Contributed by Sidley Austin LLP
International Trade: Nationwide: An Overview
The US international trade law agenda reflects the full range of challenges affecting the global marketplace, including concerns over food safety and energy prices, heightened border security, efforts to combat terrorism and promote national security, and conflicts over support for clean technology. The slow but steady economic recovery in the United States has brought with it a spate of new trade remedy actions, most targeting imports from Asia. The Obama Administration will likely continue to modify economic sanctions to address rapidly changing conditions in the Middle East and move ahead to complete an overhaul of export controls in the coming months. Meanwhile, the Administration has stepped up its enforcement activity under World Trade Organization rules to open markets for US exports.
The following summarizes developments in key areas of practice:
The economic rebound continued to be reflected in US import statistics – the total value of US imports in FY 2012 increased by 5%, and total duties collected by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) increased by 6%, both reaching the highest figures to date. Given limited agency resources, the rebound in trade growth underscores the necessity for the government to complete the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the automated system for handling imports and exports, incorporating “single window” and fully paperless concepts. This year will see the implementation of ACE Agile development, which will enable CBP to deliver full core ACE processing within three years, including complete cargo processing. ACE is a key component of CBP’s Trade Transformation initiative, which includes a “simplified entry” program, revision of the regulations governing – and rethinking the role of – customs brokers, creation of virtual “centers of expertise and excellence” aligned with industry sectors – the remainder of which will be rolled out this year – and a “one US government at the border” project. Traders also can expect to see renewed focus on food and product safety, antidumping and countervailing duty collection, and intellectual property rights enforcement, and the continued evolution and maturation of trusted trader programs. Congress is expected to consider the proposed CBP reauthorization legislation this year, giving CBP new tools to address new challenges to border security and trade facilitation.
In the heightened security environment of the last decade, foreign companies have faced significant legal and political uncertainty in deciding whether to acquire a US company or even take a minority stake. Many high-profile deals have, in fact, fallen apart due to public scrutiny and controversy. Much of the attention has been focused on the work of the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency body chaired by the Treasury Department that is charged with reviewing the national security implications of transactions that will result in foreign control of a US business. If CFIUS concludes that a transaction may present national security risks, then it may block or place conditions on the transaction, or even unwind a transaction that has already closed. CFIUS has the authority to review transactions in any sector, regardless of the size of the deal, and has often found that a transaction will result in foreign control over a US business even when the foreign entity plans to take only a small ownership share. Once CFIUS has approved a deal, however, it will not reopen the examination. Given the wide sweep of CFIUS authority, an examination of whether and when to file for a CFIUS review has now become a routine part of the due diligence surrounding proposed deals.
Export Controls and Economic Sanctions
Building “higher walls” around sensitive technology while ensuring the competitiveness of the US defense industrial base remain the twin goals of the Obama Administration’s ongoing export control reform effort. Launched as part of the Administration’s National Export Initiative to double US exports by 2015, these reforms are expected to intensify as officials across three agencies harmonize US export controls and centralize their administration and enforcement. To remain competitive, companies that deal in controlled items must adjust their compliance practices to take full advantage of regulatory changes and to prepare for more coordinated enforcement activity.
Change is also the hallmark of the Administration’s approach to US economic sanctions, which have been modified repeatedly in light of the evolving geopolitical situation. Whereas sanctions against Burma have been moderated as political reform continues, more stringent sanctions may be imposed against Syria, Iran and other regimes that the administration believes continue to repress pro-democracy movements.
The Obama Administration has embarked on an ambitious trade agenda for its second term, including two major regional trade agreements and two sectoral agreements. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation was begun by the Bush Administration, but has now expanded to include Canada, Mexico and Japan. Moreover, the now 12-party talks cover a number of novel issues, including disciplines for state-owned enterprises operating in the commercial environment and regulatory coherence.
The United States is also now embarking on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would create a free trade agreement between the US and the European Union, the world’s two largest economies. That negotiation, too, is poised to address challenging new ground, including cross-border data flows (and accompanying privacy concerns) and regulatory compatibility.
But the real value of these large regional arrangements may be the precedents they set for trading partners left out. With the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations moribund, the strategy now appears to be to seek expanded markets by cutting plurilateral deals with like-minded partners that others may join later. The Administration is pursuing two such negotiations in the WTO – an International Services Agreement as well as an expanded Information Technology Agreement.
While the stated goal is to complete the TPP negotiations in 2013 and the TTIP negotiations “on one tank of gas” by the end of 2014, the Obama Administration may first have to complete negotiations with the US Congress on “trade promotion authority” (TPA). The US Congress is anxious to provide the Administration with negotiating instructions for these deals, and the novel issues they raise, in exchange for an up-down, no amendment legislative approval process.
In the aftermath of the economic recession, a growing chorus had pronounced that the trade remedies tool had become obsolete as a means of protecting US industry from import competition – until a half dozen new petitions were filed in Washington within a 24-hour period at the end of March 2011. Several more petitions were filed during the balance of 2011, including one in October 2011 launching the largest antidumping and countervailing duty investigations to date against imports from China (involving solar panels and cells). The action continued in 2012 and 2013 with several new petitions, which covered products such as stainless steel sinks, shrimp plywood, rail-tie wire, and battery-quality steel.
The filing of a spate of petitions after a long quiet spell may reflect the fact that the US economy’s recovery has brought an increase in imports of both consumer products (such as refrigerators, washers and wood flooring) and of inputs used in the production of goods manufactured in the United States (aluminium extrusions, galvanized wire, chemicals used in paper production). Industries considering the trade remedies option now believe that they can demonstrate a critical prerequisite to obtain relief – namely, that the financial injury they are suffering has been caused by unfair import competition, rather than the economic recession and the collapse of demand.
