Richard Luff
Office:
Glaverbel Building
Chaussée de la Hulpe 166 Terhulpsesteenweg
B-1170
City:
Brussels
Country:
Belgium
Tel:
+32 2 647 73 50
Fax:
+32 2 640 64 99
Email:

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Brexit

Richard Luff is a leading practitioner in international trade law, with a particular focus on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy law. He has personally handled more than 150 anti-dumping cases and represents clients from all over the world before the EC Commission, the Court of Justice of the EU and the WTO. He also advises governments and public institutions on market-access issues, other WTO-related matters and WTO dispute settlement proceedings.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE?

It is essentially the incredible diversity of the work, which involves an interesting mix of private and institutional clients from all corners of the world operating in a wide variety of sectors. This results in a broad range of challenging legal, political as well as macro and microeconomic issues.    

HOW DOES VAN BAEL & BELLIS DISTINGUISH ITSELF FROM COMPETITORS IN PREPARING FOR AND REACTING TO BREXIT DEVELOPMENTS?

The experience of our expert team is vast, on a practical level as well as an institutional level. Due to the large international trade and regulatory practices in our firm, we are able to offer advice on the most topical areas of law currently dominating global headlines, from customs issues to standards, and trade defence to brand protection. We understand the implications of Brexit on our clients’ business interests and are particularly adept at offering solution-based advice that minimises the impact to them.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE UK’S APPROACH TO ANTI-DUMPING WILL BE FOLLOWING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BREXIT?

The keyword is here is pragmatism. While I generally do not expect the UK to depart from its traditionally liberal approach to trade, it will carefully weigh the pros and cons before engaging in cross-border trade proceedings. I would expect that the UK will ensure that these proceedings are not unnecessarily burdened by layers of bureaucracy and that they are concluded with a view to reaching a pragmatic result on the basis of sound and carefully balanced economic and social considerations.

WHAT KIND OF EFFECT DO YOU THINK BREXIT WILL HAVE ON GLOBAL TRADE PROCEEDINGS?

Apart from its impact on the UK’s economy, I do not expect Brexit to have a major effect on trade disputes at the international level, so long as the UK maintains its long-standing approach to trade in multilateral relations with its main trading partners.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN QUESTIONS CLIENTS ARE ASKING YOU REGARDING BREXIT?

The list is long and varied. Many questions concern the effect of current anti-dumping measures imposed by the EU and in particular whether they could automatically continue to apply on imports cleared in the UK during the transitional period. We also receive questions concerning, among others, the effect of bilateral trade negotiations with close trading partners; the impact of Brexit on the EU’s free trade agreements; market access in the areas of goods and services for WTO partners that have no trade deals in place with the EU; the limitations that the UK would be facing if it decided not to replicate EU import tariffs; the list goes on.

WHAT ADVICE ARE YOU GIVING THEM?

I try to be as practical as possible by explaining the various options that are technically and legally available so that clients can gauge the possible impact on their businesses. It is difficult for me to go into much detail here as the concerns are so varied. The reality is that no one knows what will happen until Brexit actually happens, but what we’re trying to do in the meantime is make sure that our clients have a contingency plan in place so that they stand apart from their competitors when the shift happens.  

DO YOU FORESEE ANY POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF THE UK LEAVING THE EU IN TERMS OF TRADE?

In the short term, the amount of work is clearly going to increase, especially during the transitional period as clients will keep wondering how, and to what extent, the changing legal environment will affect their business. After this initial period of legal uncertainty is over, the amount of work will largely depend on the form that Brexit officially takes and the number of trade proceedings that will be initiated by or against the UK.

WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, DOES THE NEXT FEW YEARS HOLD FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE?

We are living in turbulent times, which suggest a significant increase in international trade disputes around the world. 

Practice Areas:

Follow us on LinkedIn

Practice Areas

Firms

Browse Firms

Search Firms

The Who's Who Legal 100

Awards

News & Features

Special Reports

Events

Shop

About Us

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.

Copyright © 2019 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. | http://www.lbresearch.com

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910

http://www.whoswholegal.com | editorial@whoswholegal.com

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK