Baker McKenzie’s ‘diverse excellence’ across the full scope of international trade matters ensures that the firm is routinely sought out by market-leading conglomerates and public sector bodies alike. While the Russia sanctions regime has invariably proved to be a major workflow in 2022, the group is also actively handling a number of high-stakes transatlantic tariff disputes and HM Revenue and Customs enforcement matters. The sizeable London practice is chaired by global international commercial and trade chief Sunny Mann, a UK and EU export control specialist who is also highly regarded for his sanctions expertise. The ‘outstanding’ Jennifer Revis spearheads the team’s customs and excise desk, where she advises widely on public regulation, compliance, and post-Brexit risk assessment projects. In his capacity as co-chair of the EMEA compliance and investigations group, Tristan Grimmer is a key port of call for an international roster of corporates seeking advice on proceedings initiated by the CMA and the European Commission, among others. Ben Smith focuses on export controls and anti-bribery issues, while of counsel Sven Bates is noted for his financial services sector trade compliance acumen.
EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs in London
Other key lawyers:
Jennifer Revis; Ben Smith; Tristan Grimmer; Sven Bates
‘The team stands out from the pack as combining diverse excellence which it is able to co-ordinate to the great advantage of its clients. The range of experience and background together with diverse professional qualifications means that they are much better able to handle ground-breaking cases than most of the competition.’
‘Jennifer Revis is an outstanding customs lawyer and litigator with fantastic experience. She is also easy to work with and leads her team with aplomb.’
‘The uniqueness of this practice stems from the very friendly and informal, yet still professional culture of this team. There is not only a very close bond within the team members in the practice but vis a vis the client.’
‘Baker McKenzie have particular strength and depth in their sanctions practice, and are my go-to.’
‘Sunny Mann is the font of all knowledge with respect to sanctions. He works tirelessly and is always able to provide sage advice in a timely manner. He also cares deeply for his team, which translates into a group of experts all willing to go above and beyond to help their clients.’
British American Tobacco
Take Two Interactive
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Numerous blue-chip corporations and international public bodies turn to Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s team for representation in consequential disputes in a number of settings, ranging from investment treaty arbitrations to international subsidy control matters. ‘Outstanding’ practice chair Lode Van Den Hende, who splits his time between Brussels and London, routinely helms cases in the WTO, as well as before the various European courts and the European Commission. Consultant Eric White is a veteran figure within the space, who continues to advise on WTO law and the regulatory frameworks facing non-EU trading partners. Susannah Cogman and Daniel Hudson regularly work with a diverse roster of corporate clients and financial institutions on sanctions compliance mandates. Senior associate Morris Schonberg, who also works between London and Brussels, is particularly recommended for his deep expertise in international subsidy control and EU state aid law.
Lode Van Den Hende
Other key lawyers:
Eric White; Susannah Cogman; Daniel Hudson; Morris Schonberg
‘Strong ownership and communication line with partner Lode Van Den Hende; very accessible.’
‘The team has an outstanding reputation for advising on EU state aid matters, and possesses detailed knowledge of the energy sector. They are also very easy to work with and very personable, and they work exceptionally well alongside clients.’
‘Lode van Den Hende possesses outstanding expertise on state aid and WTO matters, particularly in the energy sector. He is incredibly effective in advising clients on state aid matters, and provides innovative advice in very complex areas.’
‘Morris Schonberg excels. He has very detailed legal knowledge and leaves no stone unturned to provide the best advice possible to clients.’
‘Eric White has deep knowledge with trade from his decades of service with the EU legal service. He is able to step back and approach questions with the perspective of a regulator.’
‘Eric White’s in-depth analysis and sound judgment, coupled with Morris Schonberg’s proactivity and detailed assessment of issues, were outstanding. We found them to be very professional, strategic and highly responsive in providing quality legal advice and solutions.’
British American Tobacco
- Representing British Sugar in its challenge in the English Courts of the UK’s autonomous tariff rate quota for raw cane sugar – this case represents the first English Court proceeding in relation to the UK’s new subsidy control framework.
- Advising high-net-worth individuals and multi-national companies from several sectors on how recent imposed international sanctions impact their organisation and business dealings with Russia and Ukraine.
