Overview

Our international trade lawyers help clients to navigate the complexities of trade law, against a backdrop of global challenges from post-Brexit cross-border issues, including the uncertainties around the Northern Ireland Protocol, to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our aim always is to support our clients to maximise the international growth opportunities in their chosen markets, by drawing on trade expertise across a range of legal disciplines to deliver joined up, commercial advice.

Trading businesses need to import and export goods and services in accordance with national and international trade laws. Following the UK’s exit from the EU Customs Union and Single Market and the introduction of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and other non-EU trade agreements new rules apply to exports, imports, data and hiring. EU-based importers, UK-based customers and exporters, and importers and exporters from further afield, need to be alert to the new restrictions, tariffs and regulations.

We offer expert, but accessible, advice on inward investment, cross-border M&A, competition and state aid law, trade-regulated disputes, product regulation including labelling and country of origin advice, international tax, and business and personal immigration, across a range of sectors including defence, digital services, energy and utilities, environment, financial services and fintech, food and drink, healthcare, infrastructure, real estate, retail, transport and technology and communications. We provide specific guidance in areas as diverse as employment lawintellectual propertyfood and farming and transport to help inform the decisions our clients are making for their businesses, as the impact of the TCA, and the development of the UK’s approach to EU and wider international trade, progresses. 

In the public sector, we, together with our consortium partners ArentFox Schiff LLP, have recently been appointed to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) (RM6183) Trade Law Panel framework, under which we advise the UK government on the negotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs). This four-year appointment covers the provision of legal advice on the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements and trading relationships, and compliance with and enforcement of international law relating to trade, including the law of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and trade agreements. Our International Trade team also works closely with the UK Department for International Trade and is a member of the UK Investment Support Directory.

We are an independent UK law firm which delivers award-winning sector and specialist advice across all UK jurisdictions (England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and the EU. Through our trusted network of independent law firms, our international trade team provides a seamless legal service across the globe. This flexibility allows our international trade lawyers to collaborate with the right legal provider for our clients in each jurisdiction.

Inward investment

The UK continues to attract inward investment from overseas markets as international businesses look to expand into the UK through acquisition, equity investment, joint ventures, the incorporation of new entities and by expanding existing operations. Doing business in the UK for the first time can be exciting but complex. In this inward investment guide, we identify 10 key points to help you plan ahead for success.

Our UK Investment Launchpad service, enables inbound clients to fast track the UK set up process by providing rapidly deployed project management, alongside expert legal advice, to deliver on the ground support with the development and implementation of the client’s UK market entry strategy. You can read here how we supported a US healthcare provider to create a new business through a joint venture by providing a collaborative legal and project consultancy solution.

Areas of focus

Our international trade team can assist with all business issues connected to inward investment and cross-border trade. Our international trade law expertise includes the following:

  • Company incorporation and company secretarial support.
  • Corporate and tax structures.
  • Formation of joint ventures and partnerships.
  • Business immigration
  • Employment law support and core documentation including contracts of employment and policy documents
  • Cross-border financial services including access of EU firms to UK markets (and vice versa).
  • International dispute resolution including international arbitration and choice of jurisdiction/courts.
  • Trade disputes including sector based disputes concerning tariff breaches.
  • Trade remedies
  • Regulatory requirements for imports/exports including consumer law, product liability, obtaining approvals and engagement with regulators.
  • Supply chain and country of origin implications for registration, labelling and taxation.
  • Cross-border M&A involving inward investment or overseas acquisition.
  • International trade in nuclear goods and services including the role of nuclear co-operation agreements, export controls, nuclear safeguards, nuclear liability and more general obligations under international, European and UK nuclear law.
Experience

Advising clients on importing chemicals into the UK under the post-Brexit UK chemicals regime.

Advising clients on labelling and product compliance for the cross border movement of goods under post-Brexit UK rules.

Advising a food importer on cross border movement of goods and customs requirements.

