NICOLAS J.S. LOCKHART is recognized as a leading practitioner in international trade law and policy. At Sidley, Nic has advised a wide range of governments and commercial stakeholders in dozens of World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes. He has also assisted clients with the negotiation of trade agreements. Before joining Sidley, Nic spent five years at the WTO Appellate Body, advising on numerous appeals.
Clients benefit from Nic’s in-depth knowledge of WTO practice, procedures, and substantive law, as well as his extensive advocacy experience at hearings. Nic’s work with WTO members as complainants, respondents, and third parties in many disputes, across a wide range of WTO agreements also enables Nic to provide a rounded view.
International trade and sustainability is a particular focus for Nic. He has advised governments and commercial stakeholders on international environmental law and on the interface between international environmental and trade law; he has contributed to two papers, linked here and here, published by the World Economic Forum on trade policy and the circular economy; he taught a PhD-level course on trade and sustainability at the World Trade Institute of the University of Berne; and, he recently published a paper, linked here, on the WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies.
Nic features on the “A” list of standing counsel to the UK Attorney General on issues of public international law. He also features prominently in published rankings of practitioners in the field of international trade law:
- Holding a Band 1 ranking for International Trade/WTO in Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2022. In the 2021 edition, interviewees say that “he is able to get his points across to all of the different stakeholders because he deconstructs difficult legal issues into simple words.”
- Clients describe him as “very gifted legally and a very talented advocate.” Another source states: “He’s very creative in building arguments and positions and does not feel confined to how things have always been done. He is willing to think of new ideas.” (Chambers 2019)
- Lauded as “a tremendous trial lawyer who is an eloquent, convincing and effective communicator” (Chambers Global 2017), clients also single him out as a “fantastic strategist, excellent litigator and very good at thinking on his feet at hearings.” (Chambers 2015)
Most recently, Nic has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in Switzerland guide 2022 for Trade law.
His “excellent” work advising clients on international trade regulation and disputes has led to Nic being named as a Global Elite Thought Leader in the 2021 edition of Who’s Who Legal for Trade and Customs. In the 2022 edition he is recognized as Thought Leader for Trade and Customs (Switzerland), with sources praising him as “a top-notch strategic thinker.” Sources from the 2016 edition “have great respect” for Nic, highlighting his “strong legal arguments” and “excellent legal analysis and writing” as notable strengths. Nic is also recognized as a National Leader in Who’s Who Legal 2022 for Trade and Customs Switzerland.