Trade restrictions and protectionism, in general, have continued in recent years due to persistent challenges facing the global economy. In an effort to remove such barriers, governments and companies around the world have increasingly turned to WTO dispute settlement to enforce the broad-based international obligations agreed to by the 159 Members of the WTO. The most notable new WTO Member is the Russian Federation, which joined on August 22, 2012. The Obama Administration has embraced WTO dispute settlement as part of its National Export Initiative. At the same time, other governments have turned to WTO dispute settlement against, among other countries, the United States, to maintain or improve opportunities for their own industries. For example, from January 2012 thru April 2013, the United States has initiated dispute settlement proceedings in seven instances (including three new disputes against China and two against India), and has continued to pursue a number of longstanding disputes that were already active at the start of 2011 (including its longstanding dispute against alleged EU subsidies to Airbus).
During the same period, the United States has been forced to defend its own measures in six new disputes. This represents a marked increase in new dispute settlement proceedings both by and against the United States compared to prior years. With an uptick in domestic trade remedy proceedings in recent years, including in the United States and its key trading partners, there has likewise been an increase in WTO disputes challenging the consistency of such proceedings (and the underlying domestic laws and regulations) with WTO rules. Industries in developing and developed countries, alike, have derived tremendous benefits from their governments’ recourse to WTO dispute settlement, often with the assistance of outside counsel.
International Trade - Nationwide
THE FIRM This firm has an enduring reputation as a leading international trade practice. The team receives praise for its expertise across a range of areas and has a deep bench of practitioners dedicated to these fields. In the trade policy arena, clients include Microsoft and the Economic Cities Authority of Saudi Arabia, the latter of which engaged the group's services in developing new regulatory infrastructure. A busy export controls and sanctions practice includes representing major US companies in matters such as potential International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) violations and issues relating to Iran and Syria. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) team also advises on investigations, risk assessments and compliance for clients in a wide range of industries.
Client Service "They give us great advice and are very responsive to our requirements and concerns." "They're personable, they provide common-sense legal advice and they understand the nuances of the subject matter."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Trooboff is a well-respected senior counsel in the area of export controls and sanctions.
The head of the firm's international practice, Stuart Eizenstat is a leading figure for trade policy work. His experience from his time in several government positions informs his advice on international business regulations.
Sources regard David Fagan as one of the top practitioners in the country for Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) matters, commenting that "he has been doing top-flight work for decades and is very well regarded."
Peers are happy to refer clients seeking export control expertise to Peter Flanagan, and clients report that he is "knowledgeable, accurate and timely with his advice."
Peter Lichtenbaum is admired by peers and clients alike for his "devoted expertise" in export control enforcement, and his sharp judgment when advising clients. According to one source, he is "terrific and gives very practical advice - very down to earth."
In the CFIUS arena, Mark Plotkin is highly regarded for his transactional advice, and assisted Northrop Grumman with the sale of its Viper Strike business. Clients particularly appreciate his depth of experience in this area: "The insight is really spot-on."
Clients are happy to recommend Donald Ridings for FCPA work, saying that "he really knows his stuff" and "manages his team very well."
John Veroneau receives high praise for his comprehensive handling of trade matters: "He is able to go from the highest levels of business strategy to the most precise details of execution."
THE FIRM This firm's array of international trade work includes numerous mandates relating to international sanctions, which has been an especially active arena for firms across the board. The team also provides expert guidance in various trade remedies and export controls investigations. Hogan Lovells's trade remedies and trade policy practice is extremely well regarded among commentators, and ongoing matters include advising the government of China on antidumping and countervailing duty investigations in the solar panel manufacturing industry. The team also offers expertise in CFIUS, import strategy and anticorruption compliance.
Sources say: "Hogan has so many terrific practice areas that it always has an expert even in a niche area."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeanne Archibald is active in sanctions advisory work and assisting clients achieve CFIUS clearance. She leads the firm's government regulatory practice group.
Peers comment that they wouldn't hesitate to recommend Mark McConnell for a referral, and clients are equally impressed with his services: "There's no one else we would call - he is truly an asset to us."
Beth Peters garners high praise from commentators for her level of knowledge, and is regarded as "a fantastic attorney" in the field of export controls and sanctions.
Commentators admire the quality of Deen Kaplan's work and clients appreciate his "really useful perspective – the ability to step outside of it all and see trade in its political context."
Lewis Leibowitz handles matters including trade remedies, negotiations and free trade agreements.
THE FIRM WTO work is a particular forte of this practice, which also handles a high volume of trade remedies, policy and sanctions work. The team continues to advise Airbus on an ongoing WTO dispute, and represents LG Electronics in antidumping and countervailing investigations into refrigerators imported from South Korea and Mexico. The firm's customs practice is also well regarded for its work on issues such as duty drawback and Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Recent mandates include litigation regarding tariff classification for GE.
Commercial Awareness "First-rate commercial awareness." "This work requires good insights and knowledge, and we use Sidley for that."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "An outstanding customs and trade attorney," Richard Belanger receives praise for both his detailed understanding of complex customs issues and his strategic thinking when navigating matters more widely.
Andrew Shoyer is regarded as a standout practitioner, especially in the field of WTO litigation. One source comments: "You can't touch him for WTO matters."
Clients appreciate Lisa Crosby's commitment to their export controls and sanctions mandates. She receives excellent feedback for "her reliable, practical legal advice," and is described as "very responsive and diligent."
THE FIRM Steptoe & Johnson is a well-known name in international trade across the globe, and the firm is often called on for its expertise in Asia-Pacific work. The group's considerable activity in WTO litigation has grown of late to include significant new mandates. The team represents respondents in numerous proceedings, and advised SKF on antidumping administrative reviews of imports of bearings. FCPA is another area of strength, and highlights include a multijurisdictional investigation for Hercules Offshore. The firm's skill set is rounded out by in-demand expertise in export controls and sanctions.
