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Baker McKenzie 's ‘legal service in the trade compliance area is superb’; ‘the firm has deep knowledge of economic sanctions and export controls’. Key industries for the practice are aerospace and defence, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, energy, financial services and fast moving consumer goods. The ‘wise and practical’ Ross Denton heads the practice and ‘has provided solutions to seemingly insolvable issues on more than one occasion’; his key clients include Apple, Halliburton and Sony. Sunny Mann (‘combines deep expertise with a cheerful personality, making him a pleasure to work with’) has been advising a large energy services company on a criminal investigation led by HMRC into alleged violations involving EU and UK sanctions against Russia and UK export controls. Tristan Grimmer specialises in advising clients on export controls, sanctions, and anti-bribery and corruption.  Senior associate Sven Bates is recommended as ‘an up-and-comer, with broad expertise in the sanctions compliance space’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's practice advises clients on the full spectrum of international trade and WTO law and trade regulatory work, including trade policy considerations, customs issues and trade remedy proceedings. Practice head Lode Van Den Hende,  who divides his time between Brussels and London, continues to represent Gazprom Neft and Rosneft on cases before the EU General Court challenging EU trade and financial sanctions adopted by the Council of the European Union. Susannah Cogman and Daniel Hudson advise on sanctions issues; Cogman has particular expertise in sanctions work in relation to Iran, Russia, Syria and Lybia, while Hudson’s experience is concentrated on sanctions issues arising from financial crime. Senior associate Morris Schonberg is recommended for anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations and is qualified as a solicitor-advocate, regularly representing clients in trade-related litigation before the EU courts. Senior associate Jérémie Charles moved to Hogan Lovells International LLP in January 2018.

The ‘excellent’ practice at Dechert LLP is headed by international trade practice co-chair Miriam Gonzalez, whose focus is in international and EU trade law policy. The team includes senior directors Roger Matthews, whose previous experience includes roles with the European Commission and at HM Treasury; and Andrew Hood, who was the legal adviser to the UK Prime Minister prior to joining the firm. Areas of focus for the practice include economic sanctions and trade embargoes, regulatory compliance, and advice on infringements of EU single market regulations.

The team at DLA Piper ‘provides a holistic view and response’ to its clients’ trade and customs concerns. The ‘first-rate’ John Forrest heads the team, which advises on all aspects of international trade law, including export controls, trade embargoes, customs procedures and international trade agreements. The team was strengthened with the hire of its Paul Hardy in April 2017, who previously served as EU legal adviser to the House of Lords. Hardy and Forrest advises the firm’s global clients on the implications of Brexit and EU trade negotiations. Clients of the practice include Metro Bank, Amec Foster Wheeler and card-game manufacturer Cards Against Humanity. Senior associate Chloe Barker, who divides her time between Birmingham and London, is also recommended.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's practice attracts praise for its ‘excellent knowledge’ and ‘pragmatic, clear, and definitive advice’. Areas of strength include export control, customs formalities, customs duties and indirect taxes and Brexit advice, with key clients for the practice including BBA Aviation, HESCO Bastion, Teledyne Technologies and AVEVA Group. Practice head James Lindop has represented clients in front of HMRC, the Export Control Organisation and the European Commission and is seen as an expert for customs, export control and sanctions questions. Tax expert Giles Salmond and associate Monika Zejden-Erdmann are also recommended.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld provides ‘invaluable’, ‘responsive’ and ‘concise’ advice. The practice is led by Jasper Helder, who is advising a global agricultural commodities trading company on the impact of EU and US sanctions against Russia and Crimea in relation to shipping operations for the execution of global commodity trading contracts originating in the Black Sea region. Senior counsel Chiara Klaui is assisting a global propulsion and power generation manufacturer with an internal investigation concerning compliance with EU/UK, US and Hong Kong military and dual-use export controls. Associate Daniel Lund joined the team from Baker McKenzie in September 2017.

The ‘very impressive’ Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is led by competition and trade law specialist Chris Bryant, who has particular expertise in EU/Russia sanctions, having advised a number of major Russian banks, including Sberbank, VEB and VTB. Bryant is supported by tax and customs specialist Kate Ison; both are recommended as ‘intelligent, knowledgeable, responsive, calm and good with clients’. Also noted are senior associates Irene Cummins and Julia Joseph.

Gowling WLG is ‘highly knowledgeable in the area of UK/EU sanctions over Russia’ and provides a ‘professional service with queries answered clearly’. Head of practice Bernardine Adkins,  who is also a qualified barrister, is strong across the range of EU, trade and competition disciplines, with particular expertise in trade defence investigations. Adkins, supported by Rory Jones (who ‘provides clear and cogent advice’), advised a UK manufacturer and exporter of military list goods on a suspected breach of one of its open individual export licences and advised a German manufacturer and exporter on the application of the EU’s Dual Use Regulation to inter-company sales of dual-use items. Wendy Wagner and David Lowe are both significant for international trade instructions. Highly experienced trade regulation lawyer Vincent Smith took on a consultancy role.

London and Brussels-based managing partner Peter Crowther heads the practice at Winston & Strawn London LLP. Primarily an EU and competition lawyer, his experience includes advising on trade and sanctions laws and devising and implementing appropriate compliance programmes. Crowther and associate Jade-Alexandra Fearns provide ongoing advice to big name corporates including XL Catlin, Liberty Specialty Markets and InterChem on the impact of EU and international and EU trade sanctions legislation on their businesses.

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