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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Belgium > Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Trade remedy investigations are a sweet spot for Mayer Brown, and the team is also routinely engaged on WTO disputes, customs work, export control issues and sanctions matters. Group head Paulette Vander Schueren is a high-profile figure in the market and, alongside Nikolay Mizulin, represented Wilmar International in anti-dumping proceedings concerning biodiesel imports from Indonesia. On the WTO side, Mizulin is acting for Gazprom in a WTO challenge brought by the Russian government concerning the EU’s ‘Third Energy Package’. Other clients include the Russian Fertilizer Producers’ Association, EuroChem and Chemk Group.

Undoubted leaderV V G B Advocaten-Avocats counts several of the market’s leading specialists among its ranks including Edwin Vermulst, who has ‘a strategic and problem-solving’ approach, the ‘extremely bright’ Folkert Graafsma and ‘rising star’ Juhi Dion Sud. Recent highlights include representing the Indonesian government in a WTO case concerning EU anti-dumping measures on biodiesel from Indonesia. In another high-profile matter, the firm is advising the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, which includes brands such as Adidas, Asics and Nike, and its Chinese suppliers in the Brazilian anti-dumping expiry review investigation concerning footwear from China. Other clients include the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Huawei Technologies and Electrosteel Castings.

According to clients, ‘there are few firms of comparable calibre’ to Van Bael & Bellis, which fields a team of lawyers who are ‘highly specialised in their field’ and ‘eager to understand clients’ needs’. Jean-François Bellis is, arguably, ‘the most senior expert in the market’ and Philippe De Baere is ‘very intellectual yet very straightforward’. In a headline case, Richard Luff, alongside a team from the Geneva office, acted for Argentina’s biodiesel association, Carbio, and all biodiesel producers in Argentina (including Cargill, Bunge and Glencore) in challenging EU anti-dumping measures on biodiesel imports from Argentina. On the WTO side, De Baere and Yuriy Rudyuk represented the Ukraine government in a WTO dispute settlement proceeding brought against Russia concerning traffic in transit restrictions. The large team also includes Fabrizio Di Gianni and Pablo Muñiz.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I’s team has ‘a strong commitment to maintaining open channels of communication’ and are ‘true experts in trade law’. Group head Olivier Prost, who is highlighted for his ‘in-depth preparation and analysis’, represented Arkema in India’s anti-dumping investigation against sodium chlorate imports from China, Canada and the EU. The group also has expertise in customs, export control and sanctions issues. In 2017 John Lonergan, former deputy head of unit at the EC’s Directorate-General for Trade, joined as senior advisor. Counsel Anna Claudia Coelho Dias is also recommended.

The ‘knowledgeable and well-connected’ group at Hogan Lovells International LLP is led by the ‘strategic and insightfulLourdes Catrain, who is advising Wacker Chemie on the EU partial interim review discussing anti-dumping measures on solar panels from China. Falk Schöning acted with Catrain to advise European affiliates of the Dover Corporation on export control and sanctions issues. Trade treaties and customs matters are other areas of expertise. Associates Christopher Lock has ‘a good knowledge base and is detail-oriented’ and Jorge Torres is ‘able to communicate complex issues simply’.

White & Case LLP’s James Killick is a prominent name for trade remedies and sanctions work; he successfully represented European steel association Eurofer in its efforts to persuade the EC to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of hot-rolled flat products from China. Killick is also advising several Russian banks and energy companies on various sanctions and export control matters. Jacquelyn MacLennan heads up the customs side of the practice and is advising Celanese on high-level customs matters. Counsel Richard King is also recommended.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a highly respected sanctions practice and also acts on trade defence, import and export regulations, trade agreements and customs procedures. François-Charles Laprévote and senior counsel Till Müller-Ibold represented Ajinomoto in an anti-dumping investigation regarding imports of aspartame to the EU. ABB, Airbus and City Cycle are also on the department’s books.

At Dentons, global group head Edward Borovikov is ‘a true specialist in the trade area’. The ‘professional and proactive’ team also includes Bogdan Evtimov and Nadiya Nychay, who are ‘extremely responsive and attentive’. Borovikov and Evtimov represented Severstal and Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works in an EU anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of hot-rolled flat steel from Russia, Brazil, Iran, Serbia and Ukraine. In addition to its active trade remedies practice, the firm has expertise in customs matters, WTO disputes, trade sanctions and export controls.

