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Pablo Bentes

Pablo brings more than 15 years of experience in WTO dispute settlement

Baker McKenzie has added highly regarded World Trade Organization (WTO) expert Pablo M. Bentes in Geneva, as the Firm is further strengthening its International Commercial & Trade Practice.

Pablo joins Baker McKenzie from Steptoe & Johnson, where he served as Managing Director for international trade & investment. Pablo is one of a handful of practitioners in the world to successfully represent WTO members in all stages of dispute settlement proceedings, frequently acting as lead counsel in oral pleadings before WTO panels and the Appellate Body. Over the course of his career, Pablo has been directly involved in more than 20 WTO disputes, including some of the largest and complex cases to have ever been adjudicated on by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body. The cases that Pablo has successfully litigated to date have led to landmark decisions that established the applicable jurisprudence on a wide variety of systemically important issues such as the taxation of financial services, domestic production subsidies, the relationship between public health and intellectual property rights, environmental measures and trade remedies.

Before becoming a WTO litigator, Pablo served as legal officer at the Appellate Body Secretariat of the WTO. In this capacity, he assisted appellate body members to adjudicate appeals in a wide range of subject areas, including agricultural and industrial market access, trade remedies, intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and technical barriers to trade. He also acquired in-depth knowledge of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism and the manner in which it can be best used by WTO members to resolve trade disputes.

"There is no better way to demonstrate our commitment to this market than to bring on board Pablo M. Bentes", said Mattias Hedwall, Baker McKenzie's Global Chair of the International Commercial & Trade Practice. "Pablo's expertise will enhance our existing team's international commercial & trade capabilities for current and future clients, especially in the area of WTO dispute settlement."

"Pablo is a highly regarded WTO specialist, having represented various sovereign states before WTO panels and the Appellate Body and having advised numerous third parties in WTO litigations," commented Ulf Wauschkuhn, EMEA Chair of Baker McKenzie's International Commercial & Trade Practice. "His excellent reputation will further enhance our WTO capabilities in Switzerland, Europe and beyond."

Pablo was featured as "Next Generation Lawyer – Dispute Resolution: International Trade" in the US Legal 500 for three years in a row. Law360 has repeatedly named him a "Rising Star." He is a welcomed speaker at international podiums and publishes regularly in professional journals and international media.

Pablo added: "I am thrilled to join Baker McKenzie and be a part of its top international commercial & trade practice. Baker McKenzie's tremendous global platform is unmatched by any other firm. Baker McKenzie is also demonstrating its strong commitment to the multilateral trading system as one of the best tools that our clients have at their disposal to resolve complex trade disputes in an era where protectionism is on the rise." Pablo obtained his law degree and MBA from the University of Sao Paulo, and a master's degree in international law from the University of Miami School of Law, where he is currently an adjunct professor. He started his legal career as an associate in one of Brazil’s largest law firms in 1999. He is admitted to the bar in Brazil.

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