Sidley established its Geneva office in May 2002 to assist companies, trade associations and governments navigate international trade and investment rules that today affect every aspect of the global economy, from capital movements, to trade in goods and services, intellectual property, product standards and government procurement. Geneva is home to many of the organizations that maintain and resolve disputes under these multilateral rules, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, Geneva serves as the site for negotiation of changes to and developments in those rules, as well as the site for resolution of disputes under those rules.
Facilitating enforcement of international trade and investment rules, tracking developments in the rules and advocating evolution of those rules in line with the strategic interests of our clients form the core of our work in Geneva. Our team of 13 seasoned trade and investment negotiators, WTO litigators and policy advisers draws on extensive private sector and government experience, as well as nearly 60 years of on-the-ground experience in Geneva to help our clients shape these rules and resolve disputes arising under them.
Our Geneva office offers clients a unique vantage point – literally steps from the WTO headquarters – and the combination of legal and policy experience to assist companies, trade associations and governments in WTO negotiations. Members of our team have been directly involved in the negotiation of the WTO and other trade and investment rules, having previously served as government negotiators. Our WTO litigators have also been involved in more than 230 of the over 360 complaints brought through the WTO’s dispute settlement process. Because of the increasing number of WTO-related matters that our clients have asked us to address, we have shaped – and continue to shape – the development of WTO jurisprudence.
The professionals in the Geneva office are part of the firm's international trade and dispute resolution group, based in Washington, D.C., and also coordinate closely with the European trade regulatory group in the firm's Brussels office. Our diverse team of international lawyers is able to communicate with clients in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.