Client Service "I appreciate the quality of their service and enjoy our interaction. They are quite responsive and prompt."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "The patriarch of the practice," Richard Cunningham played a lead role in the firm's defense of LG Electronics in connection with its imports of bottom-mount refrigerator-freezers from South Korea and Mexico, as well as wider work relating to South Korea.
Edward Krauland is a popular choice for referrals among peers in the export controls arena. Clients value the fact that he is "really a specialist, and obviously did the right thing in both solving our problems and advising us at earlier stages."
Lucinda Low impresses commentators with her level of expertise - clients report that "she gave good advice and was practical and friendly." Another source enthused that she is "one of the best in the world at what she does."
Mark Moran is a lead partner in the firm's WTO work and is described as "a spectacular lawyer." He receives excellent feedback for his calm strategic reasoning as well as the strength of his technical legal advice.
Stewart Baker is frequently sought out for his CFIUS expertise, and sources are confident in relying on his abilities: "He was great, he was in the trenches with us and he was very attentive to our client."
Chair of the firm's international department, Susan Esserman is particularly active on trade policy matters and Chinese antidumping investigations. Her clients include global packaging company MeadWestvaco.
Partner Stephen Heifetz maintains a substantial CFIUS practice and is highly regarded for his knowledge of the field.
THE FIRM This team's wide range of work includes CFIUS, export controls and sanctions advice as well as trade remedies mandates. Ongoing matters for Boeing and the Alliance for Clean Technology Innovation demonstrate the team's WTO abilities, and the team also advises a number of clients on Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. High-level clients seek out the firm's anticorruption practice for its advice on FCPA compliance and investigations.
Client Service "WilmerHale has been extremely helpful and value-adding - they have such a broad reach that they're able to identify other issues as well."
Commercial Awareness "One of the things they do especially well is that they clarify the business implications of the legal work." "Very commercial and practical."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Charlene Barshefsky brings "very important overall strategic guidance and insights" to the firm's high-level trade remedies mandates.
Market commentators are unanimous in their respect for Roger Witten. He leads the firm's renowned FCPA practice, assisting clients from a wide variety of industries with FCPA investigations, risk assessments, transactions and compliance training.
Ronald Meltzer provides export and sanctions compliance advice in high-stakes situations for clients across a range of sectors.
Co-managing partner of the firm, Robert Novick is valued for his attentive representation in major cases, such as the firm's work for Boeing.
Kimberly Parker moves up in the rankings this year following outstanding feedback from clients, who rate her as "phenomenal for FCPA work."
Benjamin Powell is respected as a go-to adviser for CFIUS advice. According to one commentator, "he is extremely strong, and I think very highly of him."
THE FIRM This firm's recent major mandates include advising on high-level trade policy negotiations, antidumping defense, ITAR compliance and antibribery issues. In one highlight, the firm represented the government of British Columbia in the longstanding lumber dispute between the USA and Canada. On the sanctions side, the team assists clients with regulatory compliance and voluntary disclosures. The customs team receives excellent feedback, and advises on the full spectrum of issues facing importers.
Client Service "Awesome customer service - I couldn't recommend them enough."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Edward Rubinoff is head of the firm's export controls and economic sanctions practice, and is held in high regard for his work in both areas.
The key contact for customs matters is the versatile Lars-Erik Hjelm. Sources praise his breadth of experience, and one impressed client comments: "He has a good working knowledge of the business, I like his pragmatic approach, and his responsiveness is off-the-charts good."
Warren Connelly led the firm's representation of Samsung Electronics in its response to Whirlpool's allegations of refrigerator dumping in the US market.
Department head Valerie Slater leads antidumping and countervailing mandates, and clients appreciate the experience she brings to bear on their cases.
Hal Shapiro advises on international business and trade policy issues, including extensive high-level discussions between the USA and its trading partners.
THE FIRM The trade team at Arent Fox comprises experts in numerous areas of regulation that affect international businesses. Perceived by the market as an extremely strong contender for compliance work, the group counsels clients on economic sanctions, import-export matters, and wider antiboycott and FCPA concerns. The trade remedies team handles sunset reviews for household-name clients, as well as advising on longstanding disputes such as cases ongoing in the steel and lumber industries.
Client Service "Very high level of client service - I always get a very timely response. They are also very up to date with current legislative and regulatory activity, and I have nothing but praise for the firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very responsive and very helpful" Kay Georgi is particularly highly regarded for her work in export controls. She represents clients including 3M and G4S International.
One interviewee describes Matthew Clark as "a spectacular lawyer and a supreme advocate." He represented the government of Québec before the Court of International Arbitration in the softwood lumber case.
Matthew Nolan heads the firm's international trade practice. His recent work includes advising leading Mexican tomato producer NatureSweet on a trade dispute regarding the alleged dumping of tomatoes in the US market.
John Gurley is active in both customs and trade relief proceedings. He represented Trina Solar, a Chinese manufacturer of solar panel components, in the headline-grabbing US investigation into the Chinese solar panel industry.
THE FIRM This firm's workload encompasses a broad range of international issues, including trade remedies, export controls, CFIUS, customs and FCPA advice. The team successfully represented BAE Systems in its consent agreement negotiations with the US State Department, resolving a civil claim brought under ITAR. The sanctions practice is increasingly sought out for advice on the changes in US restrictions to trade with Iran, Syria and Myanmar. In one trade remedies highlight, the firm represented Tjiwi Kimia in the successful revocation of antidumping and countervailing duty orders following a sunset review.
Client Service "Very responsive, and this area of law is fairly urgent and immediate."
