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Van Bael & Bellis’ London office expands and launches new UK-based International Trade team

  • 22/05/2023
  • News

London, 22 May 2023

Van Bael & Bellis’ (VBB) growing London office has established a UK-based International Trade team that has attracted senior hires from Crowell & Moring and Ashurst. These new arrivals add further depth and strength to the firm’s Brussels and Geneva teams, widely recognised collectively as one of the leading International Trade practices in Europe.

Michelle Linderman, previously a partner in Crowell & Moring’s International Trade Group in London, joins the VBB London team as a partner leading the establishment of the UK Trade team. As an English qualified solicitor with more than 20 years of experience, Michelle advises clients on UK-specific and cross-border sanctions, the UK Modern Slavery Act, export controls, and cybersecurity issues, among other specialised areas that concern national and international trade as well as financial sanctions. Michelle also has significant expertise handling complex commercial disputes.

Ross Denton, formerly Head of International Trade at Ashurst in London, joins as a Senior Counsel and will work alongside Michelle in developing the UK Trade practice. Ross arrives at VBB London with a wealth of experience in international trade and competition law. His varied and complementary expertise covers export controls, sanctions, customs and trade remedies, as well as cartels, state aid/subsidy control and foreign direct investment control.

The firm’s continued expansion in London is a direct response to its EU and UK clients’ need for support in navigating parallel enforcement regimes and growing regulatory scrutiny as a result of the global shift towards restrictive economic security and environmental policies.

Michelle Linderman comments:

“I am very excited to join VBB and to help to build their UK-based trade practice alongside Ross Denton.  Ross has a huge wealth of expertise and experience and we are looking forward to working with our new colleagues at VBB to service trade clients in the UK, EU and across the globe.  Over the past 14 months there has been unprecedented growth in EU and UK sanctions and export control legislation. Working with the team at VBB, Ross and I will be well placed to provide clients with the commercially-focussed, practical and strategic guidance needed in this complex area of law”.

Ross Denton comments:

“I am delighted to be joining VBB in London with Michelle, who is a genuine sanctions specialist, and a great lawyer. After Brexit, the UK has been given back its power to make and operate its own trade policy. The London legal market has yet to rise to the challenge of servicing clients fully in this space. Michelle and I are delighted to have been asked to help VBB, one of the great European trade firms, build up its UK-based trade practice.”

To accommodate the office’s growth, the firm has moved to larger premises at Holborn Gate, 330 High Holborn, and offers specialised expertise in UK and EU Competition, International Trade and International Dispute Resolution across a wide range of sectors including digital, energy, apparel and footwear, steel, mining, shipping, and financial institutions.

About VBB

Van Bael & Bellis is widely recognised as one of the main independent law firm brands in Europe with offices in Brussels, London and Geneva. It has established itself as a force in headline International Trade and EU Competition cases, handling a broad range of complex work from trade defence investigations, WTO dispute settlement, customs and export controls, trade policy and sanctions to merger control, cartels, abuse of dominance, vertical and horizontal agreements, damages actions and antitrust investigations. The firm’s well-known reputation as experts in the International Trade field led to its appointment to the UK Government’s Trade Law Panel in 2021 following a competitive tender process.

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