Most Highly Regarded Firms: Trade & Customs 2013

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.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Lawyer Firm
Edwin Vermulst VVGB Advocaten/Avocats, Brussels
Gary Horlick Law Offices of Gary N Horlick, Washington, DC
Marco Bronckers VVGB Advocaten/Avocats, Brussels
Paulette Vander Schueren Mayer Brown LLP, Brussels
Mark Moran Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington, DC
Jean-François Bellis Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels
Daniel Moulis Moulis Legal, Canberra
Laurent Ruessmann Field Fisher Waterhouse, Brussels
Charlene Barshefsky Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC
Valerie Slater Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Washington, DC

Sidley Austin increases its contingent to 12 lawyers in this edition, seven of whom are based in the Washington, DC office. Neil Ellis is praised for his “good understanding of the dynamics of the industry”. He has represented clients in some of the most complex and controversial anti-dumping, countervailing duty and safeguard cases and is noted for his “friendly and calm demeanour”. The “wonderful” Richard Weiner regularly counsels clients in connection with international trade and market access disputes, World Trade Organization (WTO) litigation, international treaty negotiations and EU and US trade remedy proceedings. Andrew Shoyer chairs the firm’s international trade and dispute resolution practice and is “simply superb”. The “terrific” Richard Belanger has developed and helped to implement import/export compliance programs for major multinational companies from a wide range of industry sectors. Lisa Crosby concentrates on customs law, sanctions and export controls and is “very responsive and efficient”. The “hard-working and thorough” Brenda Jacobs advises multinationals, trade associations and government on customers and trade law and policy. James Mendenhall is “renowned” for his expertise in international trade and is praised for his “tremendous intellect”. The firm is also well represented in Switzerland, with four lawyers selected from Geneva. The “first-rate” Todd Friedbacher has represented clients in more than 30 WTO disputes and is commended for his “astounding knowledge”. Co-managing partner Scott Andersen is described as “one of the best WTO lawyers in the world” and an “expert” on anti-dumping, environment and investments. Nicolas Lockhart has almost 20 years’ experience in the field and is praised for his “wealth of experience”. Iain Sandford has served as a WTO dispute settlement panellist and is “truly excellent”. Completing the firm’s contingent in Brussels, the “impressive” Arnoud Willems leads the EU trade and customs team.

Eight lawyers are selected from Baker & McKenzie, including the “dedicated” Stuart Seidel who focuses on customs classification and valuation, country of origin and customs compliance matters. William Outman II has “particular expertise” on matters involving tariff issues arising in the context of imports, unfair trade practices and export controls. The “reliable and robust” Jasper Helder focuses on economic sanctions and EU export controls. The “highly respected” Enie Neri de Ross coordinates the firm’s international trade regulations and antitrust and competition practice groups in Caracas. Raymundo Enríquez is a “leading light” in Mexico City and Argentina-based Esteban Pablo Rópolo is “very sharp”. Edwin Whatley is “well versed” in Japanese consumption tax and customs and the “exemplary” Eugene Lim co-heads the firm’s Asia-Pacific regional customs and international trade steering committee.

White & Case boasts the inclusion of seven lawyers in this edition, led by the “pre-eminent” Walter Spak in the Washington, DC office. He received a high number of nominations in our research and is regarded as a “leading figure” in the field alongside his brother Gregory Spak. William Clinton is a “legend” in the field and David Bond is a “real pleasure to work with”. Executive partner of the Geneva office and head of the firm’s WTO practice Brendan McGivern is praised for his “sharp mind”. Osamu Umejima is a “dominant figure” in Japan who “never fails to offer valuable and practical advice”. The “talented” James Killick is based in Brussels and praised for his “breadth of expertise”.

Seven lawyers from King & Spalding are selected for inclusion. Joseph Dorn is the founding partner of the firm’s international trade practice group and is highly rated in our research. The “outstanding” Gilbert Kaplan is celebrated for having filed and prosecuted the first ever successful countervailing duty case against China, in 2007. Stephen Orava chairs the international trade practice group and is a “great strategist”. Jasper Wauters advises private and sovereign clients on all aspects of international trade and investment law and is praised for his “quality professionalism”. Also in Geneva, Charles Julien is “truly top of the line” and Daniel Crosby is praised for his “great tactical sense”. Iain MacVay launched the firm’s trade and customs practice in London and is praised for his “business sense” and “sound instincts”.