Commercial Awareness "They have real experience and give good advice - their legal advice takes the business challenges properly into perspective."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Barker is appreciated for his knowledge of export controls and wide experience dealing with the State, Commerce and Treasury departments. He is known as a go-to specialist in the arena, and "people trust his judgment and leadership."
According to clients, Lawrence Schneider "understands our concerns very well and can share his valuable experience with us." He is head of the firm's international trade practice, and highlights include ongoing representation of the government of Israel and the Canadian province of Alberta.
Michael Shor takes a lead role in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations work, and represented Tjiwi Kimia in the abovementioned sunset review.
THE FIRM This firm receives excellent feedback for all aspects of its international trade work. Recent highlights include representing the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance issues, while other sanctions clients include household names such as Facebook and McDonald's. The firm's white-collar defense and investigations group has a well-respected FCPA practice that handles major internal investigations and routinely advises on compliance programs. Customs and trade remedies mandates further round out the firm's workload.
Sources say: "We are very impressed with the firm and very happy with its work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Joseph Warin enjoys a top-tier reputation for his "real breadth of experience" in FCPA enforcement and compliance. He serves as compliance monitor to several industry-leading companies.
Customs expert Donald Harrison advises on valuation, classification and country of origin issues, among other specialized areas. His clients include Honda and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Judith Lee is a popular choice for export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS advice: "She's very sure-footed on the law, and has an excellent manner."
THE FIRM The international trade team at Curtis Mallet-Prevost can draw on decades of experience in representing clients from across the world. Import and export issues both contribute to its workload, and the firm has a sterling reputation for its expertise in WTO and trade remedy litigation. Recent work highlights include advising Deosen USA and Shelter Forest International on antidumping investigations, and acting for Vietnamese shrimp importers on sunset reviews.
Sources say: "An exceptionally talented group of lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS William Barringer is described as "one of the best trade lawyers in town." He has particular experience in the Chinese market, and has defended the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (MOFCOM) in several WTO and subsidy cases.
Christopher Dunn's client roster includes key clients in Asia and Latin America, and he advised the Embassy of Colombia on the implementation of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
James Durling is a "very high-quality lawyer," and a key member of the trade remedies team.
Daniel Porter rises in the rankings following particularly good feedback from market sources. He has an excellent reputation for handling high-profile matters such as his continued trade remedies work for GPX International Tire.
THE FIRM This firm enjoyed particular success in 2012 with the dismissal of all US claims in the widely publicized US-Canada lumber arbitration, in which it represented the Canadian government. The diversity of the firm's trade practice wins praise from commentators, with export compliance and import counseling numbering among the firm's strengths. Major international clients such as ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe use the partners' expertise across several areas.
Commercial Awareness "They made a massive effort to understand the market and they couldn't have done better - their advocacy was faultless."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients including Eaton and the LED innovator Cree engage Amanda DeBusk's talents in many aspects of export compliance.
Joanne Osendarp was a key figure in the firm's abovementioned representation of the government of Canada, and is lauded for her strategic skills.
Peers and clients alike recommend Kenneth Pierce. According to one interviewee, he is "knowledgeable, very practical, and his client service is phenomenal." He heads the international trade remedies and customs group.
The "very thorough and focused" Matthew Nicely moved to Hughes Hubbard & Reed from Thompson Hine in January 2013, further boosting the firm's bench strength in international trade matters. His experience includes representing a consortium of clients in the Vietnamese shrimp industry.
THE FIRM The quality of this firm's trade remedies practice is universally applauded by market commentators. The team is very well known for its work on the petitioners' side, and the firm's recent highlights in this area include representing US Magnesium in antidumping proceedings regarding imports from China and Russia. The team's wider capacities include FCPA investigations and CFIUS transactional advice.
Sources say: "A very complete team of experts in trade issues with very high professional standards and easy communication."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The founding partner of the firm's international trade practice group, Joseph Dorn is described as "one of best trade lawyers in the USA - extremely well respected and knowledgeable."
Peers are impressed by Gilbert Kaplan's experience in representing petitioners. He takes a lead role in antidumping and countervailing duty filings on behalf of key clients.
Stephen Orava has particular expertise in WTO agreements and dispute settlements, and has practiced across a range of global jurisdictions.
THE FIRM The steel industry remains a significant source of work for this firm, and US Steel is a prominent client which has contributed substantially to its workload. A renowned CFIUS practice benefits from the firm's healthy deal flow, and advises clients on an array of high-level transactions. Highlights include representing Sprint Nextel in its sale of a 70% stake worth $20.1 billion to the Japanese telecoms and internet company SOFTBANK.
Sources say: "Extremely helpful in giving us the information and very timely responses to the issues as they come up. They take us through the whole criteria to help us figure out what we should do."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ivan Schlager is regarded as a top-notch lawyer with "an enormous amount of experience" in structuring transactions for CFIUS approval. As one source puts it, "he's top of his game – incredibly good."
Commentators on the firm's trade remedies practice are complimentary about James Hecht's pragmatic approach: "I find him very thoughtful, and he's got a good sense of the practical way to accomplish things."
Head of the international trade department, Robert Lighthizer "combines astute legal analysis and advocacy with insightful political skills."
THE FIRM The well-established team at White & Case has wide-ranging experience that covers a variety of trade matters. The group's client roster includes names from across the world, as illustrated by recent antidumping work for Saudi Aramco, Hyundai Heavy Industries and a Mexican galvanized steel wire manufacturer. WTO work is also a busy area, in which the firm can draw on its global capacity and Geneva-based experts.
Sources say: "We know that we'll get detailed responses and they tend to present us with several different options depending on commercial considerations."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Feedback for Gregory Spak details that he "provides on-time, accurate analysis based on a thorough knowledge of the regulations."
