The Appleton Luff Brussels office was created with the Firm in 2006.
It specialises in
• EU Regulatory Environment;
• WTO / FTA – related work;
• Litigation before European Courts;
• Trade remedy,
• EU Customs Law,
• Sanctions and public international law;
• International Economic Development and Policy Support Projects, and
• International Arbitration.
The Appleton Luff Brussels office was created with the Firm in 2006.
The office has litigated for foreign companies before the European Courts in trade remedy cases and sanctions, obtaining positive judgments for clients in several cases. We currently have six pending cases before the General Court of the EU and one pending case before the Court of Justice in the areas of trade remedies and trade sanctions.
We also represent clients before the UN Security Council and have recently filed one of the first claims before the UN Focal point against sanctions imposed on one of our clients.
In trade remedies, we successfully represented clients, in association with the Singapore office, in the sectors of biodiesel, fatty alcohols, seamless tubes and pipes, stainless steel cold-rolled flat products and polyester staple fibres (PSF). The Brussels office also acted for several European companies in the aluminum sector, filing antidumping complaints, leading to the initiation of antidumping investigations and imposition of antidumping duties by the European Commission.
The Brussels office also specialises in the EU regulatory environment and EU customs laws and procedures. We have assisted several multinational companies of the US, Japan and Korea on issues related to rules of origin, customs classification, customs valuation, duty refund and duty drawback mechanisms.
The Brussels office has an extensive practice of the EU preferential trade agreements, both old and new generation. We have been involved in the negotiation and implementation of the EU trade agreements with the Caribbean, West Africa, Southern and East Africa, Canada, Vietnam, North African countries, the Central European Free Trade Area (CEFTA), and Ukraine. The Brussels office is highly specialized in assessing the legal impact and the practical consequences of the provisions in such trade agreements with solid track record of legal analysis and advisory work in this area.
The Brussels Office is also extensively involved in the Firm’s African Trade practice. We have extensive experience of Africa, for having been closely involved in the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreements and the framing of financial mechanisms to support such negotiations. We also work on investment-related issues in Africa and market access actions to take advantage of the existing preferential trading arrangements. We are also active in the extractive sectors and in the application of related international disciplines.
The Brussels office also participates in the Firm’s WTO practice, which is the original practice of Appleton Luff. We advised several Governments in their WTO accession process and in the context of the Doha Development Agenda. In the last 10 years, we have assisted in back scene several prominent WTO members in the preparation of litigation cases before WTO panels. Finally, WTO law is imbedded in all cases which we handle and thus it remains the back-bone of our entire practice.
The Brussels office is also active in the framing of development projects. We have carried out several scoping missions in developing countries and we assisted several regional and international organisations, as well as the European Commission, in the identification of the content and financing of development projects, mainly for trade-related technical assistance. We also represented governments and private parties in legal disputes related to development projects, including in the context of international arbitration under the rules of the European Development Fund.
- We filed two antidumping complaints and a request for an expiry review targeting aluminum products, leading to the initiation of antidumping investigations by the European Commission and the imposition of duties against imports of the products concerned originating in China and Russia.
- We have assisted several multinational companies of the US, Japan and Korea on issues related to rules of origin, customs classification, customs valuation, duty refund and duty drawback mechanisms.
- We have successfully negotiated and obtained in the EU a change in a tariff classification of a product, through a Binding Tariff Information, in conjunction with a duty drawback mechanism, which enabled the avoidance of export control restrictions and major business with third parties.
- In 2015, we have filed two requests for the refund of antidumping duties, together with litigation before the European Court in one case, and a domestic court of an EU Member State in the other case.
- We advise the Government of Comoros in its WTO accession process. We successfully contributed to the preparation of Comoros’ first tariff and services offers to the WTO.
- We assisted the government of a West-African country to prepare for the WTO 10th Ministerial Conferences and we were involved in the 2015 consultations of Francophone countries in preparation for the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference
- We are co-counsel to the Governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti in a dispute concerning the Djibouti – Ethiopia railway and to the Government of Ethiopia in a dispute regarding a foreign investment in the sectors of constructions and drinking water. Both disputes are subject to international arbitration before the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
- We have litigated for foreign companies before the European Court in trade remedy cases and sanctions, obtaining positive judgments for clients in three separate sanctions cases.
- We have filed a comprehensive application before the Focal Point of the UN Security Council for the withdrawal of sanctions against two companies listed in the sanctions list of the UN.
- We advised the Government of Vietnam on the services and investment provisions of the EU-Vietnam FTA.
- We advised the same government on the compliance of its domestic legislation in the areas of trade remedies, competition, services regulation and investment with the provisions of the EU-Vietnam FTA.
- We advised the Government of Vietnam on the EU regulatory framework regarding sustainable goods and services in preparation of WTO negotiations on this issue. We are also retained to advise the same government in the context of the negotiations themselves.
- We are involved in the supervision of the implementation by the Government of Ukraine of the SPS and TBT provisions of its FTA with the EU.
- We advised the CARICOM Secretariat on the implementation aspects of the environment-related provisions of the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
- We advised the South African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern African States (COMESA) on the services and investment provisions of their forthcoming EPA with the EU.
- We advised the Government of Cote d’Ivoire and the SADC on the legal aspects related to the signature and ratification of their EPA with the EU.
- We identified for the CARIFORUM States the implementing mechanisms of the EU-CARIFORUM EPA.
- We advised private operators of Morocco in the area of processed food on rules of origin and cumulation provisions of the Euro-Mediterranean FTAs.
- We advised the Government of Vanuatu in its first approach to the government of New Caledonia for the conclusion of a free trade agreement among the two countries
- We advised the African Union on the establishment of an African Business Council, to accompany the negotiations of a Continental Free Trade Area, to be launched in 2015.
- We advised the Government of Ivory Coast on the ratification process of the interim economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the EU (the EU Commission had imposed a deadline of October 2014). We also advised the West African Union of Farmers on legal aspects of the regional EPA that was concluded in July 2014.
- We worked with Caribbean architects and Caribbean Export to prepare and finalise the negotiations of intra-regional mutual recognition agreements for the professional qualification of architects.
Dr David Luff
Rue de Stassart 131 1050 Brussels Belgium