EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs in London
Standing out for its historically strong trade-focused presence on the London market, the ‘highly competent’ international trade and WTO team at Baker McKenzie advises on the full scope of matters, including export controls, sanctions, customs, WTO law and trade remedies. The group has specific expertise in sectors such as aerospace and defence, energy, financial services, media, consumer goods, industry and pharmaceuticals. Notably, the team has also experienced an increase in Brexit-related instructions. While the team primarily acts for UK-based exporters and large multinational companies, it has also been advising governmental bodies during the past year. Sunny Mann heads the team and focuses on UK, EU and US export control, sanctions and anti-bribery work. Ross Denton handles matters concerning the public regulation of international trade; this is also an area of specialism for Jennifer Revis, who is adept at handling customs compliance issues. Senior associates Sven Bates and Ben Smith are also recommended.
‘Team members remain calm under pressure and instil great confidence in their clients‘
‘The team has high-level expertise in acting for corporates on sensitive and complex investigations‘
‘This is the go-to team for issues arising in the EU and the UK in relation to international trade‘
‘A team of highly qualified and very knowledgeable professionals with global reach due to the firm’s strong position internationally. This makes the group a valuable business partner in various types of complex international trade matters‘
‘Sunny Mann has very good instincts in advising on his clients’ strategy‘
‘Sunny Mann and Ross Denton are the two people to call if one needs quick and commercially sound advice regarding urgent issues‘
- Providing sanctions and export controls advice to three leading multinational technology companies, including advice concerning the application of export control rules in the EU, UK, US, Russia and India.
- Advising a global bank on an asset-freezing assessment issues relating to Russian sanctions.
- Advising a US aerospace and defence company on matters concerning customs and export control classification and a valuation strategy for military items, as well as providing export controls and sanctions advice.
- Providing EU sanctions and export controls advice to a global NYSE-listed provider of oil and gas services, with particular reference to the application of EU sanctions against Russia and Crimea.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s trade offices, which are based in London and Brussels, operate as a single, fully integrated team and provide cross-practice advice not only on matters concerning competition, regulation and trade, but also corporate investigations and dispute resolution. Clients include a number of high-profile multinational companies and UK government bodies, but recently the department has also been advising WTO members on their international trade obligations. Work highlights concern WTO law, trade policy, sanctions and export control matters, customs issues, trade remedies, and issues relating to market access and trade barriers. While Lode Van Den Hende advises on the full spectrum of international and EU trade law, he is also ‘a standout trade law practitioner’ due to his strong background in representing clients in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. Senior associates Morris Schonberg and Brussels-based Jennifer Paterson are also recommended.
Lode Van Den Hende
‘The team has a particular depth of knowledge and expertise in EU law‘
‘The team works very well even under tight deadlines‘
‘Jennifer Paterson is able to provide incredibly knowledgeable and commercially astute advice on very esoteric topics‘
‘Morris Schonberg is great‘
United Carton Industries Company
British American Tobacco
Nord Stream 2
Associated British Foods
- Advised multiple WTO members on avoiding or mitigating the adverse impact of Brexit.
- Represented United Carton Industries Company during an anti-dumping investigation concerning cardboard paper, initiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council.
- Advised high-profile clients on the impact of Brexit on trade flows between the EU and the UK.
- Represented Rosneft in a case before the European General Court challenging EU trade and financial sanctions.
- Represented Gazprom Neft in two cases before the EU General Court challenging EU trade and financial sanctions adopted by the Council of the European Union.
DLA Piper's global trade and government affairs team advises on the full spectrum of international trade issues, such as export controls, trade embargoes, financial sanctions, customs procedures and international trade agreements. Recent highlights concern multiple assessments of the impact of Brexit, the application of the EU customs framework, advice regarding trade regulation across multiple jurisdictions, and investigatory work. Notably, over the last year the team has been receiving instructions from foreign corporates and sovereign entities in relation to foreign direct investment. Another particular characteristic of the team is that its work is led from London, but it also has a strong, trade-focused presence throughout the UK. John Forrest heads the department and has extensive experience in handling regulatory challenges, among other matters. Splitting her time between London and Birmingham, senior associate Chloe Barker is recommended for her work involving export control restrictions and customs.
Other key lawyers:
Check Point Software Technologies
James Fisher and Sons
Reckitt Benckiser Group
- Provided advice to Melrose in relation to a global trade compliance risk assessment and policy review.
- Provided sanctions compliance advice to James Fisher and Sons.
- Assisted Bank ABC with EU and US transactions assessments of sanctions as well as licensing issues.
- Advised Reckitt Benckiser on the impact of the EU and the US sanctions regimes.
At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, the international trade team is adept at handling a wide range of cross-border matters, such as trade control requirements, export classification and licensing audits, sanctions compliance analysis and investigations. The group has experience in dealing with WTO-specific issues, including providing advice on trading within the organisation’s framework, as well as on quotas and trade barriers, pricing mechanisms, reviews of contractual obligations in light of Brexit, and regulatory compliance risk assessments. While the department has already carved out a significant reputation in these areas, it is further expanding its presence in the aerospace and defence, engineering, chemicals, technology, utilities, transportation and energy sectors. ‘Truly excellent’ practice head James Lindop has particular expertise in diversified industrials and technology. Giles Salmond’s practice focuses on customs duties with a particular emphasis on litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Royal Dutch Shell
- Advised Rolls-Royce on the £500m sale of its commercial marine division to aerospace company Kongsberg Gruppen; advice included pre-sale due diligence as well as trade control advice.
- Advising Tenneco on certain trade-related aspects of its £160m acquisition of a majority stake in Öhlins Intressenter AB.
