SVEN DE KNOP is an advocate in Sidley’s Global Arbitration, Trade and Advocacy group, focusing his practice on international trade law and EU law and regulations.
Sven has particular experience as regards:
- Economic sanctions and export controls
- Foreign direct investment
- Trade defense (anti-dumping, anti-subsidy, and safeguard measures)
- Trade restrictive measures affecting free movement in the EU (including environmental regulation), and general market access
Sven assists clients in international enforcement actions. He also assists clients in understanding how the relevant legal framework applies to their business, and in the design and implementation of compliance programs, and with internal investigations and compliance audits.
A significant part of his practice concerns transactional support, where he assists in identifying and mitigating trade and investment and controls risks. In that regard, he coordinates multi-jurisdictional and EU foreign direct investments screening reviews and filings, working closely with the Washington, D.C. national security practice and, as necessary, Sidley colleagues around the world.
Sven also advises clients on a broad range of EU environmental law and climate change issues, including mobile source emissions, industrial emissions, battery regulation and the unfolding regulatory initiatives covered by the European Green Deal.
Sven further represents clients in administrative proceedings involving the European institutions, as well as in judicial proceedings before the EU and Member State courts.
- Sven has notable experience representing clients before the European Commission, having represented clients before a wide range of Directorate-Generals, including Trade, AGRI, SANTE, MOVE, SG, and TAXUD. In addition, Sven advises clients in investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
- Sven regularly represents clients in judicial proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union and Member State courts. He has represented clients before the Court of Justice in cases concerning free movement, customs, environment, life sciences regulation, trade defense, access to documents, competition law, and damages actions, in direct actions, interventions, references for preliminary rulings from national courts, appeals, and interim measures. He has experience pleading before the courts of Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK.
Representative work includes:
- Advising on the EU’s Green Deal.
- Advising on the EU Blocking Regulation.
- Conducting internal investigations into suspected violations of economic sanctions and export controls resulting from the divergence of goods and technology to prohibited persons, and advising on compliance enhancements.
- Assisting in coordinating global foreign direct investment screening analysis and with regulatory filings.
- Representing clients under investigation for customs fraud by Member State authorities, and OLAF.
- Representing clients before the European Commission and Member State administrative authorities on environmental, automotive, biotechnology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and waste issues.
- Obtaining a landmark ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the effects of judgments (Case C-365/15 Wortmann).
- Representing two of the world’s three largest solar panel manufacturers in the biggest ever EU trade investigation and representing the world’s largest steel manufacturer in the first ever Russian anti-dumping investigation.
- Assisting one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies during a good clinical practice investigation.
- Representing clients in Member State litigation on issues such as product liability, other non-contractual liability, customs matters, and competition law. He has participated in a landmark ruling from the Brussels Court of Appeal relating to non-contractual liability for violations of EU law, and he coordinated a pan-European litigation strategy for active litigation in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Sven is recognized as a Leading Individual by Chambers and Who’s Who Legal. Most recently, Sven has been recognized in the 2021 editions of Chambers Global and Chambers Europe for International Trade/WTO, with clients commenting that his “advice on contract negotiation and compliance terms was extremely practical, and married with processes we already had in place.” In the International Trade/WTO chapter of Chambers Europe 2020, clients note that “[h]e has a razor-sharp mind and his analytical abilities are simply astounding, resulting in the perfect litigator and debater.” In Chambers Europe 2019 Sven is highlighted for his “brilliant legal mind” and for being “extremely efficient.” Sources from the 2018 edition recommend him as “a razor-sharp litigator who wins highly complex arguments by putting them in simple terms.” Sven is recognized in the 2021 edition of Who’s Who Legal for Trade and Customs. A previous edition (2020) notes that he “deserves the nomination for being a great lawyer with special expertise in international and EU trade law.” In the 2016 edition, sources from the publication describe him as “a formidable trade expert with lots of experience,” “very responsive,” and “a quick thinker.” Sven was recognized by Law360 2018 as a “Rising Star” in the International Trade category.