Walter Spak heads the group, and clients appreciate the tenor of his input: "Walter is 100% familiar with the underlying factual issues, and can handle things very aptly from a high level."
William Clinton is an experienced trade lawyer whose expertise is called on by clients including Fujifilm and Saudi Aramco.
THE FIRM This firm has advised a number of US manufacturers on defending their commercial interests against increasing imports of low-cost products from abroad. In one high-profile example, the team represented SolarWorld Industries America in filing petitions against the imports of Chinese solar cells and modules. More broadly, the team includes experts in export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS compliance.
Sources say: "We found Wiley Rein to be assertive and very responsive, and they came in with good documentation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior figure Charles Verrill has long experience across a broad range of trade dispute and policy matters.
Alan Price is a highly active adviser, who spearheads the firm's representation of clients such as Nucor and the Wind Tower Trade Coalition.
Sources are glowing in their praise of Timothy Brightbill, and full of confidence in his handling of high-stakes matters: "He was masterful in orchestrating the effort - he gave good counsel, and was extremely responsive and precise."
THE FIRM Baker & McKenzie rises up the rankings this year following excellent feedback for the broad spectrum of services on offer. These include advice on customs and export matters, as well as trade remedies cases. The group represented NTN Corporation in all aspects of its trade concerns, including NAFTA audits, classification issues and antidumping proceedings. A burgeoning FCPA practice handles global investigations and acts as anticorruption counsel to numerous multinationals.
Client Service "They've been incredibly customer-oriented, and they bring teams of lawyers to our office and go through recent developments. The huge global footprint of Baker is also particularly helpful in this area."
Commercial Awareness "They have exceeded our expectations - the firm strives to see issues from the business perspective."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stuart Seidel has long been regarded as a leading authority on customs matters such as classification, valuation and country of origin. He is a popular choice for peer referral and receives a range of positive reports from clients.
Richard Dean is "extremely experienced and savvy" in anticorruption issues, and receives recommendation for his expertise in Russian matters.
Robert Tarun is well known as the author of a leading guide to the FCPA, and is also praised for his commitment to client service.
Ted Murphy is frequently picked out by commentators as an up-and-comer in the customs arena. He is valued for his "particularly commercial and practical" advice, and for being "really willing to do what it takes."
THE FIRM This specialist firm has boosted its bench strength, and can now offer the expertise of nine partners. The team receives excellent feedback for its cumulative experience and talent in the trade remedies arena. The group represents both US and foreign clients in antidumping and antisubsidy cases, acting for major names in steel, lumber and consumer goods.
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Greenwald focuses on antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, and is regarded as an excellent attorney in the field.
Jack Levy is called on for a range of trade remedies advice, and has represented numerous US companies in their concerns over foreign imports.
THE FIRM Export and import issues are the mainstays of this firm's practice, and the group handles a variety of work on each side. The team provides customs advice to a wide array of clients, including the Toyota affiliate Aisin and golfing equipment manufacturer Acushnet. Trade remedies work is an active area, and the firm represented GM in an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation.
Sources say: "They provide a very good standard of service - very knowledgeable in the area from both a legal and a business perspective."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Jeffrey Snyder has wide-ranging experience: "He's quite terrific - he's not only got a good sense of US law but also has good oversight." He is particularly well regarded for his advice on export control regulations such as ITAR and Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
Clients describe John Brew as "extremely good, and very responsive." His workload includes classification disputes, audits, prior disclosures and duty drawback.
THE FIRM The sanctions arena has been a busy area for this firm of late, and Davis Polk's diverse client base in the field includes several high-profile financial institutions. In one highlight, the team achieved the termination of investigations into the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo. The group is also active in export controls work, as well as representing acquirers and targets before CFIUS. In FCPA matters, the firm has advised giants in the financial, mining and pharmaceutical sectors, and acted for BHP Billiton on a multijurisdictional investigation.
Client Service "They not only kept me totally informed on a real-time basis, but were available to speak with me at any time, day or night, weekday or weekend."
Commercial Awareness "Extremely knowledgeable and very commercial in understanding what we do." "They are often the go-to firm for analysis when there's a change in legislation or regulation - they do the most thoughtful and complete analyses of issue-spotting."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Reynolds "has a reputation as a straight shooter," and is also "respected for his knowledge and sensitivity." Sources comment on his particular excellence in handling sanctions issues for financial institutions.
New York-based Scott Muller is a noted litigator who handles high-level international corruption mandates. Clients are pleased with his "experienced, pragmatic and responsive" representation.
THE FIRM This firm is best known for its market-leading CFIUS practice. The team receives praise for its in-depth knowledge of the relevant industries as well as the technical side of the process. It advised EADS on the ultimately terminated merger negotiations with BAE Systems, and represented Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company in the $1.39 billion sale of its commercial business to Superior Aviation Beijing.
Sources say: "A preeminent firm for the defense industry in the USA."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients describe Farhad Jalinous as "incredibly knowledgeable," and commend his ability to apply this knowledge to individual business circumstances. One source commented: "He's my go-to person, he's brilliant."
THE FIRM This team is well known for its skilled handling of trade remedies cases on behalf of petitioners, and its workload includes proceedings in the steel, agriculture and food industries. In standout matters, the firm represented several US producers of brass sheeting in connection with the potential revocation of an antidumping duty order on imports from Europe and Japan. The export control and sanctions team also receives strong feedback, and is active on a range of work including counseling clients on compliance with export controls.
Commercial Awareness "They do a good job researching their clients both individually and as an industry. They want to determine the best strategy to ensure success."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Hartquist is held in high respect, and clients note that he "doesn't waste words, and when he speaks people listen."