Noted for its wide-ranging capabilities in international trade, DLA Piper is frequently engaged by a litany of multinational corporations, spanning the worlds of consumer goods, sports, and manufacturing. Practice chair John Forrest is a renowned figure in the space who works with commercial entities and foreign governments on the full gamut of trade and investment policy matters, including high-level negotiations with the EU. Internal Brexit director Paul Hardy, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, routinely advises clients on preferential access conditions, the Northern Ireland withdrawal agreement, and various other EU-UK partnership issues. Legal director Chloe Barker, who splits her time between Birmingham and London, focuses on trade compliance, sanctions, and export control restrictions, while senior associate Daniel Jones regularly assists Middle Eastern and Central Asian sovereign states with international trade and WTO compliance matters.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Hardy; Chloe Barker; Daniel Jones
‘Team truly understands our risk management needs, and gives tailored and actionable advice to fit.’
‘John Forrest, Partner, is extremely solid and well connected. Chloe Barker, Legal Director, is a very calm and safe pair of hands.’
Reckitt Benckiser Group
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Brisko Scaffolding Limited
Unilever Asia Limited
- Supported Lucid to negotiate various agreements with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Investment, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and King Abdullah Economic City.
- Provided sanctions compliance-related support to GetTaxi in respect of its compliance obligations and business critical strategy regarding an existing loan from a recently sanctioned Russian financial institution.
- Supported Croda to negotiate a £16m subsidy from the UK Government to increase the UK’s capacity to manufacture specialty lipids, a key vaccine ingredient.
Akin Gump LLP‘s London office is well-regarded by a formidable roster of blue-chip multinationals, which turn to the team for assistance with a range of international trade issues. Investigations specialist Chiara Klaui has particular expertise in the offshore construction sector, advising numerous contractors on major, cross-border projects. Jasper Helder is a seasoned trade compliance adviser whose recent engagements include sanctions reviews for major energy multinationals and semiconductor manufacturers. Naboth van den Broek – who joined the practice from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in September 2021 – is noted for the depth of his capabilities in WTO disputes and global trade policy matters.
Jasper Helder; Chiara Klaui; Naboth van den Broek
‘Strong team able to manage complicated topics and multiple business stakeholders. Team provides practical, timely advice on specific topics, as well as routinely provides client updates to ensure knowledge development by our team.’
‘Very personable and down-to-earth lawyers, while at the same time top-notch in terms of experience and knowledge. I can trust that what they advise verbally is what they are wiling to put in writing (which is not always the case with other firms). Their advice is timely, practical and they are always willing to consider alternative courses of action and identify pros and cons in a straightforward manner.’
‘The team has good cross-practice collaboration, and has expertise in newer areas of the law, such as UK sanctions as they evolve away from EU sanctions post-Brexit.’
‘Chiara Klaui is very knowledgeable and efficient. She will tell you what is readily known and what requires more research, allowing you to better manage your budget.’
‘Exceptional knowledge of UK, EU and US sanctions and the ability to coordinate all these elements into an easily comprehendible advice.’
‘I have engaged Jasper Helder for many years and he is the go-to attorney for guidance on export controls in the EU. He combines expert knowledge with efficient and timely advice.’
Eastman Chemical Company
Government of Japan
Johnson & Johnson
Life Science Manufacturers Association (LSMA)
Raytheon Technologies Corporation
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX)
Thales NoThe Boeing Company
The Coca Cola Company
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP’s cross-disciplinary practice regularly advises on high-profile, cross-border matters, encompassing sanctions, export controls, customs, and WTO rules. Practice head Chris Bryant is engaged by major corporations and financial institutions alike for his ‘highly intelligent and extremely practical’ approach, and has recently served as a key port of call for clients owing to his expertise in EU/Russia sanctions programmes. Kate Ison specialises chiefly in international tax disputes and associated investigations initiated by HMRC. Associate director Ursula Johnston, who joined the team in June 2021 from Gowling WLG, focuses on supply chain agreements and trade compliance issues. Senior associate Sonja Hainsworth is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Ison; Ursula Johnston; Sonja Hainsworth
‘Highly skilled and very focused on the client’s needs. They have an ability to get to what needs to be done very quickly. They are lean and very efficient.’
‘Chris Bryant is highly intelligent, extremely practical – he gets to the point straight away, and extremely personable with clients and other professionals.’
