Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has expanded its International Trade practice, by hiring leading trade lawyer Arnoud Willems as partner in its Brussels office. Arnoud is joining from Sidley Austin, where he founded and led the EU trade and customs team.

Arnoud will bring a team composed of Bregt Natens, as Counsel, and Ines Willemyns, Associate, with him. They will be joining the Firm on 1 September.

Arnoud has significant experience representing clients on high-profile trade matters and advises clients on strategies for solving market access problems. A key aspect of his practice involves counselling companies on how to improve their competitiveness and financial performance through the application of WTO rules, EU rules and treaty (trade) provisions. Arnoud also helps companies to capitalize on opportunities as trade disagreements arise at the national, EU and WTO levels, guiding his clients through negotiations, administrative proceedings and court challenges.

Based in Brussels, Arnoud will join a market-leading global team of international trade lawyers at Baker McKenzie, who advises clients on critical cross-border legal issues impacting global business strategy. Arnoud’s experience will further strengthen what is already one of the largest trade practices in EMEA and globally. As Sunny Mann, Global International Commercial and Trade Chair at Baker McKenzie, says, “I am thrilled to welcome Arnoud, Bregt and Ines to our team. They are excellent practitioners and will be a superb fit in our practice. Arnoud is simply one of the very best trade practitioners in Europe and globally and his experience will be incredibly valuable to clients who are looking for strategic support in response to a world impacted by intense trade and supply chain disruption.”

In joining the Firm, Arnoud commented, “I am incredibly excited to be joining the firm’s market leading International Trade team and I look forward to working closely with the practice and everyone in Brussels and across multiple jurisdictions to further grow Baker McKenzie’s Trade practice and to continue to deliver a first-class legal service to clients."

The addition of Arnoud and his team come off the back of a number of other recent lateral partner hires into our global trade team including Lionel van Reet (as head of our Brussels customs team), Frank Pan (as head of our China trade team) and Meredith DeMent (as head of our US customs team), alongside a number of internal promotions to partner within the group.

Arnoud obtained a Law degree from University of Leiden in The Netherlands. He is a member of the Brussels Bar.

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