Bennett Jones is pleased to announce that Valerie Hughes has joined the firm as senior counsel in the Ottawa office. Clients benefit from Valerie’s unrivalled experience in the resolution of international trade disputes. Having served as counsel, judge or adviser on more than 70 World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes, she is uniquely positioned to represent the interests of Canadian businesses and foreign governments at the WTO.
Valerie has served as counsel for the Government of Canada before WTO panels and the organization’s Appellate Body, as an adjudicator in WTO disputes, and as the only person to have served as both Director of the WTO’s Legal Affairs Division (2010-16) and Director of its Appellate Body Secretariat (2001-05). She has been involved in WTO challenges involving the Canadian auto industry, softwood lumber and seafood exports.
Valerie is one of Canada’s leading lawyers in international treaty law. She argued Canada’s first investor-state dispute under the NAFTA. She represented Canada before the International Court of Justice in a dispute with the United States over the fishing grounds off Canada’s east coast, and before an international tribunal that determined the international maritime boundary off Newfoundland and the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
Valerie served in senior counsel and leadership positions in her 22 years with the Government of Canada. She was most recently Assistant Deputy Minister and Counsel to the Department of Finance. She also served in the Departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
In 2016, Valerie was awarded the John E. Read medal by the Canadian Council on International Law for her distinguished contribution to international law and organizations. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
About Bennett Jones
Bennett Jones is one of Canada's premier business law firms and home to 400 lawyers and business advisors. With deep experience in complex transactions and litigation matters, the firm is well equipped to advise foreign businesses and investors with Canadian ventures, and connect Canadian businesses and investors with opportunities around the world.
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