Fieldfisher’s expertise spans trade remedies, WTO disputes, customs matters, trade agreements, export controls and economic sanctions. Group head Laurent Ruessmann has a strong profile in the area and, alongside highly rated of counsel Jochen Beck, represented the Committee of Polyethylene Terephthalate Manufacturers in Europe in an application for annulment following the European Council decision not to extend anti-dumping measures against polyethylene terephthalate imports.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘responsive and practical team’ provides ‘high-quality advice’, under the leadership of the ‘insightful and strategic’ Lode Van Den Hende. The team also includes ‘very receptive and communicative’ senior associate Jérémie Charles, who joined from Sidley Austin LLP in 2016, consultant Eric White and senior associate Jennifer Paterson. Highlights included representing Gazprom Neft in two cases before the EU General Court challenging EU trade and financial sanctions. The group is also advising on WTO settlement proceedings, customs matters and Brexit-related issues.

Renato Antonini’s practice at Jones Day spans trade defence, WTO matters, export controls, customs issues and trade agreements. Solvay is a key client and the firm is currently advising the Belgian chemical company on export control matters and anti-dumping procedures. The team also successfully challenged EU tariffs on fasteners for Changshu City Standard Parts Factory and Ningbo Jinding Fastener Piece. Senior associate Eva Monard is also noted.

McGuireWoods LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘deep knowledge’, particularly in the trade defence area, where it is widely revered as ‘among the market leaders for trade remedies’. The team advised Viraj Profiles on several matters, including successfully assisting it with obtaining an annulment of anti-dumping duties on imports of stainless steel wires. WTO matters, customs, trade sanctions, export controls and regional trade agreements are also significant areas of expertise. Yves Melin joined Steptoe & Johnson LLP in 2017. Vassilis Akritidis joined DWF in 2018 as head of the firm’s WTO and international trade practice in Brussels.

A serious alternative to the more well-known trade firms in Brussels’, Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘client-oriented practice’ provides ‘excellent service’. Michael Jürgen Werner, who is ‘a good team leader’, advised numerous financial institutions on Romanian and Ukrainian sanctions. Christian Filippitsch, who is ‘excellent in debating, and defeating, opponents’ pleas’, advised the Association of Moroccan Steel Producers and Sonasid on initiating a safeguard procedure, which concluded with Morocco imposing measures on steel products from the EU.

At Squire Patton Boggs, Robert MacLean is the key contact for a diverse trade practice that handles the full spread of trade defence, export controls, economic sanctions, customs issues and free trade agreements. Aline Doussin, who splits her time between Brussels and London, is also a name to note.

In 2017, Steptoe & Johnson LLP bolstered its team through the hires of Yves Melin, who has ‘deep legal knowledge combined with a friendly way of working’, and senior associate Yongqing Bao, who provides ‘a rich insight into the EU legal system combined with a full understanding of Chinese businesses’, from McGuireWoods LLP. The group also includes Brussels trade lead James Searles, Guy Soussan and Simon Hirsbrunner. Trade remedies are a specialism and highlights included representing the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products in the review of EU anti-dumping measures against imports of photovoltaic cells and modules from China.

Garrigues’ ‘available and flexible’ group includes Ángel Givaja Sanz, who has ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Among its highlights, the firm advised ASEMESA (a Spanish association of ripe olive exporters) on the US anti-dumping investigation into ripe olives imports from Spain. The group also excels in customs matters.

At K&L Gates GP, group head Philip Torbøl represented Koppers in an anti-dumping investigation initiated by the Indian trade defence authorities. The three-partner team, which also has strong experience in economic sanctions and market access issues, counts Ampco Metal and Nutramax Laboratories among its other key clients.

NCTM Studio Legale’s broad practice acted on a diverse range of trade defence, WTO and export control matters. Department head Bernard O’Connor is widely recognised as a market leader and represented the EU Council in the high-profile solar panels anti-dumping case.

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