An array of sovereign states, banks, and multinational corporations turn to Clifford Chance LLP for its cross-disciplinary expertise in international trade, ranging from WTO obligations and free trade agreements to state aid control measures. Jessica Gladstone draws praise from clients for her ‘world leading’ command of public international law, most notably in the trade and climate space. Michael Lyons, who heads up the firm’s UK and European sanctions desks, represents a diverse roster of financial institutions and businesses in contentious regulatory proceedings, including investigations and disciplinary actions brought by various regulatory bodies. Senior associate Jeremy Stewart is praised by clients for his ‘standout experience‘ and ‘commercial acuity‘ in post-Brexit trade negotiations, as well as WTO and FTA regulatory reviews, while fellow senior associate Carla Lewis focuses specifically on UK and EU restrictive measures and international environmental law.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Lyons; Jeremy Stewart; Carla Lewis
‘Better than any other law firm I know of, Clifford Chance has combined deep arbitration and competition law experience with outreach to and joint projects with experienced WTO and domestic anti-dumping experts. Consequently they can staff that work with first-rate teams.’
‘Jessica Gladstone is one of the world’s leading arbitration and unfair trade lawyers. Combines deep competition law and arbitration practice experience with WTO and related government-to-government litigation, as well as domestic trade remedy (anti-dumping, countervailing duty, safeguard) litigation expertise.’
‘Positive and practical advice delivered succinctly and with a willingness to be flexible with instructions.’
‘Jessica Gladstone is a highly competent expert with deep knowledge of the sector, applied in a practical way that focuses on the best outcome for her client.’
‘Jeremy Stewart possesses standout experience in trade negotiations which he deploys with commercial acuity.’
UK Department for International Trade
UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
UK Government Investments (UKGI) and the Vaccine Task Force (VTF)
Louis Dreyfus Commodities and Energy Holdings N.V. (LDCEH)
Bank of China UK Limited
- Advised the United Kingdom Department for International Trade on the drafting and implementation of Free Trade Agreements.
- Advised a leading global technology company on the consistency of various domestic regulatory measures with public international law and WTO obligations.
- Representing a major UK-based global financial institution in connection with a significant potential systems and controls failure concerning the screening of certain cross-border transactions against EU and UK sanctions lists.
Underpinned by its considerable global network, Dentons‘ ‘impressive’ international trade team is a strong choice for a myriad of public and private sector entities, including some of the leading names from the worlds of retail, logistics, sports, and entertainment. Clients seek out ‘unbelievably good’ practice head Roger Matthews for his ‘unparalleled‘ expertise in export control instruments and sanctions regimes, particularly in the financial services, transport and energy sectors. Emerging technologies specialist Daniel Lund is praised for his knowledge of UK national security and foreign direct investment compliance, advising semiconductor manufacturers, contractors and software developers. Associate Kate Poppitt focuses on sanctions, free trade agreements, and the GATS.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Lund; Kate Poppitt
‘Diversified with excellent practitioners around the world.’
‘Roger Matthews and Dan Lund are both standout practitioners. Exceptionally knowledgeable and sensible with fees.’
‘They are an impressive team. Client-focused, pragmatic, and keen to deliver the best for their client.’
‘Roger Matthews is unbelievably good. He is rock solid on the law, commercial and thinks around a problem.’
‘They have unique experience, based on time spent working at the European Commission and the Bank of England, particularly on sanctions issues.’
‘Roger Matthews is exceptional for his unparalleled expertise in sanctions regulations and clear, practical advice on ensuring compliance in a proportionate, risk-based way.’
Avis Budget Group
Royal Mail Group
- Appointed as a lead sanctions adviser to BP.
- Acting as lead trade counsel to Royal Mail, advising on a wide range of trade mandates – most notably customs and indirect taxation.
- Working with HM Treasury to establish how certain terms in the UK/EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement were applied by other key jurisdictions.
Working closely with the firm’s US and Hong Kong offices, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP routinely advises on import and export controls, regulatory compliance, and sanctions regimes for a stellar mix of multinationals. James Lindop‘s ‘exceptional expertise’ in international trade ensures that he is called upon to represent clients before the various competent authorities, including HMRC and the European Commission. Indirect tax specialist Giles Salmond is noted for his experience in customs duty mediation and cross-border goods transfers, working with a diverse clientele that ranges from energy providers to food and drink manufacturers. Principal associate Monika Zejden-Erdmann is recommended for her capabilities in export control and sanctions law.