Interviewees "would not hesitate to recommend" Paul Rosenthal, particularly on the petitioner side of trade remedies cases. Among many other mandates, he defended US pasta producers against an Italian plaintiff's challenge to antidumping duty rates.
Export controls specialist Eric McClafferty is commended for the practical perspective afforded by his thorough regulatory understanding: "He is good at coming up with systemic broad approaches rather than just covering individual cases on a one-off basis."
Chair of the international trade and customs group Kathleen Cannon has long experience handling trade disputes. Described as "outgoing and engaging" by one source, "she has the ability to draw out pertinent information."
THE FIRM Trade remedies work and export controls and sanctions issues form the key strengths of this team, which also offers expertise in FCPA, CFIUS and customs work. The group has been called on by a number of major clients seeking advice on changing US trade sanctions. Kodak and its affiliates have engaged the firm's services in antidumping proceedings in China and India, and the firm has also been busy handling matters for the Renewable Fuels Association, Visa and Ralph Lauren.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The multitalented Simeon Kriesberg advises on a range of trade matters, and counsels global clients on export controls and economic sanctions compliance.
Michael Kantor can draw on his experience in a number of governmental roles to advise on the firm's top trade instructions.
Laurence Urgenson recently moved to Mayer Brown LLP from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He specializes in FCPA work, and is known for his experience in high-stakes investigations.
THE FIRM The trade team at this firm is highly active in the WTO area, and also represents clients' interests in the negotiation of free trade agreements including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The group acts for a variety of clients from the agribusiness industry, and represents a coalition of US producers in defending domestic interests. Import-export work is also a core element of the practice, and the anticorruption team assists clients with FCPA issues.
Sources say: "They were all very easy to work with, easy to communicate with, and their work was good quality - very thorough and detailed."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Practical, knowledgeable and thoughtful," David Levine impresses with both his area expertise and communication skills. One source also values the fact he is "deeply committed to understanding our business and partnering with my team."
THE FIRM Miller & Chevalier fields a stellar FCPA team as well as a strong practice in export compliance. The group assists clients with ongoing strategies and classification issues, as well as handling investigations and voluntary disclosures. The anticorruption group provides compliance counseling and due diligence services to an array of clients, and conducts a variety of cross-border internal investigations.
Client Service "Very good client relationship skills." "They're great partners - they are flexible when they can be and support us when we can't be flexible."
Commercial Awareness "They really understand our business and are able to see the business context of the legal advice they're delivering."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "exceptionally well-respected" Homer Moyer "has superb client relation skills and judgment." He is regarded as a top authority for FCPA work.
Larry Christensen counsels clients from a variety of sectors on trade compliance under OFAC, ITAR and EAR. He is well known for his expertise in issues involving the US Department of Commerce.
Kathryn Atkinson earns high praise for her knowledge and practical approach: "She's a delight to work with - responsive and pragmatic. I can't recommend her highly enough."
William Clements is of counsel to the firm, and is commended for his capabilities in compliance issues.
THE FIRM This team of international trade experts is regarded as a strong choice for trade remedies work, and its practitioners have extensive experience in the field. In one highlight, the group assisted the UAE company Universal Tube & Plastic Industries with an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation. Other significant clients in the area include Electrolux and Hyundai HYSCO.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Donald Cameron is described as "somewhat of an institution" and an excellent advocate: "Very impressive, does a great job for his clients - fights for them and won't leave any stone unturned."
Julie Mendoza also receives excellent feedback and is particularly noted for her work in Latin America. The partners' teamwork is afforded considerable respect: "They are both passionate about zealously representing clients and are respected by judges, government officials and other members of the Bar."
THE FIRM O'Melveny & Myers handles an impressive range of international trade work. It has handled policy issues for the likes of Rio Tinto and Goldman Sachs, and is also involved in trade remedy proceedings in the solar industry. The team includes several individuals with notable expertise in export controls, and represents a wide range of companies in this area. The firm's services also include expert anticorruption advice, and it has assisted clients with FCPA risk assessment, due diligence and training.
Sources say: "I think the practice is extremely good, and the customer service is excellent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers will happily refer CFIUS matters to Theodore Kassinger: "He's very good and would take good care of clients." He has decades of experience from his time in both government roles and private practice.
Greta Lichtenbaum is a "fantastic lawyer," whose experience inspires trust and respect when representing clients before OFAC.
Sources report that Richard Grime's background at the SEC "has been extremely helpful, along with his international experience." He is also described as "insightful, knowledgeable and practical."
THE FIRM This firm is well regarded for its work on international trade disputes, as well as for its broad range of compliance and enforcement expertise. The team is highly active in WTO matters, and also advises on trade agreements such as NAFTA. Numerous compliance highlights include advising the Electric Power Research Institute on ongoing export controls matters. Other corporations in the financial services, energy and defense sectors round out the impressive client roster of this busy practice.
Sources say: "Very experienced in these highly technical and specialized areas of law."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christopher Wall leads the firm's work in the export controls and sanctions area, and is also recognized for his CFIUS expertise. His clients include major names such as Rolls-Royce, American Express and Saab.
Stephan Becker heads the international trade practice, and sources are impressed by his "multi-industry, multi-issue knowledge of all that's going on."
Nancy Fischer advises on a variety of trade controls matters, including OFAC and ITAR enforcement, and has also been engaged on antiboycott and FCPA mandates.
THE FIRM This boutique firm receives outstanding feedback from its loyal clients. The team has extensive experience in antidumping and countervailing duty disputes, which include significant cases in the steel, agriculture and automotive sectors. Its workload also includes a number of sanctions and export controls mandates.
Sources say: "It's phenomenal - they're absolutely focused on every tiny nuanced aspect of the case, which gives me confidence that they'll handle things perfectly every time."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Terence Stewart leads the practice and receives high praise for his skills and "unwavering commitment to the best goals of the client."