The six nominees from Steptoe & Johnson are led by the “spectacular” Mark Moran. He has successfully litigated numerous high-profile cases under the US anti-dumping, countervailing duty and safeguards laws and is considered “one of the best in his generation”. The “doyen of trade and customs” Richard Cunningham is “very active” in representing corporate and governmental clients with respect to US government trade policy issues. Matthew Yeo advises sovereign and non-sovereign clients in matters arising under the agreements of the WTO and is a “standout lawyer in DC”. Eric Emerson is “highly reputed” and Edward Krauland is commended for the “remarkable quality of his work”. Susan Esserman chairs the firm’s international department and is praised for her “commercial acumen”.

Van Bael & Bellis also sees six of its lawyers selected including the “absolute star” Jean-François Bellis. He regularly speaks on the subject at international conferences and seminars and is a “must for inclusion” on our list. Philippe De Baere has been involved in most major EU anti-dumping, anti-circumvention and anti-subsidy proceedings since 1990 and is a “favourite among clients”. Richard Luff is praised for his “thorough understanding of the sector” and Yuriy Rudyuk enjoys a “perfect reputation”. Fabrizio Di Gianni is commended for his “impressive language skills” and Benoît Servais is praised for his “meticulous approach” and attention to detail.

Six lawyers also feature from Mayer Brown including the “extremely knowledgeable” Paulette Vander Schueren. She leads the firm’s government and international trade group in Brussels and receives a high number of nominations in our research. Nikolay Mizulin has been involved in several high-profile WTO disputes and is “highly proficient”. Duane Layton heads the firm’s government and global trade group in Washington, DC and is commended for his “forward thinking”. Also in Washington, the “terrific” Michael Kantor is noted for his “sound and insightful advice” and Matthew McConkey is praised for his “diligence”. Strategic adviser Susan Schwab offers cross-practice and cross-office counsel to clients on a wide range of issues and policies and is “valued very highly” for her expertise.

Hogan Lovells improves on its listing in the previous edition and now sees six of its lawyers featured including the “very well known and well regarded” Lewis Leibowitz. He represents clients before all federal courts and agencies dealing with international trade matters and is a “great performer”. Warren Maruyama is noted for his expertise in trade policy and praised for his “sound judgement”. Mark McConnell is “highly accomplished” and Deen Kaplan is commended for his “pragmatic approach”. Jeanne Archibald has more than 30 years of experience in the field and is “second to none”. Director of the international trade and investment group in Europe Lourdes Catrain is “amazingly clever” and impresses clients with her ability to “handle cases with aplomb”.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld performs well with five nominees selected including one of the most highly nominated individuals in our research Valerie Slater. Regarded as a “connoisseur of the trade bar”, she has “extensive experience” with anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases.  Warren Connelly handles a wide variety of import and export related matters and is a “major player” in the field. Stephen Kho is noted for his “international outlook” and Spencer Griffith is praised for his “common sense approach”. Hal Shapiro heads the firm’s international trade practice and is commended for his “technical skills”.

The five listings from Grunfeld Desiderio Lebowitz Silverman & Klestadt are split between Washington and New York. The “superstar” Francis Sailer is based in Washington and has over 30 years’ experience in international commerce. In New York, Bruce Mitchell is commended for his versatility and Max Schutzman is noted for his “first-class advice”. Founding partners Alan Lebowitz and Robert Silverman are “big names in the field” and valued for their “dedication to clients”.

