The international trade and WTO practice at Baker McKenzie offers market-leading expertise across a host of matters, spanning export controls, sanctions, customs, anti-dumping, trade remedies, and other UK and EU trade law. This breadth is complemented by the firm’s broad industry coverage, acting for major clients across the aerospace and defence, energy, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and media sectors, among others. Global head of the firm’s international commercial and trade group Sunny Mann leads the London offering; his focus on UK and EU export control sees him advising on complex issues of compliance, auditing, licensing and voluntary controls. Jennifer Revis, who heads the customs and excise practice, is adept at handling import and export issues - from customs valuations and rules of origin to classifications and excise investigations. Tristan Grimmer focuses on compliance counselling, supporting clients with internal and external investigations, while export controls and sanctions expert Ben Smith has in-depth experience in the technology, consumer goods, and healthcare sectors. Of counsel Sven Bates is well regarded for his knowledge of various international trade law, anti-bribery and broader compliance issues.
EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs in London
Other key lawyers:
Jennifer Revis; Tristan Grimmer; Ben Smith; Sven Bates
‘Excellent support on a broad range of trade matters.’
‘Tristan Grimmer – commercial, knowledgeable, responsive.’
‘Great profile and client base in the trade compliance arena.’
British American Tobacco
Take Two Interactive
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Representing major international companies and governmental bodies, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP enjoys a stellar reputation across the gamut of WTO and trade law areas, encompassing investment treaty arbitration, trade policy and agreements, subsidy control, sanctions and customs issues. Practice head Lode Van Den Hende has over 25 years experience in EU regulatory and international trade matters, regularly advising major public and private sector clients. Consultant Eric White is highly experienced in WTO law and EU rules governing trade with non-EU countries, which he brings to bear as he handles significant UK post-Brexit work. Sanctions specialist Susannah Cogman regularly advises clients on complex sanctions imposed in relation to Iran, Russian, Syria and Libya, while Daniel Hudson boasts extensive experience in bribery, corruption, and money laundering issues. Other names to note include Morris Schonberg, who has built a solid reputation for his experience in relation to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations.
Lode Van Den Hende
Other key lawyers:
Eric White; Susannah Cogman; Daniel Hudson; Morris Schonberg
‘The team has excellent detailed knowledge of all legal issues relating to competition, state aid and trade, and new areas such as the foreign subsidies regulation.’
‘Their outstanding legal knowledge combined with their very client friendly approach sets them apart from other law firms. All team members are incredibly impressive from the partners to the most junior associates.’
‘Lode van den Hende has an outstanding reputation in the market, particularly in relation to state aid/subsidy control and trade. Lode is also leading HSF’s work in relation to the Foreign Subsidies Regulation, a completely new area, and he has established HSF as one of the top firms in this area.’
The Southern African Customs Union
British American Tobacco
- Successfully represented the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) in a bilateral dispute with the EU under the EU-Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement concerning a SACU safeguard measure on certain EU poultry imports.
- Represented British Sugar on its challenge in the English Courts of the UK’s autonomous tariff rate quota for raw cane sugar, on the basis that it amounts to a subsidy to its competitor, Tate & Lyle – this case represents the first Court proceedings in relation to the UK’s new subsidy control framework.
- Advising several multinational companies from various sectors on how imposed international sanctions impact their organisation and business dealings with Russia and Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Acting for some of the largest multinational corporations and sovereign governments, DLA Piper’s global trade and regulatory group offer specialist expertise across key areas including contentious and non-contentious trade, customs, financial sanctions and export controls. In recent times, the practice has experienced a significant increase in the number of sanctions mandates related to the Russo-Ukranian War. Practice head John Forrest is a market leader on international trade and WTO issues, adept at handling multi-jurisdictional investigations (involving violations of international sanctions) as well as export controls and customs regulations. Brexit expert Paul Hardy advises businesses, public sector organisations and sovereign states on preferential access to markets under existing EU trade deals and the Withdrawal Agreement. ‘No nonsense’ Chloe Barker, who was promoted to partner in May 2023, specialising in trade regulation, customs and excise. Senior associate Daniel Jones has developed particular experience in advising sovereign clients on international trade matters, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Hardy; Chloe Barker; Daniel Jones
‘The team is very commercial and adapt according to needs. Even when under significant pressure, they still found time to provide timely advice to my team.’
‘Chloe Barker has a no-nonsense approach. She gathers enough information to enable her to evaluate the risk and doesn’t over-egg it.’
CargoLogicAir (in administration)
- Providing a wide range of international trade support to Unilever globally. From a sanctions perspective, providing Unilever with legal, commercial and reputational advice since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in relation to its business activity in and with the Russian Federation. Most recently, also supported Unilever following the initiation of anti-dumping proceedings concerning the import of fatty acids originating in Indonesia.
- Providing UK, EU and US sanctions advice to Hyve Plc including with respect to the impact of increased international sanctions restrictions targeting Russia over the past 12 months, together with compliance related support.
