Trade and Industry

Dechert advises companies, industry bodies and governments on all aspects of international trade and government regulation related to Brexit.

How can Dechert help?

Dechert’s top-ranked team brings a unique perspective to the legal and commercial analysis surrounding Brexit, having gained practical policy experience (including negotiating trade agreements) in various roles at the European Commission, European Council, Foreign Office and HM Treasury.

We help organizations ensure they are in the strongest possible position post-Brexit by planning for different outcomes, defining clear priorities and translating this into an advocacy strategy that best fits their needs. 

Our experience includes advising:

A leading FTSE 100 company with significant international operations on post-Brexit international regulatory frameworks. We advised the company and its subsidiaries on a comprehensive Brexit negotiation strategy.

An IT service business on its post-Brexit operations in Europe. We provided risk mitigation strategies based on an analysis of main business functions and requirements, as well as an engagement and advocacy program with the UK government and EU institutions.

A UK-based membership organization on a strategic public affairs and advocacy approach with the European Union, specifically the EU law frameworks that apply to its members’ operations.

Governments on the technical and policy implications of Brexit, including an engagement strategy for key decision-makers in the UK, Brussels and in key Member States. We ensured messaging was based on a sound underpinning of the legal position to provide scope for a political discussion.

Government Regulation

  • Dechert helps clients navigate and influence the developing network of EU regulations, legislation and standards. We advise on the potential impact on their business of proposals for new or revised legislation; challenges to EU Member States’ implementation of EU rules through infringement proceedings, and the legal requirements for EU regulatory approvals and licenses.
  • We also work at a wider international level to help companies navigate the regulatory challenges inherent in multi-jurisdictional business. This includes advising on the impact of U.S., Chinese, Russian and other national legislation, as well as international rules of bodies including the WTO, UN and World Bank.


  • We recognize that businesses are increasingly affected by the complex web of sanctions and trade controls established by the European Union, United Nations, United States and others. We are well placed to advise clients on the scope, interpretation, application and jurisdictional nuances of international sanctions rulings and their enforcement.
  • Although there is a political aim for broad alignment with the European Union after Brexit, it will be more important than ever for businesses to keep abreast of the new UK sanctions framework. Our team is at the forefront of developments, having been called upon to provide expert opinion to the UK government on its post-Brexit sanctions policy.
  • To ensure that our clients remain at the forefront of sanctions compliance, we can also provide an invaluable insight into the discretion exercised by regulatory and enforcement authorities such as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Export controls and trade embargoes

We guide our clients through all aspects of compliance, including:

  • Developing robust and efficient internal compliance programs tailored to their structure, resources and risks.
  • Classifying items that are subject to export controls and securing the most appropriate licenses.
  • Drafting provisions in contracts to mitigate liabilities.
  • Conducting independent audits to identify scope for improvements.
  • If necessary, preparing voluntary disclosures of breaches and engaging with regulatory agencies.
  • Providing bespoke training and on-call advice.

Customs procedures and supply chain management

  • Our team advises on all aspects of customs compliance and supply chain management, including classifications, valuations, rules of origin and preference calculations, audits, and duty relief programs.
  • We can also assist with accreditation under “trusted trader” programs such as the EU’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) scheme as well as developing policies to ensure compliance with new legislation, such as the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.