Drawing on the firm’s global resources, Sidley is the only firm providing WTO legal services from offices in Geneva, Washington, D.C. and Brussels. Our team of professionals assists companies, governments, and trade associations worldwide on the enforcement of the complex web of global trading rules regulating international commerce. The WTO is at the center of that web, and is also at the center of our trade team’s practice.
Sidley’s WTO practitioners:
- assist business, trade association, and government clients facing market access barriers or unfair conditions of competition in foreign markets by successfully integrating WTO arguments into their advocacy with governments;
- counsel private and government clients on strategies for enforcing WTO commitments through WTO dispute settlement, including analyzing WTO law, preparing claims and defenses, and appearing as counsel or supporting government counsel in all procedural phases of proceedings before the WTO panels and the Appellate Body; and
- advise clients on structuring transactions and investments to take account of WTO law as interpreted through jurisprudence.
More than 500 complaints have been brought to the WTO’s dispute settlement system since its establishment in 1995. These cases have generated a body of law and practice as sophisticated as any specialized area of domestic law. While in private practice, or in earlier service with Member Governments and the WTO Secretariat, members of Sidley’s WTO team have been involved in almost half of these disputes – more than any other law firm. Our experience means that we have mastered not only the substance of the WTO rules, but also the procedures involved in WTO settlement. Our WTO litigators have been involved in every procedural phase of WTO dispute settlement – from consultations, to panel and Appellate Body proceedings, and from implementation challenges, to arbitration regarding retaliatory measures. We have a broad-based practice that includes representation of WTO Members as complainants, respondents, and third parties, in dispute settlement proceedings.