THE FIRM Customs and export matters form the dual mainstays of this group's practice, and the firm's experience covers a broad swath of trade areas. Highlights include representing PPG Industries in connection with the obligations of its nonprosecution agreement with the DOJ. Customs mandates include the submission of prior disclosures, enforcement defense and ongoing strategy development. The group's varied client roster includes names such as Bayer, UPS and the government of the Russian Federation.
Sources say: "The customer service is good and they work well together."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kenneth Weigel's "well-rounded" practice includes both export compliance advice and high-stakes customs matters.
Thomas Crocker has decades of experience in export regulations and enforcement, and, according to sources, is a renowned adviser on sanctions.
On the customs side, Jon Fee's practice includes criminal investigations and Trans-Pacific Partnership strategy as well as general compliance advice.
THE FIRM This group has had a particularly active year in the export controls and sanctions arena. Clients such as Renault, General Reinsurance and Saudi Aramco sought the firm's advice on compliance with several sets of federal regulations. The team also handles trade remedies work and has represented several US producers in connection with sunset reviews of antidumping orders.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Newcomb's long experience as the director of OFAC lends extra insight to his advice on sanctions issues.
THE FIRM This firm continues to represent clients in WTO issues, including state-level entities in Brazil and Mexico. Trade policy has been a busy area overall, and the group has been engaged in matters pertaining to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). More widely, clients such as Volvo have consulted the firm regarding export controls and CFIUS clearance.
KEY INDIVIDUALS James Bacchus chairs the firm's global practice group, and can call on his background as a member of the WTO's appellate body and a member of Congress. His highlights include representing the National Fisheries Institute regarding the regulation of catfish in the US market.
Philippe Bruno takes a lead role in many of the firm's antidumping and countervailing duty instructions, and he is valued for the quality of his representation.
THE FIRM Market commentators highlight this firm's impressive strength in export controls and economic sanctions. Recent mandates include issues involving Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan and Somalia, and the firm represents several nonprofit humanitarian organizations as well as multinational corporations. Other areas of expertise include customs and CFIUS compliance.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers consider William McGlone a leading figure in the export controls field, and have a high regard for his expertise in ITAR, EAR and OFAC matters.
THE FIRM This team has been bolstered by the addition of four lateral hires, including ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf specialist Alan Wolff. The group represents clients in a variety of areas, from WTO litigation to export compliance and customs issues. In one highlight, the team acted for the Semiconductor Industry Association in connection with the elimination of tariffs on semiconductor products. Clients in multiple sectors have also sought the firm's advice on voluntary disclosures to OFAC.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior counsel Alan Wolff has long experience in litigation and regulatory counseling, and sources admire his expertise in trade policy matters.
THE FIRM Sheppard Mullin represents both US and global clients in a range of international trade concerns including export controls, economic sanctions, customs and FCPA. Its client base spans sectors such as defense, manufacturing and telecoms. The team receives high praise for its responsiveness and smooth management of client relations.
Client Service "Wonderfully responsive to the questions we've had; they provided timely advice to help us navigate things and very much took our needs into account."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees value the experience and expertise offered by Scott Maberry when dealing with federal agencies. One source also comments: "I can pick up the phone and reach him wherever he is working."
Thaddeus McBride joins the export controls and economic sanctions rankings this year following excellent client feedback. He is described as "very focused and sincere in his desire to help the business."
THE FIRM This firm receives strong feedback across several areas of international trade practice. Sanctions matters have been a highly active area of late, and the team has advised a number of top international financial institutions on related issues. The white-collar group is active in FCPA investigations for clients such as Tenaris and Diageo.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Kadel and Elizabeth Davy are key contacts for export compliance, as is Karen Seymour for FCPA matters.
THE FIRM This firm has considerable expertise in handling compliance and investigations into potential violations of export controls and sanctions. Several multinational companies have sought its counsel regarding amendments to the Iran Sanctions Act, and Syria, Libya and Sudan have also been areas of concern. Other work includes conducting export audits and assisting with voluntary disclosures.
Sources say: "Good practical advice: they always give you quick guidance and are also able to give you the in-depth coverage when you need that as well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kathleen Little is popular with clients, who appreciate her "methodical and process-oriented" approach, and peers are also complimentary: "She does a very good job and I hold her in very high regard."
Practice head David Johnson regularly counsels clients on export regulations. According to one interviewee, "what stands out about David is his practical approach and strategic thinking."
THE FIRM This firm continues to advise on trade remedies and policy matters for a roster of clients that includes Philip Morris, which sought the group's advice on the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In other standout matters, the team acted for Banc of America Securities and its subsidiary Blue Ridge Investments on the enforcement of an arbitral award in a trade dispute with the Argentine Republic. FCPA work is also handled for significant clients across various sectors.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Charles Roh is highlighted as a "good strategic thinker." His experience in the office of the United States Trade Representative lends insight to some of the firm's top-level mandates.
Elliot Feldman of Baker Hostetler LLP is a trade remedies lawyer who "brings very interesting issues and perspectives to the table." His clients have included foreign governments, domestic and international organizations and individuals.
Melvin Schwechter of Baker Hostetler LLP is ranked for his work in both export controls and customs, and sources appreciate the breadth of his expertise. One source likened him to "a walking encyclopedia - he can recite different cases and has a wealth of knowledge." He is also valued for his "sincere desire to help his clients to achieve what they need to achieve."
Lawrence Friedman of Barnes, Richardson & Colburn joins the rankings this year following recognition for his prominence in the field and his impressive skill set: "He is knowledgeable on the subject and gives practical advice."
