Steptoe Expands International Trade and Regulatory Compliance Practice in Brussels
12/10/2021

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce the arrival of a four-lawyer international trade team in the firm’s Brussels office, led by Renato Antonini and Eva Monard, who join the firm as partners. The team is rounded out by Byron Maniatis and Elli Zachari, who join as associates. Together, the team will expand Steptoe’s top-ranked International Trade and Regulatory Compliance Group, with its cross-border capabilities in the US, UK, EU and Asia, and work closely with Brussels colleagues David O’Sullivan and Yongqing Bao.

Antonini brings more than 20 years of experience in WTO and EU trade law, during which time he has handled many of the largest trade defense investigations in the EU, representing governments and large corporations in the steel, chemical, energy and financial services industries. He also has extensive experience in EU and Italian customs and export control laws.

Monard has assisted clients in more than 80 anti-dumping, anti-subsidy, and safeguard investigations in various jurisdictions, and obtained various annulments of trade measures before EU Courts. Her practice focuses on EU trade and customs law, WTO disputes, trade remedies such as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, EU sanctions and trade controls, and EU internal market law.

Both Antonini and Monard are recognized in the 2021 editions of Chambers Global and The Legal 500 EMEA. In Chambers Global, clients describe Antonini as “very knowledgeable in the combined areas of export, tax and government investigations” and “one of the hardest-working attorneys I have worked with.” Monard is recognized as an “Up and Coming” lawyer who is hailed for her dedication to clients. In The Legal 500 EMEA, Antonini is recognized as a leading individual in customs, trade and WTO law, and Monard is singled out as the sole “rising star” in the same category.

Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: “Renato and Eva are well-regarded in the international trade arena and in the Brussels market. Bringing them on board will strengthen our trade capabilities at a time when issues involving international trade and the supply chain are at the top of the agenda for our clients around the globe, and when the EU is at the leading edge of climate change regulation.”

Brussels office managing partner Ruxandra Cana added: “This is an exciting time for our Brussels office as we continue to expand the EU trade and regulatory capabilities we offer to international clients investing in the EU. Renato and Eva joining is consistent with our strategic objective, to be able to offer EU law expertise to our clients in those areas in which the EU rules have most impact on business – and trade is an obvious part of that.”

Antonini remarked: “Steptoe is a premiere firm for international trade, with a great reputation and experience. Not only does the firm have long-established trade practices in both the United States and Brussels, but the firm’s decade-long presence in China provides our practice with additional opportunities for growth.”

Monard added: “This is a great move for our team. The firm’s Brussels office has a stellar reputation for trade and EU regulatory practices, and Steptoe’s broad international trade practice provides us with a deep bench of lawyers in the US, UK and Asia to expand our reach.”

Steptoe has one of the largest and most experienced International Trade and Regulatory Compliance practices of any major international law firm, counting more than 50 lawyers dedicated to these matters in the United States, Europe and Asia. The team expanded its presence in Europe with the arrivals of former EU ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan in Brussels, and a former senior counsel at Canada’s Trade Law Bureau, Christophe Bondy in London. Steptoe’s international trade and regulatory compliance practices are consistently top-ranked by Chambers and have received numerous accolades. Named six times to Law360’s list of International Trade Firms of the Year, Steptoe has also been awarded the China Business Law award in international trade for eight consecutive years.

Antonini, who speaks Italian and English, received his law degree cum laude from the Universita La Sapienza (Italy) and his LL.M from Edinburgh School of Law (UK). He is licensed to practice in Belgium and Italy.

Monard earned her law degree magna cum laude from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She is licensed to practice in Belgium, and speaks Dutch, English, and French.

Byron Maniatis earned an LL.M. in international economic law and policy from the University of Barcelona and an LL.M. in international and European law from the Free University of Brussels. He is licensed to practice in Belgium, and speaks Dutch, English, French, and Greek.

Elli Zachari earned her LL.B at the University of Warwick and her LL.M at the Maastrict University cum laude. She interned at the Legal Affairs Division of the WTO, and speaks English and Greek.

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