Cassidy Levy Kent also enjoys five listings including the “highly sought-after” John Greenwald who represents clients in matters arising under the trade laws of the US, the EU and other foreign jurisdictions. Robert Cassidy Jr was a primary architect of the modern anti-dumping and countervailing duty statutes and is a “leading authority” on trade law procedures. The “tremendous” Charles Levy has worked on every major trade act since the Trade Act of 1974 and Jack Levy has “widespread expertise” which is “second to none”. In Canada, the “incredibly smart” Christopher Kent has been involved in a large number of the highest-profile Canadian and US international trade disputes of the past decade.

Boutique firm Appleton Luff features four lawyers including the “highly accomplished” David Luff who advises a number of governments on WTO implementation and trade negotiations issues. The “fantastic” Arthur Appleton has worked extensively in Asia and Africa with businesses, developing countries, international organisations and non-governmental organisations. Singapore-based Edmund Sim is “incredibly bright” and “one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in anti-dumping issues in Asia”. In Raszyn, Roberto Rios Herrán is praised for his “exceptional people skills” and “in-depth knowledge”.

Four lawyers also feature from Arent Fox including the “exceptional” Matthew Clark. He is managing partner of the Washington, DC office and “routinely distinguishes himself for his ability to understand and articulate the law clearly”. The “amazingly clever” John Gurley focuses on trade relief proceedings and Kay Georgi is the “very best in export controls”. Matthew Nolan heads the firm’s trade practice and is praised for being “commercially savvy”.

At Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Matthew Nicely is admired for his “pragmatism” in representing clients across multiple industries in anti-dumping, countervailing duty and safeguard litigation. Department head of the international trade remedies and customs group at the Washington, DC office Kenneth Pierce is praised for his “focus on achieving results”. The “superlative lawyer” Amanda DeBusk is chair of the international trade department and heads the firm’s export controls and sanctions practice. Joanne Osendarp is based in New York and Washington and has a “great reputation in international legal circles”.

Four nominees feature from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr including the highly nominated Charlene Barshefsky. She focuses her practice on the removal of trade and regulatory impediments to exporting to or investing in markets throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America and is a “guru in the field”. The “very focused” Robert Novick has acted for clients including ExxonMobil, Cisco Systems and Google. The “stellar” Jacques Bourgeois has over four decades of experience in the field and Stefan Ohlhoff is noted for his “strong performance” representing clients in anti-dumping, countervailing duty and safeguard proceedings.

VVGB Advocaten features some of the most highly regarded individuals in our research. Founding partner Edwin Vermulst is noted for his “excellent trade remedies practice” and receives the most nominations in our research worldwide. He has served as a WTO panellist and acted as counsel to governments involved in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. Also receiving a high number of nominations, the “gifted” Marco Bronckers enjoys a “unblemished reputation” in international trade law. Described as “very creative”, he became the first lawyer in private practice to represent a government in government-to-government litigation before a GATT panel in Geneva in 1988. Natalie McNelis has more than 15 years’ experience in the field and is praised for her “striking intellectual capability”.

Also in Brussels, Folkert Graafsma of Holman Fenwick Willan earns a listing as a “leading lawyer”. He has successfully represented clients in over 150 anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings, including landmark EU and US cases. Field Fisher Waterhouse’s Laurent Ruessmann, noted for his “enviable knowledge”, is an “absolute must” on our list.

A number of other highly regarded individuals feature from the US including the “tremendous” Gary Horlick at his own firm in Washington, DC. He has represented more than 20 countries in international trade negotiations and disputes and chaired WTO and Mercosur dispute panels. John Magnus at Tradewins has been “very active” in the field for 23 years and is described as “invaluable” by clients. At Kelley Drye & Warren, the “unrivalled expert” Paul Rosenthal has more than 35 years of experience in international trade and government relations matters.

In Canada, the “absolutely brilliant” Clifford Sosnow of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin has appeared before North American Free Trade Agreement and WTO panels, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeal. He is noted for his “strategic thinking” and “clarity of opinion”.

In Australia, Moulis Legal boasts the inclusion of the “highly revered” Daniel Moulis. He has argued cases before the Productivity Commission, and the Trade Measures Review Office, and is experienced in WTO dispute settlement body proceedings. He is “very well informed” about international trade and “incredibly impressive all round”.

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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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