Sidley’s European Union law practice is a leader in helping companies, industry associations and governments navigate and shape EU rules. Our lawyers apply innovative strategies to help clients achieve their competitive business objectives. Sidley’s unparalleled strength in the three cornerstones of EU law critical to global business – competition, international trade and EU regulatory law – allows us to craft solutions tailored to our clients’ legal and policy concerns. Lawyers in our EU law practice offer a rare combination of private- and public-sector experience and have a sophisticated understanding of EU institutions and policies. We represent clients on a wide variety of matters before the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, EU Member State authorities and the European Courts.
EU Trade Practice
Our EU trade lawyers have in-depth experience in EU and international trade law, including trade policy negotiations, EU trade remedies, customs rules, export controls and trade sanctions regimes. We also represent stakeholders in international trade disputes before the World Trade Organization (WTO).
We assist clients in connection with the EU position in WTO rules of origin negotiations, European Anti-Fraud Office investigations and the development and application of special tariff preference arrangements such as the Europe Agreements and the Generalized System of Preferences. Our EU trade lawyers regularly handle entry, classification, valuation, origin, tariff suspension and marking matters, as well as special customs procedures, post-clearance recovery, penalty, seizures, forfeitures and customs bond-related cases. We assist clients on customs duty savings, compliance and advance rulings, and counsel clients with respect to EU border measures to restrict imports of products that involve patent, copyright or trademark infringement.
EU Regulatory Practice
Companies that market their products and services in Europe face an intricate web of European rules and regulations. EU regulatory laws are constantly changing, evolving and expanding. At the same time, they are applied on a daily basis by European and national administrations and interpreted by European and national courts.
In order to remain competitive and compliant, it is essential that companies have an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of EU regulatory issues and a thorough understanding of how the EU rules affect their specific industry. Because the policy decisions of the EU affect how companies do business — not just in Europe but increasingly throughout the world — stakeholders need to comprehend the EU legislative and regulatory processes, and to work with EU officials to seek economical and efficient regulations. By playing a proactive role in the EU decision making process, stakeholders can shape the EU’s regulatory agenda and enhance (or protect) their competitive positions in the EU market. Our EU regulatory practice provides guidance to our clients on a broad range of EU regulatory issues, ranging from food and drug, biotechnology, chemicals and the environment, to regulatory issues relating to financial services.
EU Life Sciences Practice
Our lawyers assist multinational companies and trade associations with food, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical devices, cosmetics and food supplement issues in the EU and its 28 Member States. We offer cross-border strategic advice for gaining and maintaining market access, anticipate governmental actions, advise on approval and submission strategies and interface with trade associations, consultants and governmental officials. Many major multinational pharmaceutical, biological and medical device companies turn to our group for assistance with compliance issues at European manufacturing sites relating to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), as well as EU Drug Safety/Pharmacovigilance, Quality System regulations and EU Clinical Trials. Our EU life sciences regulatory lawyers are experienced in matters involving the European Commission, including the the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME’s Directorate-General (DG GROW), the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General (DG SANTE), the Commission’s Legal Service as well as other official EU bodies such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products. The EU life sciences regulatory practice forms part of Sidley’s global Life Sciences practice, providing integrated quality legal services to meet our clients' needs around the world.
EU Environmental Practice
Our EU environmental regulatory lawyers advise on a wide range of EU environmental issues, including transactions, legislation, product and operational compliance counseling, and environmental management systems. Our work on EU environmental issues is fully integrated with Sidley’s comprehensive U.S. domestic Environmental practice, advising EU clients on U.S. environmental issues including compliance counseling, transactions, and litigation.
EU Financial Services Practice
Lawyers in Sidley’s London office advise the firm’s financial services and corporate clients on a wide variety of EU regulatory matters, including implementation of the EU’s Financial Services Action Plan and Internal Market Priorities. This includes advising clients on use of the financial services “passports” within the EU, E-commerce and E-money and data protection. Our work in this area involves advising not only on the EU-wide requirements, but also on how these requirements are implemented “on the ground” in Member States.
EU Competition Law
Our EU competition lawyers assist clients with all aspects of EU competition law, including merger control, public authority investigations, remedies, litigation and arbitration, compliance and policy projects, commercial agreements and state aid. With respect to state aid, our EU competition lawyers have in-depth experience assessing the compliance of EU Member State subsidies or other assistance granted to clients in connection with investments in research and development, production or other facilities in the European Union. We regularly defend clients in state aid investigations by the European Commission and file complaints against unlawful Member State subsidies granted to our clients’ competitors.