Focusing on work in the transactional and investigatory space, the international trade department at Akin Gump LLP advises on the financial crime and compliance aspects of trade. The team has an established presence in sectors such as industrial manufacturing, energy, shipping and offshore construction. A standout development is the team’s recent increase in instructions concerning multi-jurisdictional internal investigations and voluntary self-disclosures. Jasper Helder heads the department and advises on issues concerning economic sanctions, EU export controls, and anti-corruption and anti-money laundering compliance. Senior counsel Chiara Klaui is also recommended for trade compliance work involving the EU and the US.
Other key lawyers:
‘A truly special team – always prepared to answer complex regulatory inquiries in a concise but comprehensive manner‘
‘The team delivers positive results every time‘
‘Chiara Klaui is incredibly diligent, quick and thorough in her responses to clients‘
United Technologies Corporation
Space Exploration Technologies
United Parcel Service
Esterline Technologies Corporation
Volkswagen Group of America
Johnson & Johnson
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (Washington, D.C.)
Government of British Columbia
Ministry of Trade
Advanced Drainage Systems
Consumer Technology Association
International Data Group
International Shipholding Corproation
Organization for International Investment
Information Technology Industry Council
Northleaf Capital Partners
- Assisting a global online accommodation reservations platform with an internal review into potential violations of the EU sanctions against Crimea and the subsequent preparation of a voluntary self-disclosure to an EU member state sanctions regulator.
- Advising an informal committee of creditors of a central European food and retail group on the sanctions-related aspects of the implementation of a debt-for-equity restructuring.
- Assisting an investment fund with conducting a large customs litigation concerning the alleged underpayment of customs, anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
- Assisting a large 3D printing company with the export controls classification of its product portfolio.
- Advising a global beverage company on the customs-related ramifications of Brexit on its EU-based operations.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP attracts a wide variety of trade-focused instructions from international clients; the team has been increasingly active providing sanctions-related advice to clients in Russia. In addition to sanctions-related work, the group is adept at handling matters concerning export controls, customs and the general application of WTO rules. Practice head Chris Bryant is a key contact for a number of US companies, multinational airlines, retailers and financial institutions.
‘An exceptional team‘
‘The breadth and the depth of the team’s trade law knowledge is very valuable‘
‘All team members are extremely knowledgeable, intelligent and flexible‘
‘The team is able to respond quickly and effectively to a client’s needs‘
‘Chris Bryant is very knowledgeable and approachable‘
The EU, trade and competition team at Gowling WLG advises on EU and UK sanctions law, customs and trade compliance, and EU trade defence investigations. The group also works closely with the firm’s commercial law department in the export controls space. Bernadine Adkins heads the department and has significant expertise in trade defence investigations. The department also broadened its offering in relation to customs, excise duties and regulatory matters through the appointment of legal director Ursula Johnston, who joined from Ernst & Young Global Limited in September 2018.
Other key lawyers:
Hill & Smith Holdings
Aston Martin Lagonda
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
- Advised a UK manufacturer and exporter of military goods on a trade compliance issue concerning an alleged breach of an export licence.
- Advised a multinational company on the application of EU sanctions law and UK export controls to a proposed offshore drilling and exploration project on Russian territory.
At Hogan Lovells International LLP, the London-based international trade and investment team co-operates with the firm’s US- and Brussels-based trade departments. This strong global presence allows the group to advise on UK, US and EU matters. Besides a significant volume of complex advice pertaining to multiple sanctions regimes, the team also deals with foreign investment issues, export controls classification, and import encryption control, among other matters. Notably, on the contentious side, the group also represents clients in UK customs litigation proceedings. The team is newly established, following the appointment of practice head Aline Doussin, who joined from Squire Patton Boggs in April 2018. Newly promoted partner Jamie Rogers is a go-to contact for clients in the insurance space, which he assists with matters regarding the application of financial sanctions laws.
Other key lawyers:
‘An extremely strong team of very knowledgeable professionals, who go the extra mile‘
‘The team is very focused, both on technical issues and on client care‘
‘Aline Doussin is very efficient and responsive‘
Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE)
Society of Lloyd’s
- Advised ZTE on one of the largest settlements in the history of US export control and sanctions enforcement.
- Represented Pfizer before the First-tier Tribunal in proceedings regarding the customs classification of Pfizer’s products.
Operating as an integrated wider trade group globally, Mayer Brown International LLP’s government and global trade team focuses on advice concerning economic sanctions laws, export controls, customs, and trade remedy investigations. Apart from its traditional client base of large multinational companies, the team has also been receiving compliance-focused instructions concerning the application of WTO agreements from governmental bodies. While London-based team members have dual UK and US qualifications, the department also works extensively with its Asian counterpart. Having joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in July 2018, Jason Hungerford currently heads the practice, where associates Paul Whitfield-Jones and James Ford are also key contacts.
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association
Recent highlights at Winston & Strawn LLP include advising leading multinational companies and global insurance companies on the sanctions regime applicable internationally. The team is also highly experienced in providing complex regulatory advice and compliance analysis in sectors including petrochemicals, retail and publishing. Also of note is the team’s strength in the Japanese and Russian markets. Peter Crowther heads the department and has expertise in sanctions work.
Sberbank of Russia
Liberty Specialty Markets
Apollo Syndicate Management
- Advised XL Catlin in relation to both competition law and international trade sanctions.
- Advised Sberbank in relation to EU capital market access restrictions imposed by the Council of the European Union.
- Advised Liberty Specialty Markets in relation to the application of international trade sanctions to the client’s business.
- Advised InterChem on all aspects of compliance and international trade sanctions issues.
- Provided international trade sanctions and compliance advice to Apollo, a Lloyd’s syndicate.