Canadian law firm joins post-Brexit UK Trade Law Panel

Canadian legal firm Bennett Jones has been appointed to the UK Government's new Trade Law Panel together with Linklaters LLP. The appointment follows an open and competitive international procurement process.

The Trade Law Panel was established to assist the UK government in international trade disputes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and in connection with disputes brought under the UK's trade and investment treaties. Prior to the UK's exit from the European Union, the UK was represented in such matters by the EU.

"Our appointment reflects our extensive experience in WTO dispute settlement as well as our deep expertise in international investment litigation," said Darrel Pearson, head of Bennett Jones' International Trade and Investment Team.

"We are delighted with this appointment and look forward to working with Linklaters and the UK Department of International Trade in these matters," said Valerie Hughes, Senior Counsel with Bennett Jones, and Former Director of the WTO Legal Affairs Division and the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat.

In the wake of the UK's departure from the EU, the UK government has invested significantly in trade and legal infrastructure to deal with trade to replace the EU's established bodies. The UK will trade with countries with which it does not have a trade deal 'under WTO terms', which will be subject to WTO dispute resolution. Where the UK has entered into some post-Brexit trade deals - and it is likely that more deals will follow over the next few years - many disputes arising from these deals will also be arbitrated at the WTO. 

Bennett Jones' International Trade and Investment team brings diverse perspectives to bear in advising governments, businesses and business associations on broad and complex investment treaty and WTO legal and policy issues. Team members have decades of experience serving in WTO leadership positions and have been involved in more than 70 WTO disputes covering every aspect of WTO law.