- Supported CLA to apply for and obtain licences to continue to meet its basic needs and prior obligations to protect the short-term viability of the company while a longer-term strategy was established.
The international trade group at Akin has developed a strong reputation across a wide range of trade matters - from compliance advice and internal investigations, to representation before customs, export controls and sanctions regulators across the UK, EU, US and other jurisdictions. Practice co-chair Jasper Helder is a vastly experienced partner whose transactional work focuses on strategies to mitigate sanctions, corruption and AML risks in emerging markets and Russia. Fellow co-head Chiara Klaui has over 15 years of compliance experience, with a broad focus which spans anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and national security-related investment reviews.
Jasper Helder; Chiara Klaui
‘The team is very efficient and is staffed to handle cross-border issues well.’
‘Chiara Klaui is very sharp, efficient, and practical in her advice.’
‘Exceptional knowledge of sanctions.’
‘Jasper Heldar and Chiara Klaui are both very strong on EU trade controls matters. We consider them to be our principal peers in those areas, and they are among the first firms we would reach out to if we have a conflict in a given matter and our client requires support from a different firm.’
Ad hoc Group of Ozon bondholders
Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.
Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors
The Coca Cola Company
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
- Acting as global advisor to VEON on its compliance with Russia sanctions regimes adopted by multiple countries as well as counter-sanctions imposed by Russia and its divestment from the Russian market.
- Advising Nexperia on UK, EU and US international trade and national security investment regulations relating to its acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab and representing Nexperia in its judicial review application of the UK government’s divestment decision regarding Newport Wafer Fab.
- Acting as global sanctions compliance counsel to a major Middle Eastern oil company and its trading operations in the UK, EU, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
Boasting an extremely active international trade practice, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner continues to advise clients on export controls, customs and WTO rules, with a particular strength in sanctions work. Practice head Chris Bryant is regularly sought after by global financial institutions and major multinational corporations for his expertise regarding anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases, as well as his particular expertise in EU/Russia sanctions matters. Tax specialist Kate Ison has experience advising on complex export control issues and investigations, while associate director Ursula Johnston advises clients on international trade issues arising from procurement, supply and distribution agreements and trade compliance programmes.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Ison; Ursula Johnston
‘Very responsive and engaged, good relationship management and collaboration with other stakeholders including individual’s counsels.’
‘Comprehensive experience and understanding about processes, views of regulators and likely outcomes, and good expectation management.’
Clifford Chance LLP offers unique insight into the public international law aspects of international trade matters, advising States and corporate on WTO rights and obligations, as well as the negotiation of FTAs. The breadth of the practice is also epitomised by its expertise in domestic law aspects of international trade regulation, where the team acts for sovereign states and corporates on all aspects of economic sanctions, export controls and investment screening. Public international law expert Jessica Gladstone is particularly active in the trade and climate space, while Michael Lyons – who heads the UK and European sanctions team – is a trusted adviser to major financial institutions and corporates. Jeremy Stewart has deep experience handling international trade issues from a government perspective, while Carla Lewis regularly advises clients on their exposure to EU and UK sanctions risk.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Lyons; Jeremy Stewart; Carla Lewis
- Advising the United Kingdom Department for International Trade on Public International law and policy relating to international trade.
- Advising an Energy Company (and several other multinationals) addressing the implications and effect of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, US, EU and UK and other countries, including in relation to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
- Advising an international automobile manufacturer on WTO rights and obligations, along with customs and subsidies control issues arising from the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Sitting within the broader regulatory and investigations group, Dentons offers significant breadth and depth of international trade expertise across a wide array of sanctions, export controls, customs, WTO product regulation and national security matters. Team head Roger Matthews' practice ranges from regulatory guidance to investigations and contentious advice. Daniel Lund was promoted to partner in May 2023, having established a strong reputation within both the European and US trade compliance communities, while Kate Poppitt is noted for advising clients across the full cycle of sanctions laws.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Lund; Kate Poppitt
‘This team has international reach and is able to provide advice that cuts across many jurisdictions. Response time is quick.’
‘Very knowledgeable and easy to talk to.’
‘Able to explain a complex subject in a way that is easy to follow and understand. Written advice is provided in such a way that one is able to understand the impact on your business – not just quoting the law.’
‘Roger Matthews instructed me to conduct investigative services on behalf of his clients last year. He is highly effective, well-organised and on top of the detail. He goes to a lot of trouble to understand the background and anticipate any potential problems or difficulties. He is extremely pleasant to work with.’
Alvarez & Marsal
Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority
- Lead sanctions advisor to BP, advising it on the full range of issues that impact it in relation to the rapid expansion of Russia sanctions.
- Advised ACWA Power (leading Middle East investor in power generation) on various trade, financial sanctions and regulatory matters relating to its delivery of power-plant goods from Europe through Russia to the Caspian, for construction in Uzbekistan.
- Advised DHL/Deutsche Post on extensive and complex export control, customs, and sanctions issues arising out of its business throughout 2023.
