International Trade, Investment and Market Access REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

In a global economy, government policies can impede or enable business success: businesses are significantly affected by government policies that directly limit market access, impose non-transparent or unreasonably burdensome government regulations, treat investments unfairly, fail to protect or enforce intellectual property, or subsidize domestic competitors. At the same time, companies doing business internationally face substantial compliance obligations under their domestic laws, such as restrictions on technology exports and economic sanctions.

WilmerHale has a long record of success in assisting clients on these issues, and our trade group is widely recognized as at the top of the field. Chambers USA and Chambers Global give the practice their highest ratings, and rank all of our senior lawyers as national leaders. Three of our younger lawyers are ranked among the top 10 trade lawyers to watch under 40.

Apart from their track record in private practice, several of our lawyers have high-level and directly relevant US, European or global government experience. One of our lawyers was the United States Trade Representative from 1997 to 2001; others served as USTR General Counsel, Associate General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel; and one member of our team was an International Trade Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee and served in the US Department of Commerce’s Import Administration. In Europe, one of our lawyers chaired the WTO Appellate Body and another was a senior trade law advisor to the European Commission. With respect to China, our team includes the chief US architect and negotiator of China’s entry into the WTO and one of the leading regulatory lawyers in Beijing (and a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce—People’s Republic of China).

In all, we have a fully integrated team of 20 lawyers and trade specialists in the United States, Europe and China. The practice comprises four key areas, and we have a strong track record in each.

  • In helping open world markets, we have had some landmark victories, representing Boeing in successfully challenging European subsidies to Airbus in the largest WTO case in history; a coalition of leading high-tech companies in successfully challenging EU efforts to undermine the seminal Information Technology Agreement; and US companies in multiple sectors in high-profile market access disputes with the governments of China and India.
  • In advising on trade policy and trade negotiations, we have helped develop or shape key trade initiatives and legislation both in and outside government, including Congress’ landmark grant of Permanent Normal Trade Relations to China; negotiating priorities in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement negotiations; Congressional implementation of various US free trade agreements; and trade-related provisions in Internet, patent and drug importation legislation.
  • In assisting companies in unfair trade investigations, we obtained the lowest duty rate among the Big Three auto companies in an antidumping and countervailing duty case brought by China; convinced the US Commerce Department and International Trade Commission to impose and maintain antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports from multiple countries that injured our US chemical industry clients; and in the biggest US antidumping case against China to date, our clients were the only Chinese producers that were found to be not subject to duties.
  • In assisting companies with respect to government restrictions on technology exports and economic sanctions, we successfully represented one of the world’s largest international shipping groups with respect to the application of sanctions imposed under ISA/CISADA, and we helped a major US government contractor develop ITAR compliance policies and training programs required for provision of logistics services to the US military at more than 50 forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

In addition, the firm assists companies on a range of other issues that arise in connection with their international operations: compliance with anti-corruption laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); compliance with anti-money laundering laws; inbound foreign investment into the United States, including review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); and cross-border corporate advice.

In a global economy, government policies can impede or enable business success: businesses are significantly affected by government policies that directly limit market access, impose non-transparent or unreasonably burdensome government regulations, treat investments unfairly, fail to protect or enforce intellectual property, or subsidize domestic competitors. At the same time, companies doing business internationally face substantial compliance obligations under their domestic laws, such as restrictions on technology exports and economic sanctions.

WilmerHale has a long record of success in assisting clients on these issues, and our trade group is widely recognized as at the top of the field. Chambers USA and Chambers Global give the practice their highest ratings, and rank all of our senior lawyers as national leaders. Three of our younger lawyers are ranked among the top 10 trade lawyers to watch under 40.

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Barshefsky, Charlene

Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky

Chair, International Trade, Investment and Market Access Practice Group

+1 202 663 6130 (t)

charlene.barshefsky@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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November 24, 2014

US and China Agree to Reduce Tariffs and Expand High-Tech Trade Through the Information Technology Agreement

The United States and China last week announced a breakthrough bilateral understanding regarding negotiations to expand the scope of the Information Technology Agreement.