Advising a South African biscuit manufacturer on a dispute with HMRC over tariffs applied to goods coming into the UK.

Advising a Local Authority on the requirements and processes to establish a Port Health Authority.

Advising a global electronics business on producer responsibility (WEEE) obligations.

Advising a European-headquartered supermarket on labelling and product compliance for its non-food items post-Brexit.

Advising aviation technology manufacturers on importing/exporting machinery and components.

Advising a pet supplies retailer on the importation of pet supplies and pet food into the UK following Brexit.

Advising clients on the movement of goods between N. Ireland, Great Britain and the EU, and the implications of the N. Ireland Protocol on the movements.

Advising a US bank on the provision of significant trade finance facilities for the import of various foods stuffs to multiple West African countries.

Acting for an international bank on the establishment of a consumer finance business in Thailand and compliance with the various regulatory requirements.

Advising National Express Group on its tenders to run public transport services in several projects across the Middle East. The competitions mainly involved bus concessions and included a mixture of operation, maintenance, infrastructure and construction contracts. We advised on all areas of these projects, from the completion of compliant bids and negotiations with public authorities in each country, to the ongoing running of services following successful bids. We co-ordinated matters across Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.

Co-ordinating ongoing work for Harrods in 10 South American countries working with local attorneys in each country.

Co-ordinating employment advice for Thomson Reuters across 19 jurisdictions for an IT outsourcing project including obtaining advice as to whether TUPE/ARD would apply in each relevant jurisdiction and planning for potential transfers. The matter spanned Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Co-ordinating advice for a UK-based premium soft drinks manufacturer on labelling and food regulatory requirements across the EU and the USA and working with local attorneys.

Acting for an international soft drinks bottler business on international arbitrations arising out of multi-jurisdictional contracts governed by English law.

Advising a significant Republic of Ireland dairy processor on English law food regulatory issues and subsequent criminal proceedings arising out of malicious contamination of products.

Acting for a global consortium in a successful appeal against a decision of the European Chemicals Agency on the testing obligations for its chemical products.

Advising a contractor on the construction of a £4.2 billion tunnel project.

Meet the team
Paul Browne

Paul Browne Partner

  • Head of Real Estate
  • Head of International Trade
  • Nuclear
Ian Tucker

Ian Tucker Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Procurement Disputes
  • International Trade
Lucy Pegler

Lucy Pegler Partner

  • Technology and Communications
  • Data Protection and Cybersecurity
  • Outsourcing
Jeremy Dickerson

Jeremy Dickerson Partner

  • Head of International 
  • Head of Intellectual Property, Media and Sport
  • Defamation and Reputation Management
John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and State Aid
  • Projects
Sian Edmunds

Sian Edmunds Partner

  • Food and Drink
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Private Wealth Disputes
Richard Leeming

Richard Leeming Partner

  • Banking and Trade Finance
  • Derivatives, Debt Capital Markets and Securitisations
  • Real Estate Finance
Headshot of Katie Russell

Katie Russell Partner

  • Employment
  • Financial Services
  • Sport
Dominic Davis

Dominic Davis Partner

  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Joint Ventures
Danny Lee

Danny Lee Partner

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity
  • Joint Ventures
Nisha_Kumar

Nisha Kumar Senior Associate

  • Commercial
  • Intellectual Property and Media
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
Myra Leung

Myra Leung Associate

  • Private Client Services
  • Personal Immigration
  • HNW and UHNW Individuals
Ian Truman

Ian Truman Partner

  • Nuclear
  • Projects
  • Environment
Martin Cook Temp Corporate Image Web Profile

Martin Cook Partner

  • Head of Fintech
  • Financial services
  • Technology and Communications

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Key contact

Paul Browne

Paul Browne Partner

  • Head of Real Estate
  • Head of International Trade
  • Nuclear

A guide to doing business in the UK

Burges Salmon Brexit Podcast

International

We help international clients expand into the UK and expand from the UK overseas.
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