Utilising the firm’s international presence, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides strategic advice on a wide range of core international trade law matters, including WTO, FTA terms, export controls and classifications, sanctions, and regulatory aspects. Practice head James Lindop focuses on international trade, foreign investment and subsidy control, advising on all relevant aspects from contractual rights and obligations to import tariffs and anti-dumping. Tax specialist Giles Salmond has previously appeared before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on customs matters concerning valuation, classification and entry price systems, while principal associate Monika Zejden-Erdmann has built a stellar reputation regarding export control and sanctions law matters.
Other key lawyers:
Giles Salmond; Monika Zejden-Erdmann
Marelli Automotive Systems
Shell Trading & Supply
ESET, spol. s r.o.
Teledyne Technologies, Inc.
Santé Global LLP
The trade and competition team at Gowling WLG has a strong track record across the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters, spanning UK and EU sanctions law, export controls, customs compliance, FTA utilisation, and anti-dumping. Practice head Bernadine Adkins is a respected authority on the impact of Brexit on UK trade law and policy, as well as EU-third country trade deals. David Lowe is highly regarded for national and international supply chain matters, with a recent uptick in the number of cross-border outsourcing mandates, while James Stunt provides expertise in customs compliance and FTA utilisation.
Other key lawyers:
David Lowe; James Stunt
‘The Gowling WLG sanctions team has sufficient expertise to cover any EU and UK sanctions questions and also from my perspective as a US client they do a particularly good job of flagging and explaining unique EU and UK sanctions concepts that are not readily apparent to US sanctions practitioners. The Gowling WLG team also cooperates very well with counsel from other jurisdictions on cross-border matters that require subject matter experts from multiple jurisdictions.’
‘Bernardine Adkins is very pleasant to work with and she is especially effective at distilling complicated concepts into practical verbal advice.’
‘James Stunt prepares direct and concise work product and also does a very good job of meeting promised delivery timelines.’
Hill & Smith Holdings plc
Aston Martin Lagonda Limited
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (“SMMT”)
The Hut Group
Working seamlessly with colleagues across offices in the US, EU and Asia, Hogan Lovells International LLP offer specialist expertise in a broad range of complex trade matters concerning FDI reviews, export controls, customs law and policy, global encryption controls and sanctions. Practice head Aline Doussin is a recognised leader in the field of international trade law, overseeing a practice that services clients across a number of key economic sectors including financial services, technology, defence, energy and life sciences.
‘Aline Doussin’s team provides superb client service on customs and trade matters. Aline has deep expertise in this field, is an excellent communicator and is outstanding on overall strategy.’
‘Aline Doussin has true specialist expertise in the field of trade and customs, she instils confidence in clients and she is in high demand’.
‘Hogan Lovells provides a service which makes each client feel like they have the teams full attention and support. They are attentive and knowledgeable, and the work and advice they provide is always presented in a clear and understandable way.’
‘The individuals I have worked with are very attentive and always available despite their busy schedules. This makes them stand out from other firms I have worked with.’
Department for International Trade
AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC)
- Advised the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) on its trade negotiations and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) with Australia and New Zealand.
- Advised AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC) on the FDI aspects of its US$6.47 billion acquisition of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
Offering a complete suite of US, EU and UK international trade services, Mayer Brown International LLP is renowned for its expertise in sanctions, export controls, FDI, customs and trade remedies. The London-based practice is led by the vastly experienced Jason Hungerford, a trusted adviser to major corporate and financial institutions on complex investigations and compliance programmes. Counsel Paul Whitfield-Jones brings broad sector expertise to bear, spanning defence, energy, and shipping, while James Ford is highly regarded for his capabilities in anti-corruption, ESG and money laundering matters.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Whitfield-Jones; James Ford
‘Expertise in sanctions is unique.’
‘Jason Hungerford is calm and a leader in the field in relation to sanctions.’
‘Paul Whitfield-Jones is extremely skilful in this area.’
International Swaps and Derivatives Association
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP offers a full-service UK/EU trade team that is deeply experienced across the gamut of relevant areas including trade and financial sanctions, export controls, customs compliance, and WTO law. Practice head Steven Farmer draws on nearly two decades of experience in this field, with a particularly broad sector focus that spans technology, energy, financial services, aviation and media.
Other key lawyers:
‘An extremely competent and very committed team of professionals.’
‘A real dream team of professional legal advisors.’
‘Their expertise and familiarity with their clients and their needs is fantastic.’
‘Very highly skilled and make an effort to understand their clients’ needs.’
‘The team has deep knowledge of US, EU and UK export controls and sanctions.’
‘The team has ties with various regulators, which is helpful in securing an opinion on export control or sanctions matters.’
‘The team is very responsive and provides practical advice. They work very well in conjunction with their US colleagues on sanctions and export control matters.’
‘Steve Farmer is very knowledgeable about UK and EU sanctions and export control regulations. He is very responsive and provides sound, practical advice that goes straight to the point.’
Meta Platforms, Inc
Bank of Cyprus
Raine Group, LLC
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc
Hyve Solutions Europe Limited
Russia-China Greater Bay Area Equity
World Nuclear Association
Associated Energy Group