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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Expertise & Experience

Expertise & Experience

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A unique practice combining highly experienced international trade and domestic regulatory lawyers to assist in trade negotiations and disputes

Our trade law team includes leading public international lawyers, former government negotiators, and trade policy specialists. We are uniquely placed to assist clients facing an increasingly turbulent global trade ecosystem.

Cross-border business takes place against an increasingly complex framework of international law and domestic regulation, the effective navigation of which is crucial to bringing goods and services to market.

Understanding the impact of geopolitical tension, governmental decision-making and political change are just as crucial as securing sound legal advice. Businesses and Governments alike must understand, adapt and influence these dynamics in order to mitigate risk, take advantage of new opportunities, and protect their interests.

Our global International Trade team has a wealth of combined experience advising businesses, States, NGOs, and international organisations on a wide range of matters including:

  • WTO law and disputes
  • Negotiation of and disputes under bilateral and multilateral international trade and investment agreements
  • Trade remedies, including anti-dumping, anti-subsidy, and safeguarding measures
  • Tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade
  • Free Trade and preferential trade arrangements
  • Customs procedures, rules of origin, and export controls
  • Trade in services, including equivalence and mutual recognition regimes
  • Trade policy and advocacy

    With Trade law specialists in London, Washington, D.C., Brussels, Paris, Dusseldorf, Singapore, Hong Kong and Perth, we have substantial experience negotiating and drafting international treaties between states, and between states and investors.

    We have a deep understanding of the EU's network of trade arrangements, and members of our team have recently advised on the negotiation of a number of international trade treaties, including a preferential trade agreement with the European Union. All our international trade lawyers have extensive experience in their respective domestic jurisdictions, on the application of international trade law and relevant treaty provisions.

    Our team of trade law experts includes Michel Petite, former Director General of the Legal Service of the European Commission, who was involved in all EU negotiations and disputes during his tenure, and Dr Federico Ortino, Reader in International Economic Law at King's College London and a specialist with more than 20 years' experience in international trade law. Our team also includes several former government trade lawyers and negotiators, industrial trade specialists, and leading public international lawyers who have acted for states and businesses in a wide array of international trade negotiations and disputes. Our combined wealth of expertise and extensive hands-on trade law experience differentiates our leading team from that of other law firms.

    Alongside our experience advising States and private parties, and our team makes significant contributions to the evolving academic discourse on international trade law, including on issues such as international agreements on investment in services and the legal framework governing trade within and with the European Union.

    Our International Trade team regularly counsel companies on investment structuring, to secure protections in their contractual and in international legal relationships. We also advise on effective strategies for structuring investments to best take advantage of available international investment treaties and preferential trade agreements.

Client experience

  • Representing a state in negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement.
  • Advising on tariffs and non-tariff barriers for corporates across a range of major UK industries.
  • Advising a leading investment bank since 2005 on how trade agreements could better provide for the needs of the financial services sector.
  • Advising on the impact of WTO as a default position for the UK’s trading relationships post-Brexit.
  • Advising a European mobile telecommunications company in relation to changes in law in an Asian country adversely affecting the company’s investment in a local mobile telecommunications business, including changes to limits on foreign ownership, advice on WTO issues and a potential investment treaty claim.
  • Advising a global bank on the structuring and execution of a freight receivables facility for an Asian conglomerate encompassing receivables owed by obligors in 14 jurisdictions originated through a network of local agents.
  • Advising on the application of US, EU, UK and international trade and economic sanctions laws (incl. particular concerning Russia and Ukraine) to proposed business arrangements in a number of different contexts, including M&A activity, debt and equity financing. 
  • Designing, organising and conducting a review of trade finance transactions for a major international bank involving multiple jurisdictions.