We have extensive experience in advising Governments and regional groupings on the creation of regional organisations and/or the entry into regional integration agreements. This is particularly the case with ASEAN, which the firm and many of its lawyers have advised since 2006 under a multitude of donors’ projects and frameworks, assisting both the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Member States in relation to many of the key areas of regional economic integration. This has left us well-positioned to respond to the increasing demands arising from the recent and fast development of regional trading blocs.
Our experience in this area includes:
- Assisting a number of ASEAN Member States on issues related to the identification, collection, classification and streamlining of non-tariff measures (NTMs) for purposes of ASEAN transparency and trade facilitation through better legislation and regulation;
- Providing legal assistance to the CARICOM Secretariat to develop a set of harmonised notification tools meant to support implementation and compliance with the obligations arising from CARICOM Members’ participation to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy;
- Developing a Handbook on ASEAN Competition Law and Policy for the private sector and country regulators, assisting the ASEAN Secretariat with respect to policy formulation and FTA negotiations on Competition Chapters arising from different levels of development and capabilities among the regional economies, and developing Regional Guidelines for Competition Policy in ASEAN;
- Providing assistance to the ASEAN Secretariat to achieve a further degree of regional integration, in setting-up a system of regional dispute settlement, and in negotiating an FTA with the EU;
- Acting as legal counsel to the ASEAN Secretariat since 2006 in relation to a wealth of international law matters, institutional development and legal drafting, particularly with respect to the implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and the Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism (EDSM);
- Providing legal advice to the Government of Rwanda on regional integration options and its trade position with respect to accession to the East African Community; and
- Advice to the European Commission on the compliance of certain national legislation of the former EU candidate countries with the aquis communautaire, the body of EU law.