November 4, 2014

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Release 2015 “Best Law Firms” List, Names WilmerHale International Arbitration “Law Firm of the Year”

The 2015 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list includes WilmerHale being named a first-tier law firm in 24 national and 62 metro-area rankings. In addition, the firm boasts more than 20 second- and third-tier rankings in several national and metro-area rankings.

October 15, 2014

Restrictions Governing International Trade in Genetic Resources Enter Into Force

On October 12, 2014, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits from their Utilization entered into international force. The Protocol establishes a new legal framework to govern access to and utilization of genetic resources, including genetic material and any naturally occurring derivative compound.

September 15, 2014

US and EU Escalate Russia Sanctions

Last week, the United States and European Union (EU) significantly escalated financial and trade sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to what US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew described as Russia’s “blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine.”

September 1, 2014

The European Commission’s New Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy

An article by Frédéric Louis and Takeshige Sugimoto, published in the August 2014 edition of The Journal of the Japanese Institute of International Business Law, Vol. 42, No. 9, pp. 1458-1461.

July 18, 2014

US Targets Major Russian Financial and Energy Firms in Sector-Specific Sanctions

This week, the United States announced new sanctions against Russia in response to what the Obama Administration describes as Russia’s continued attempts to destabilize Ukraine.

July 10, 2014

EU Commission Unveils Plans Regarding Enforcement of IP Rights

On July 1, 2014, the European Commission adopted two Communications calling for better protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. This is the first major initiative in the Commission’s international IP rights agenda, following the European Parliament’s rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) in July 2012.

June 10, 2014

WilmerHale Lawyers Named to “Best Lawyers in Germany” 2014

Nine WilmerHale lawyers from the Berlin and Frankfurt offices were named "Best Lawyers" in a recent edition of Handelsblatt.

May 23, 2014

Chambers USA Ranks Top WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2014 Edition

We are pleased to announce the names of the individuals and practice areas that are ranked in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

May 1, 2014

Naboth van den Broek Named an International Trade “Rising Star” by Law360

Recognition

WilmerHale is regarded by many as the leading law practice in matters of international trade. We have represented companies and industries from the US, EU and more than 30 other countries before administrative, judicial and legislative bodies throughout the world. The depth of our trade team is reflected in an exceptional roster of lawyers, many of whom have served in senior executive positions in government and industry. We have a fully integrated team of almost 40 lawyers and trade specialists in the United States, Europe and China.

Our International Trade Practice has received significant recognition internationally.

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business 2014 acknowledged our group with a national ranking. Clients praised it for its "tremendous depth of expertise on WTO rules" and cite its lawyers as "internationally renowned trade experts." Individually, Charlene Barshefsky is praised as a "lead trade policy counsel"; Ronald Meltzer is given high marks as a "well-regarded export compliance attorney"; Robert Novick is lauded for being a "very client-focused lawyer"; and Benjamin Powell is recognized as a CFIUS expert and praised by clients as "extremely bright and knowledgable," and "very diligent at getting the job done." 
  • In 2014, Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers named WilmerHale a leading law firm in the area of international trade in the United States and globally. In addition, Charlene Barshefsky, Ronald Meltzer and Robert Novick all received individual honors.
  • In the "Best Law Firm" rankings by U.S. News and Best Lawyers, our international trade practice was ranked in the first tier nationally and in Washington DC in 2014, and in the first tier nationally and in Boston and Washington DC in 2015.
  • Chambers Europe 2012 recognized our practice with rankings in Belgium and Europe-wide, individually calling out Claus-Dieter Ehlermann and Jacques Bourgeois as senior statesmen in both categories. Ehlermann is cited by clients as "a very eminent practitioner," and Bourgeois is praised as a "godfather" of the field.
  • The Best Lawyers in America 2013 named Charlene Barshefsky, John A. BurgessRonald I. Meltzer and Robert T. Novick, as leading lawyers in International Trade and Finance Law.
  • The Legal 500 2013 recognized our "seasoned" group for its "extensive experience in the technology sector," and "WTO disputes, trade remedies litigation and export control matters." Individually, the guide praises Charlene Barshefsky, Robert Novick and Naboth van den Broek.