Assistant US Trade Representative for South Asian Affairs Ambassador Ashley Wills Joins WilmerHale

Assistant US Trade Representative for South Asian Affairs Ambassador Ashley Wills Joins WilmerHale


WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Ambassador E. Ashley Wills will be joining the firm as a Senior International Business Advisor, focusing on India and South Asia. Ambassador Wills was most recently the Assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) for South/Southwest Asia – the first such office at USTR. He will now bring his exceptional capabilities and knowledge to WilmerHale, as the firm expands its international reach from Europe, China and East Asia to India and South Asia.

"WilmerHale has long had a reputation for anticipating the needs of our clients in developing new areas of depth and expertise. The addition of Ambassador Wills reflects that proud tradition and extends our Asian reach from China to India,” said William J. Perlstein, Co-Managing Partner of WilmerHale.

Ambassador Wills has had a lengthy and distinguished career in the US Foreign Service. From 1995 to 2000, Ambassador Wills served in India and, among other posts at the US Embassy in New Delhi, was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy. He then became the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives from the end of 2000 to 2003, when he was called back to the United States to assume his role at USTR. He held a series of additional posts from 1983 to 1995, in Brussels and Belgrade, and as Officer-in-Charge for South African Affairs for the US State Department. Ambassador Wills is a well known and highly regarded figure in India and South Asia and, as the Assistant USTR, has been a leading figure in the development and execution of the Administration’s trade policy in South Asia.

WilmerHale has long represented clients in transactional, intellectual property and high technology matters involving India. Ambassador Wills will complement and expand the firm’s capabilities, assisting clients in navigating the complexities of the India market with respect to market access, regulatory and investment barriers, as well as assisting Indian companies in their out-bound investments. The addition of Ambassador Wills is reflective of the firm’s core focus on sophisticated problem solving at the intersection of government, business and regulation, which requires not only premier legal skill, but also the depth and range of public policy experience that are the hallmark of Ambassador Wills’ career. His significant knowledge of and experience in India and South Asia will assist clients in addressing one of the world’s largest and most exciting markets.

“Ashley Wills brings an India capability to the firm that is both rich and sophisticated, and we are delighted that he has decided to join us,” said Robert Novick, Chair of the firm’s International Trade, Market Access and Investment Group.

The addition of Ambassador Wills also extends the firm’s reach in Asia more broadly. Along with WilmerHale’s substantial China practice, the firm’s enhanced focus on India will provide our clients with unique expertise and services with respect to these vital markets.

“Our clients expect us to be able to assist them in the toughest markets - of which India and China are two. Ambassador Ashley Wills is an important and unique addition to the firm,” said Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, the firm’s Senior International Partner.

Ambassador Wills holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Virginia. He has been awarded two Presidential citations, five Superior Honor Awards, and seven Meritorious Honor Awards.