People

Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky

Partner

Chair, International Trade, Investment and Market Access Practice Group

Barshefsky, Charlene

Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky is WilmerHale's Senior International Partner. She joined the firm after serving as the US Trade Representative—the chief trade negotiator and principal trade policymaker for the United States—from 1997 to 2001, and acting as deputy USTR from 1993 to 1996. As the USTR and a member of the President's Cabinet, she was responsible for the negotiation of hundreds of complex market access, regulatory and investment agreements with virtually every major country in the world. She is best known internationally as the architect and chief negotiator of China's historic WTO Agreement, as well as global agreements in financial services, telecommunications, intellectual property rights, high-technology products and cyberspace. She is recognized as a central figure for international business and international economic and trade issues. Her 25-year legal career in the field has encompassed international litigation, commercial negotiations, investment and regulatory advice, and dispute resolution, and she has written and lectured extensively both here and abroad.

Ambassador Barshefsky has been honored by both Harvard and Yale law schools; her negotiations are the subject of several Harvard Business School case studies and numerous profiles and she is the recipient of a number of honorary degrees and industry awards.

Practice

Ambassador Barshefsky's practice centers on international business transactions, the structuring and negotiation of commercial agreements and the removal of trade and regulatory impediments to exporting to or investing in markets throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America. She is exceptionally skilled in crafting market penetration strategies for goods, services and investment, and devising practical solutions to market access barriers, including negotiation with private parties and foreign governments worldwide. She also formulates sophisticated government relations strategies to complement, when necessary, the overall substantive legal approach. She advises companies in connection with trade litigation and dispute resolution in the US and abroad, as well as commercial and regulatory issues in the United States for foreign corporations. 

Honors & Awards

Publications & News

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November 21, 2016

What to Expect From a Trump Administration Trade Policy

President-elect Donald Trump is promising major changes to US trade policy that, if implemented, will significantly impact US and foreign companies that compete in the global market, and that could particularly impact those that rely on cross-border supply chains.

November 10, 2016

China's Cybersecurity Law Imposes New Requirements on Doing Business in China

The Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress adopted the country's Cybersecurity Law on November 7—the latest in a spate of national security-related measures targeting the ICT industry.

October 1, 2016

Washington DC's 2017 Lawyer of the Year Honorees

In a special advertising supplement to The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, Best Lawyers features an interview with Washington DC's 2017 Lawyer of the Year Honoree Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky.

August 15, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2017 Best Lawyers in America®, Six Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 101 WilmerHale lawyers and names six partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 23rd edition.

June 24, 2016

Brexit – Major Upheaval and Change

As the UK leaves the EU, in light of the seismic result of the recent United Kingdom referendum, there will be an immense amount to do, for the UK and the remaining EU, and for companies that are either based in, or have interests in the UK.

June 22, 2016

The Legal 500 United States 2016 Recognizes 111 WilmerHale Lawyers Across 30 Practice Areas

The guide's rankings are based on a series of criteria, including client feedback, interviews with private practice lawyers, and its own research.

May 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

March 23, 2016

Chambers Global 2016 Ranks WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices

Chambers Global has named 27 WilmerHale lawyers among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business” in its 2016 edition. Additionally, the firm is ranked in 15 practice areas that span five regions.

January 19, 2016

Iran Nuclear Sanctions Relief Implemented: New Opportunities Await Non-US Companies, but Comprehensive US Transaction and Export Restrictions Remain in Effect

On January 16, 2016, the United States, its negotiating partners and Iran announced the arrival of Implementation Day for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to which the parties agreed on July 14, 2015 with respect to the Iranian nuclear program.

August 10, 2015

Looking East: The Future of Asia and Free Trade

An article by Charlene Barshefsky published in the September 2015, Vol. 1 No. 4 issue of the Octavian O Report.

Speaking Engagements

April 10, 2012

Doing Business in China

Palo Alto, California

December 1, 2011

Doing Business in China

Waltham, Massachusetts

June 11, 2008

World Justice Project Conference: Multi-disciplinary Conference on the Rule of Law

Boston, Massachusetts

October 11, 2007

WilmerHale Webinar: The New Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law

Webinar

April 20, 2007

Antitrust Practice ABA Luncheon

Washington, DC

December 5-6, 2006

Asian Ventures 2006 Consumer Tech Conference

San Jose, California

March 16, 2005

WilmerHale Event: Doing Business in China

Boston, Massachusetts

April 28, 2004

Milken Institute 2004 Global Conference

Beverly Hills, California

September 28, 2003

2003 Forbes Global CEO Conference

China

July 24, 2003

Re-energizing America's Trade Policy with Asia

Washington, DC

Recent Highlights

Ambassador Barshefsky is an advisor to a number of Fortune 100 and other multinational corporations in connection with their trade and investment activities in China, Europe and the United States, including in such areas as financial services, telecommunications, high-technology goods and services, consumer products, agriculture and intellectual property rights.

Professional Activities

Ambassador Barshefsky is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Board of the America-China Society, a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association and a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Trilateral Commission. She serves on the Boards of Directors of American Express Company, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Intel Corporation, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. She is a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.