Other key lawyers:
Giles Salmond; Monika Zejden-Erdmann
‘Very insightful and pleasant to work with. I always enjoy the communication with them. They proved to be very valuable also with regards to the export controls and sanctions issued in reaction to the war in Ukraine. It was a difficult and constantly changing period, but we managed to handle it well thanks to the cooperation with them.’
‘Spot on, reactive team, with a diverse working background.’
‘Knowledgeable, competent, committed.’
‘James Lindop has provided invaluable support to our trade compliance teams. He combines exceptional subject matter expertise with an appreciation of the practical issues faced by businesses operating with complex supply chains.’
Shell Trading & Supply
ESET, spol. s r.o.
Teledyne Technologies, Inc.
Santé Global LLP
Drax Power Limited
- Advising Shell Trading & Supply on global trade compliance, providing daily and strategic advice – particularly in the context of the new sanctions against Russia.
- Advised CyrusOne Inc on the FDI aspects of its agreement to be acquired by KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in a $15bn all-cash transaction.
- Advising Santé Global LLP on a variety of regulatory and international trade issues, particularly in the context of the sourcing, logistics and regulatory compliance of PPE and medical devices during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Leveraging its strong international footprint, Gowling WLG works with an array of high-profile corporate clients on the full gamut of import and export controls, major regulatory reviews, and customs issues. The practice is steered by Bernardine Adkins, a highly experienced trade defence investigations specialist who divides her time between the firm’s London and Brussels offices. David Lowe, who also heads up the firm’s commercial contracts team, regularly handles international supply chain and procurement matters, ranging from cross-border outsourcing to freight delivery terms. Associate James Stunt is noted for his experience in free trade agreement utilisation and commodity code verification issues.
Other key lawyers:
David Lowe; James Stunt
Hill & Smith Holdings plc
Aston Martin Lagonda Limited
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
The Hut Group
- Advising various brand owners in relation to mitigating significant supply chain issues arising post-Brexit.
- Advising various international businesses on a range of critical matters following the imposition of sanctions upon the Russian economy, including specified individuals.
Benefitting from its significant transatlantic capabilities, as well as its resources in Brussels, Hogan Lovells International LLP is well placed to advise a litany of renowned corporates and public sector bodies on high-level regulatory and investigative matters. Practice head Aline Doussin is an ‘invaluable’ resource for multinational companies and sovereign governments alike, particularly in relation to post-Brexit legislative frameworks, sanctions compliance programs, and export control matters. Imogen Brooks is a highly experienced associate who has most recently been engaged by various global companies for assistance with the ongoing Russian sanctions measures.
Other key lawyers:
‘Aline Doussin has given us essential expertise, insight and commercial awareness on cross-border supply topics following Brexit. These areas are peripheral to our core business and so Aline’s commercial awareness has been invaluable in keeping the perspective.’
‘Hogan Lovells can cover both import and export concerns across not just Europe but many other countries outside the EU.’
‘Aline Doussin and Imogen Brooks have helped us in several export compliance matters in a few EU countries. They took time to listen to my issues and the concerns and matters I wanted investigated. They provided sound advice and backed it with links or copies of the regulations supporting their opinion and analysis.’
Society of Lloyd’s
Department for International Trade
- Representing the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) on negotiations and implementation of Free Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand.
- Assisting AmerisourceBergen Corporation with the French FDI filing in relation to its $6.47bn acquisition of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.’s Alliance Healthcare.
Working in close collaboration with a global network of offices, Mayer Brown International LLP is a key port of call for a number of high-profile corporate clients and financial institutions seeking assistance with a host of international trade matters. London practice chair Jason Hungerford – ‘a great lawyer with great expertise’ – is a triple-qualified (New York, DC, English) specialist in sanctions and export controls with experience handling investigations in a wealth of jurisdictions. Senior associate Paul Whitfield-Jones advises widely across a number of sectors, including the defence, energy, banking, and insurance industries, while fellow senior associate James Ford is noted for his knowledge of regulatory compliance and financial services sanctions programs.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Whitfield-Jones; James Ford
‘Market-leading practice containing real experts. Proven track record, well-positioned to advise on cross-border cases, strong global coverage.’
‘Jason Hungerford is a great lawyer with great expertise.’
‘Provides sound timely advice, tailored to our needs.’
‘Jason Hungerford – very knowledgeable on global regulations, breaks it down into digestible executable actions.’
International Swaps and Derivatives Association