Valerie was named together with 14 other individuals through a consensus decision taken by CPTPP parties. As a member of the Roster, she can be selected to chair dispute settlement panels established to resolve international trade disputes between CPTPP countries. Her appointment is for a minimum of three years. The Agreement between Canada and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region will form a trading bloc representing 495 million consumers and 13.5 percent of global GDP.
The Roster of Panel Chairs is an integral part of the dispute settlement chapter of the CPTPP. When disputes arise between parties to the Agreement, a three-person dispute settlement panel can be requested to rule on the issue. Each disputing party chooses one panelist. The third member serves as chair and is chosen by agreement of the disputing parties. If they fail to agree on a chair, the two selected panelists select one from the Roster of Panel Chairs.
CPTPP panelists and chairs must have expertise in law, international trade, other matters covered by the CPTPP, or the resolution of disputes arising under international trade agreements. Valerie has experience serving as a panelist in international trade disputes under the World Trade Organization (WTO). She was also Director of the Legal Affairs Division of the WTO from 2010-2016, and Director of the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat from 2001-2005, where she assisted panelists and Appellate Body judges in resolving disputes between WTO Members.
Bennett Jones’ International Trade group has a proven track record of expertise in the matters addressed under the CPTPP. The group is led by Darrel Pearson, one of the most highly-ranked and regarded international trade and customs lawyers in Canada.