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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Contacts

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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

Novick, Robert T.

Robert T. Novick

Co-Managing Partner

+1 202 663 6140 (t)

robert.novick@wilmerhale.com

Lehman_Rob_lo

Rob Lehman

Senior Public Policy Advisor

+1 202 663 6907 (t)

rob.lehman@wilmerhale.com

Esch, Michael D.

Michael D. Esch

Partner

+1 202 663 6420 (t)

michael.esch@wilmerhale.com

Holtmeier, Jay

Jay Holtmeier

Partner

+1 212 295 6413 (t)

jay.holtmeier@wilmerhale.com

Hurewitz, Barry J.

Barry J. Hurewitz

Partner

+1 202 663 6089 (t)

barry.hurewitz@wilmerhale.com

Levin, Sharon Cohen

Sharon Cohen Levin

Partner

+1 212 230 8804 (t)

sharon.levin@wilmerhale.com

Novick, Robert T.

Robert T. Novick

Partner

+1 202 663 6140 (t)

robert.novick@wilmerhale.com

Ross, Lester

Lester Ross

Partner

+86 10 5901 6588 (t)

lester.ross@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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May 3, 2016

Panel Offers Insights on Doing Business in Colombia

As Colombia moves toward a peace agreement with FARC rebels and works to accomplish reforms necessary for OECD accession, the nation stands poised at the threshold of significant growth and transformation.

April 8, 2016

Ambassador Robert Kimmitt to Interview Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew at the Invest in America! Summit

WilmerHale International Senior Counsel Robert Kimmitt will interview Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew about the US investment climate at the Chamber of Commerce Invest in America! Summit on April 12.

April 7, 2016

Ambassador Robert Kimmitt to Speak at CNAS Conference on US Sanctions and National Security

Ambassador Robert Kimmitt will join fellow esteemed speakers for a panel discussion on US sanctions and national security at the CNAS public conference on April 15 at NYU Washington DC.

March 25, 2016

Innovation and Censorship of Television in China

China has embarked on a difficult transition from high growth fueled by reliance on investment and manufacturing to growth based on consumption and the service sector. For this new economic model, the key to sustaining growth is innovation.

March 23, 2016

Chambers Global 2016 Ranks WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices

Chambers Global has named 28 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.

March 10, 2016

Tightening Internet Regulation in China

While the so-called Great Firewall remains in place to block unwanted overseas content and postings by ordinary citizens remain subject to censorship, now the restrictions on publishing and programming familiar to radio, film and television are being extended in full to the Internet.

March 8, 2016

Enhanced North Korea Sanctions Adopted

The United Nations Security Council approved a Resolution last week imposing new sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent nuclear and missile tests. This UNSC action follows the enactment of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 by the United States in late February. 

January 26, 2016

OFAC and BIS Announce Further US Sanctions Authorizations and Export Licensing Policies for Cuba

The US Departments of the Treasury and Commerce are taking further action to implement President Obama's initiatives to normalize US-Cuba relations and to “engage and empower the Cuban people.”

January 25, 2016

As Iran Sanctions Wane, SEC Reporting Will Not

An article by Marik String and David Horn, published in Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report, explores how the Iran sanctions relief announced on January 16, 2016, will impact global companies and the complexity of their compliance obligations in several areas.

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. 

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 2015 ranked the practice nationally, with clients praising us as "particularly effective in their feel for how the government interprets the regulations." On an individual level, Charlene Barshefsky is recognized for her influence in the policy sphere, and was noted by a peer for being "as good as anyone can be"; Benjamin Powell is lauded for his high-quality counsel on a range of CFIUS issues and in guiding transactions related to the cybersecurity industry through the review process; Ronald Meltzer is applauded for his ability to "give definitive answers - to give more than just the risks"; and Robert Novick is noted as a highly esteemed practitioner in the field of trade remedies, and "his relationships and knowledge in the area of trade litigation make him a very effective advocate."
  • In 2014, 2015 and 2016, 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, Robert Novick and Benjamin Powell 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 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." 
  • Chambers Europe 2012 recognized our practice with rankings in Belgium and Europe-wide, individually calling out Claus-Dieter Ehlermann as a senior statesmen in both categories. Ehlermann is cited by clients as "a very eminent practitioner."
  • The Best Lawyers in America2013 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.