Our Track Record: Demonstrated Experience in Complex High Stakes Litigation and Negotiation
We are known for our expertise in high-stakes domestic and international trade and investment litigation, serving both government and private sector interests. We have acted as counsel for the national governments of countries in trade and investment disputes, including as complainants, respondents, and third-party intervenors. We have also acted as counsel for private industry interests, including producers, exporters, importers, and industry associations, based in countries throughout the world.
Our lawyers’ experience includes acting as Mexico’s legal counsel in the NAFTA negotiations, in all of the state-to-state trade disputes under the NAFTA, in numerous investor-state claims under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA, and in a large number of WTO disputes, assisting with the development of legal claims, defenses and arguments, drafting written submissions on procedural and substantive issues, and making oral submissions in hearings before panels, tribunals, the WTO Appellate Body, and arbitrators.
Our legal team was counsel in the WTO appeals in US – Clove Cigarettes, US – COOL, and US – Tuna II (Mexico). In that capacity, we participated in the development of the law governing the resolution of claims concerning discriminatory technical regulations, including the evolution of the concepts of “even-handedness”, “arbitrary and unjustifiable discrimination”, “rational connection to a legitimate policy objective”, and “calibration” under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994. We are extremely familiar with the legal positions of the other WTO Members in this important field of trade law.
Further, our lawyers’ experience includes acting as counsel in the only completed disputes involving parallel trade and investor-state proceedings: the case of Mexico – Softdrinks before the WTO and the three related investor-state disputes conducted under the ICSID AF rules, including (i) Archer Daniels Midland Company and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas Inc., (ii) Cargill Inc., and (iii) Corn Products International, Inc. v. United Mexican States. As a result, we are very familiar with the relationships between trade law and investment law, and how to leverage both regimes in a strategic manner. We also have extensive experience navigating the interplay between the WTO agreements and regional trade agreements and the implications of choice of forum clauses in trade agreements (Mexico – Softdrinks, US – Tuna II (Mexico)). We are experienced in government measures that are implemented through independent private sector actions (Canada – Autos), in complex manufacturing sectors (Canada – Aircraft, Brazil – Aircraft), and in addressing complex legal issues such as the development of the de facto doctrine of precedent and jurisprudence in WTO law by the WTO Appellate Body in US – Stainless Steel (Mexico). Finally, one of our lawyers recently sat as a WTO panellist in the EU – Fatty Alcohols dispute, concerning anti-dumping measures between the European Union and Indonesia.
The foregoing constitutes only a small sample of our international trade and investment litigation experience.
Our team edits www.tradelawguide.com, the leading legal research database for WTO law (used by the WTO and most major governments and law firms), and one of our lawyers is a co-founder of www.investorstatelawguide.com, the leading legal research database for investor-state dispute settlement law (used by most major governments and law firms).
We believe that our trade and investment dispute settlement practice is amongst the very best and we are confident in our abilities to match and exceed the quality of legal representation and counsel provided to any government or by any law firm in the world.
With our experience in trade agreement negotiations, implementation and treaty interpretation, we understand the reasoning behind the purposeful ambiguity that exists in the provisions of trade agreements and how to employ this ambiguity in a manner that promotes the interests of our clients.
We bring our international insights to our Canadian domestic trade law practice, covering the full range of issues including customs compliance, anti-dumping and countervail, export controls, economic sanctions, anti-bribery and government procurement. Our lawyers have represented domestic companies and industries, importers, and exporters, and we have appeared before all domestic trade authorities and courts.