Monckton’s WTO experts provide insight into the UK’s trade landscape post a “Hard Brexit”

17 Nov 2016

Leading trade barristers, David Unterhalter SC and Tom Sebastian recently facilitated a round table discussion to an audience of Chambers clientele focussing on the UK’s trade relationships after a ‘Hard Brexit’. Four core issues were discussed: (1) what are the political and legal uncertainties surrounding the UK’s WTO Membership; (2) how is WTO law enforced and what sort of role is the UK likely to play in the WTO dispute settlement system; (3) how will a ‘Hard Brexit’ affect existing free trade agreements between the EU and third countries;  and (4) how can WTO law assist in contingency planning.

The lively and interactive presentations provided considerable insight and thought for our clients as they prepare for the post-Brexit trading landscape.

David Unterhalter SC

David is the former Chair of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), its permanent adjudicative branch. It determines appeals by member countries of the WTO concerning their rights and obligations in trade disputes. In addition, he has appeared in many trade remedy cases before the domestic authorities in South Africa: the Board of Tariffs and Trade and its successor, the International Trade Commission. David also serves on the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC. He is one of South Africa’s foremost barristers and joined Monckton Chambers in 2009. He has a leading practice in competition law, trade law, public and commercial law and is renowned for his superb trial advocacy before a host of domestic and international courts and arbitral tribunals.

Tom Sebastian

Tom is a public international law specialist with particular experience of WTO law and investment treaty law. He joined Monckton Chambers in 2012 following 10 years of practice at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (an international organisation which represents States in WTO disputes) in Geneva and within the international arbitration group of a magic circle law firm in London. He has acted in over 20 treaty cases and has in-depth understanding of the commercial, regulatory and political factors that give rise to international trade and investment disputes. He has appeared before WTO panels, the WTO’s Appellate body and before tribunals established under bilateral investment treaties. He has also has experience of acting in inter-state mediation proceedings.

Legal 500 recently commented that ‘He combines astute and sound advice with an invaluable “bigger picture” strategy’ and as ‘One of the few juniors with a proper understanding of public international law matters’