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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April 1, 2014

Sanctions and Trade Update: Russia and Ukraine

In response to recent events in Ukraine, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Switzerland, and other nations have adopted a series of targeted asset freezes and travel bans, which vary in scope, as well as broader trade restrictions against Russia.

March 14, 2014

Chambers & Partners Recognizes WilmerHale in its 2014 Global Edition

Thirty-one WilmerHale lawyers have been named among the “World’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in the 2014 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, 13 of the firm’s practice areas were also recognized.

February 20, 2014

China Establishes Expedited Preliminary Merger Review Procedure

Companies subject to a merger notification obligation in China have long been frustrated by the extensive delays beyond the 30-day Phase 1 period even for simple, non-controversial transactions.

February 19, 2014

Kanzleimonitor.de Survey of In-House Counsel Finds WilmerHale Among Top 20 Firms in Germany

WilmerHale has been named among the top 20 most recommended law firms in Germany by Kanzleimonitor.de 2013/2014.

February 13, 2014

NIST and DHS Release Final Cybersecurity Framework, Roadmap, and Voluntary Program for Cybersecurity Assistance

Yesterday, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the final version of the voluntary federal cybersecurity standards known as the Cybersecurity Framework, along with a “Roadmap” explaining how the government will work with the private sector, other countries, and international organizations to refine and improve the Framework over the next several years.

January 27, 2014

New US and EU Guidance on Interim Agreement for Iran Sanctions Relief

As we have discussed previously, on November 24, 2013, the United States and the other members of the P5+1 (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China) reached agreement with Iran on the JPOA, an initial understanding on the disposition of Iran's nuclear program.

December 2, 2013

Washingtonian Magazine Names 14 WilmerHale Attorneys to "Best Lawyers" List

December 1, 2013

Reassessing Your Risk Profile for OFAC Sanctions

An article by Ronald Meltzer and David Horn, published in the December 2013 edition of The Review of Banking & Financial Services, Vol. 29, No. 12.

November 27, 2013

Understanding Iran Sanctions for US Business: The New Agreement Brings Some Change But Much is Left the Same

On November 24 in Geneva, the United States and the five other members of the P5+1 reached an initial agreement with Iran with the aim of ensuring that Iran's nuclear program will be entirely peaceful. Under the agreement, the United States and the EU will ease certain sanctions on Iran for a period of six months. However, this "limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible" sanctions relief means that US and foreign firms must closely monitor the implementation of the agreement.

November 15, 2013

Laying the Political Groundwork for Continued Economic Reform: The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s Third Plenum

On Tuesday, China’s Third Plenum—a major conclave of top Communist Party (“CCP”) officials—concluded with the publication of a Communiqué announcing general statements about policy priorities and specific structural changes to the CCP, designed in part to affirm and advance economic reforms with a target date of 2020.

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 2013 acknowledged our group with a first-tier ranking nationally, and gave us special recognition for client service and commercial awareness. Individually, Charlene Barshefsky is praised for her  "very important overall strategic guidance and insights"; Ronald Meltzer is given high marks for his "export and sanctions compliance advice in high-stakes situations"; Robert Novick is lauded for his "attentive representation in major cases"; Benjamin Powell is recognized as a CFIUS expert and "respected as a go-to adviser for CFIUS advice."
  • 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 2014 "Best Law Firm" rankings by U.S. News and Best Lawyers, our international trade practice is ranked in the first tier nationally and in Washington DC.
  • 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.