With "seasoned experience" in customs law, Matthew McGrath of Barnes, Richardson & Colburn advises on the full spectrum of issues affecting importers. He continues to represent the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America regarding tariff elimination for drugs among member countries of the WTO.
At Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, LLP, Benjamin Flowe receives high praise as "a really good nitty-gritty guy when it comes to encryption and export controls." He regularly assists clients with voluntary disclosures and in-house compliance, as well as guiding them through enforcement proceedings.
The highly respected Peter Clark of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is known for his extensive background as a thought leader in the FCPA Bar.
Market sources identify Paul Marquardt of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP as an expert in managing CFIUS filings, and they also praise his client service: "He's been there for me, helping me understand everything - he's practical, easygoing and pleasant to deal with."
At Clifford Chance US LLP, George Kleinfeld is active in trade matters extending through the full range of export control matters, and can offer expert guidance to clients seeking CFIUS clearance for their transactions.
Respected white-collar defense lawyer Bruce Yannett of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP regularly acts on prominent DOJ and SEC investigations for heavyweight clients. He is highly regarded by peers, who consider him a "very talented lawyer."
Also well recognized in the customs area, Kathleen Murphy of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP assists clients in negotiating audits, investigations and self-assessment.
In the export controls and sanctions arena, Richard Matheny of Goodwin Procter LLP is lauded by clients, who appreciate his guidance in potentially difficult situations. One source comments that "his diligence and depth of knowledge were very impressive," and another adds: "He was just outstanding, and you got the feeling that we were his only client."
Miami-based Peter Quinter of GrayRobinson, PA has notable customs expertise and is a vice chair of the ABA Customs Law Committee. Clients elucidate the qualities he brings to their cases: "His strengths include his ability to clearly explain complicated matters and effectively resolve them."
With over 25 years of experience in the customs arena, Peter Klestadt of Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP is a highly regarded figure in the field. Clients are highly impressed, and one reported: "He is amazing and did a wonderful job."
Trip Mackintosh of Holland & Hart LLP receives resounding praise from clients: "There don't seem to be any holes in his expertise - he has vast experience with all the regulators in this area, his advice always seems spot-on and he's easy to work with."
Michael Burton recently left Arent Fox to become a founding partner of Jacobson Burton, PLLC. He is commended for his knowledge of ITAR and excellent level of responsiveness. He also advises on antiboycott and anticorruption issues.
Douglas Jacobson, formerly practicing at the Law Offices of Douglas N. Jacobson, PLLC, recently became a founding partner of Jacobson Burton PLLC. He receives glowing feedback from peers for his experience and the quality of his work.
Chicago-based Mark Zolno of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has years of experience in customs law, including tariff classifications, country of origin determinations and valuation.
Gary Horlick of Law Offices of Gary N. Horlick is seen by peers as a good pair of hands in the trade remedies and trade policy area. He advised internet industry clients on the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as handling trade remedy cases across several continents.
Susan Kohn Ross in the Los Angeles office of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP regularly advises clients on their interaction with US Customs & Border Protection.
John Peterson of Neville Peterson LLP is described as "a big-time customs litigator," and is recommended for the level of dedication he shows to clients' cases.
Harry Clark leads the international trade and compliance group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. He has experience in many areas affecting clients' international business and receives especially good feedback for his advice on export compliance.
Timothy Dickinson of Paul Hastings LLP is "one of the premier attorneys in the area of anticorruption," and is complimented for the sensitivity of his compliance advice: "I find his judgment excellent, and I have a high level of comfort that he gives superb advice."
Mark Mendelsohn of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is "a big name and has a lot of experience from the enforcement side." He is frequently identified as a leading expert in FCPA counseling work and represents a number of sector-significant clients.
David Christy recently joined Perkins Coie LLP from Thompson Hine. Christy is noted particularly for his expertise in WTO matters and has recently acted for clients including Diageo.
Michael Roll is another valued partner at the customs specialist firm Pisani & Roll LLP. He is described as "extremely knowledgeable," and according to one client "his pragmatism and incisiveness help us to resolve problems in a very efficient manner."
Clients are unreserved in their recommendation of Robert Pisani of Pisani & Roll LLP and regularly consult his expertise on customs matters: "He is exceptionally good at what he does, and is very pragmatic - he has good business sense and knows what is important and what is not."
Lee Sandler is a founding member of boutique customs practice Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg. He has decades of experience across the board and is well respected by commentators.
Roger Schagrin of Schagrin Associates is "a very prominent trade lawyer" who is active on trade remedies cases, especially in the steel industry.
Gail Cumins of the specialist firm Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. is regarded as a knowledgeable resource on customs issues.
According to interviewees, Philip Urofsky of Shearman & Sterling LLP "works hard and is really thoughtful." He takes a lead role in the firm's FCPA mandates, and has considerable experience from his time as a federal prosecutor as well as in private practice.
In the FCPA field, Danforth Newcomb is a founding member of Shearman & Sterling LLP's anticorruption practice. He is held in universal esteem, and his long experience includes numerous SEC and DOJ proceedings.
Christopher Griner recently joined Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from Kaye Scholer. Griner is unanimously acknowledged as a leader in the field of defense and security.
John Magnus of Tradewins LLC is engaged in various trade policy matters, and is also active on antidumping and countervailing duty mandates.
Lindsay Meyer is co-managing partner of Venable LLP and head of the firm's international trade practice. Her considerable experience in customs matters leads clients to take important issues straight to her: "She has a really good ability to explain these difficult questions and concepts to a range of businesspeople."
Martin Weinstein of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is active on FCPA matters for clients such as Tyco International. Interviewees report that they are impressed by the level of service received: "He always gets back to us promptly and follows up to make sure we're satisfied."
Josephine Aiello LeBeau of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati counsels clients on a range of export controls and sanctions matters, and is considered a particular specialist in the technology industry.