Bennett Jones provides clients with unique advantages based on our expertise and experience in World Trade Organization (WTO) law and policy. Our WTO team includes Canada’s foremost leaders in the field.
- We bring diverse perspectives to bear in advising governments, businesses and business associations on broad and complex WTO legal and policy issues.
- We cut through the complexities and roadblocks to achieve results. Our experience includes advising leading global businesses on how to achieve their objectives through WTO negotiations.
- Our unrivalled access to senior Canadian Government trade policy officials allows us to more readily secure Canadian Government support in pursuing client interests in WTO trade policy development or in WTO dispute settlement.
Bennett Jones’ deep expertise in WTO matters reflects decades of hands-on experience. Our team members have:
- served as Canada’s Ambassador to the WTO representing Canada and Canadian business interests;
- acted as a key participant in the Canadian delegation to the last two successful rounds of multilateral negotiations;
- developed strategic solutions in trade negotiations to practical problems faced by Canadian business;
- served as Canada’s lead government lawyer for WTO law and litigation;
- worked for more than 10 years in senior positions in the WTO Secretariat; and
- worked for more than 20 years in WTO dispute settlement, including as legal counsel, adjudicator, and advisor to adjudicators.
Our team has been involved in more than 70 WTO disputes covering every aspect of WTO law including trade in goods, services, financial services, food safety, technical standards, intellectual property, subsidies, anti-dumping, customs, state-owned enterprises, and security interests. These disputes involved a wide variety of industries including the auto and auto parts sector, seafood exports, and softwood lumber, to name just a few.
Unmatched WTO Insights
Ten years working inside the WTO in the senior positions of Director of the Legal Affairs Division and Director of the Appellate Body Secretariat is unmatched and allows us to provide clients with unique insight into every aspect of WTO dispute settlement, from panelist selection to panel procedures to advocacy strategy. The selection of our team members to serve as WTO adjudicators confirms their reputations as leading WTO experts.
We have trained senior officials of several governments in WTO law and dispute settlement procedures. We have also taught international trade law at universities in Canada and around the world, in Europe, Australia, China, India, Japan, and Africa. We are regularly invited to speak on WTO and international trade law and policy at international conferences in Canada and abroad, and we have published several articles on WTO law and dispute settlement.
Canada’s Trading Advantage
Canada is a major player in global trade and investment and is an active member of the WTO. It maintains free trade or foreign investment agreements with 70 countries with a combined GDP of $52.7 trillion—61 percent of the world's total GDP. This uniquely positions Bennett Jones as a Canadian leader in WTO law and policy.
The Bennett Jones WTO team is backed by Canada's most comprehensive International Trade & Investment practice, and by experts in the various subjects governed by the WTO agreements. Our interconnected approach provides a strategic advantage to our clients, whose interests and businesses may be affected by one or more of the 20 WTO agreements.