Whether on behalf of Governments, trade associations or private clients, lawyers in the firm have so far acted, individually or collectively, in seven WTO dispute settlement proceedings. The vast majority of cases have dealt with issues regarding agricultural trade, both in relation to market access and subsidisation practices.
The firm is able to advise clients in relation to all stages of dispute settlement, from the conceptualisation of a case and the definition of a viable and effective dispute settlement strategy, to early WTO consultations, panel proceedings, Appellate Body review, arbitrations, implementation work, enforcement, and compensation negotiations.
At the heart of our involvement in dispute resolution is a deep understanding of the underlying substantive law and regulatory framework, coupled with a systematic knowledge and use of the applicable procedures. Our daily involvement in trade negotiations allows us to often suggest and offer clients, in order to minimise costs and expedite the process of dispute resolution, viable and effective alternatives to full-fledged WTO dispute settlement.
In particular, lawyers in the firm have to date participated in the following WTO disputes (in chronological order and abbreviated form):
- EC-Bananas (European Communities – Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas, WT/DS/27);
- EC-Poultry (European Communities – Measures Affecting the Importation of Certain Poultry Products, WT/DS/69);
- US-Copyright Law (United States – Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act, WT/DS/160);
- Turkey-SPS Measures (Turkey – Certain Import Procedures for Fresh Fruit, WT/DS/237);
- EC-Sugar (European Communities – Export Subsidies on Sugar, WT/DS/283, WT/DS/266 and WT/DS/265);
- EC-Chicken Classification (European Communities – Customs Classification of Frozen Boneless Chicken Cuts, WT/DS/286 and WT/DS/269); and
- Turkey-Rice Importation (Turkey – Measures Affecting the Importation of Rice, WT/DS334).
FratiniVergano is listed in the Roster of External Legal Counsel maintained by the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) in Geneva. As such, FratiniVergano is available and willing to provide its services to least developed countries and to members of the ACWL if the ACWL cannot provide support through its own lawyers because of a conflict of interest. FratiniVergano has agreed to provide its services according to the terms and conditions established by the ACWL through its Management Board Decision No. ACWL/MB/D/2004/4.