui Fu in these pages, both of whom are “first-rate”.

Our research charts a steady increase in the number of leading trade lawyers in Brazil over the past five years, and a number of firms achieve multiple listings in this edition. Renê Medrado is a Mercosur and WTO expert and one of two lawyers listed from Pinheiro Neto Advogados. Mauro Berenholc also ranks highly at the firm, with sources praising his anti-dumping, subsidies and countervailing measures and safeguards practice. At Demarest e Almeida Advogados José Setti Diaz’s trade practice is supplemented by “brilliant” capital markets and energy expertise, while Cinthia Battilani is recognised for her “sharp” corporate law and contracts experience. TozziniFreire Advogados and Uno-Trade Strategy Advisors also field two representatives apiece.

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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.

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