Steptoe advises clients with interests touching many regions of the world:

With one of the most extensive international law practices of any US-based law firm, Steptoe & Johnson LLP is noted for its ability to develop and implement strategies that take advantage of opportunities and minimize risks that arise in today’s ever-changing global marketplace.  Our firm’s comprehensive international law practice consistently strives to devise creative and sophisticated solutions for complex commercial problems and seeks to advance strategic goals for companies with international interests. 

Steptoe advises clients with interests touching the many regions of the world, including Africa, Asia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Russia & the CIS, and Central and South America.  In addition to the regional experience listed in this section, we also have a renowned international trade litigation practice.

Steptoe lawyers have established relationships with law firms around the world to meet the needs of its clients.  As the Washington, DC, member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms, we often work collaboratively with Lex Mundi member firms on global and international projects.  
 

CANADA 

Attorneys in Steptoe’s national and international offices frequently counsel Canadian companies on matters before various judicial, regulatory, and enforcement institutions.  Our client base includes Canadian companies in the minerals, agriculture, aerospace, food, pipeline, energy, and technology industries, as well as the Canadian government.

Notably, Steptoe has played a major role in multiple WTO panel and Appellate Body proceedings relating to the US-Canada lumber dispute, obtaining highly favorable results.  Steptoe recently argued before the Appellate Body on behalf of the Government of Canada in an appeal that was central to the long-running and high-profile US-Canada softwood lumber dispute.  In a report issued in April 2006, the Appellate Body accepted critical elements of Canada's appeal, reversing the panel's decision. 

In addition to WTO experience, our attorneys also represent Canadian companies in antidumping and countervailing duty matters before the US International Trade Commission, provide investment advice to Canadian utilities, counsel Canadian businesses on acquisitions of companies in the United States, and assist Canadian companies with US cross-border regulatory requirements, such as export controls, sanctions, and customs issues.

Representative Matters

Industry: Aerospace & Defense

  • Assisted Canadian aerospace and defense company on US export control issues and compliance.
  • On behalf of a Canadian aerospace company, was actively involved in a successful challenge to Brazil’s export financing program for regional aircraft at both the panel and appellate body stages.

Industry: Energy

  • Represented a pipeline company as a participant in a joint venture to build, finance, and operate a multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline in Canada and the United States.
  • Assisted Canadian energy producer with a matter relating to corporate transactions in third country, as well as compliance with US sanctions requirements.

Industry: Financial Services

  • Acted as corporate counsel for a Canadian holding company in its purchase of a minority interest in the stock of a US pipeline company, and also managed the Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance process.
  • Served as counsel to a major Canadian utility in connection with its $76 million investment in an American NYSE company and the US financial aspects of its $700 million sale of two business divisions.
  • Advised a Canadian issuer in connection with the US aspects of a $28 million special warrant offering.
  • Advised a Canadian issuer in a $38.2 million public offering of convertible preferred shares in the United States and Canada.

Industry: Food & Agriculture

  • On behalf of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), worked closely with the Canadian Government to successfully defend the first major case brought against a state trading enterprise under Article XVII of the GATT.  Also successfully defended the CWB in US agency, judicial, and NAFTA panel proceedings in related antidumping and countervailing duty trade litigation.
  • Assisted Canadian food company on US regulatory requirements relating to customs, export controls, and economic sanctions compliance.

Information Technology/Software

  • Assisted Canadian electronics manufacturer on US export control issues and compliance.

Industry: Manufacturing

  • Represented a major Canadian air conditioning manufacturer in its acquisition of US-based heating and cooling unit manufacturing assets.
  • Assisted Canadian company with regard to customs voluntary rule-of-origin issues under NAFTA for products supplied to US markets.

Industry: Natural Resources

  • Successfully argued before the WTO Appellate Body on behalf of the Government of Canada in an appeal that is central to the US-Canada softwood lumber dispute.

Industry: Telecommunications

  • Through arbitration in Montreal, settled a $10 million dispute involving a joint venture between a Canadian telecommunications firm and a Russian firm.
  • In an arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce, represented a prominent Canadian telecommunications company in a $10 million contract dispute over proceeds from a joint venture with a Belgian company.
  • Counseled a Canadian microwave, satellite mobile, and fixed remote communications provider in the acquisition of complementary telecommunications companies in the United States.
  • Advised a Canadian satellite telecommunications provider in connection with an $85 million secured credit facility for acquisition and working capital financing.
  • Provided counsel to a Canadian satellite telecommunications provider in connection with a proposed multi-billion dollar satellite data transmission project.

Industry: Transportation

  • Represented a major US transportation company in a $200 million debt offering (part of a $500 million "shelf" registration) made in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
  • Represented a prominent transportation company in a $270 million common stock offering made in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN

Steptoe attorneys are familiar with cross-border issues that Latin American and Caribbean clients face on a daily basis, as well as the emerging opportunities for growth in the region.  Steptoe attorneys understand the complexities of cross-cultural communication in the region and are able to assist clients to overcome them.  Many of our attorneys provide legal services entirely in Spanish and Portuguese. 

We have served US-based companies with business interests in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Latin American and Caribbean clients with interests in the United States and abroad.  Our diverse client list in this region includes, among others, government agencies, utilities, corporations, and manufacturers. 

Steptoe has represented various Latin American governments in substantial arbitrations, including acting as counsel to the Government of Ecuador in the estimated $1.2 billion project financing of the nation’s largest crude oil pipeline.  Additionally, we participated in the first Indian safeguard proceeding to be terminated by the government without the imposition of trade restrictions when we successfully defended the US-based National Oilseed Processors Association and its Brazilian and Argentinean counterparts against the imposition of safeguard duties by the Government of India.  Steptoe attorneys also counseled a Caribbean government in its negotiations with an independent power producer involving $770 million of financing, which became solvent.

Representative Matters

Industry: Energy

  • Counsel for a Latin American government’s electricity agency in its $775 million International Chamber of Commerce arbitration in Mexico City, Mexico, against an electric company in a dispute involving power generation facilities; arbitration conducted entirely in Spanish, including direct and cross examination and oral argument. 
  • Counsel for the Willbros-Harbert Consortium for an arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce pertaining to the construction of a gas pipeline in Bolivia.
  • Counsel for the Dominican Republic in a successful injunction against a subsidiary of AES Inc., requiring the latter to continue providing electricity services despite allegations of unpaid charges for such services.
  • Counsel to a Latin American government in disputes with a consortium of oil companies over a proposed crude oil pipeline.
  • Counsel to an electric machinery company to develop a gas turbine diesel generating facility in Guyaquil, Ecuador.
  • Counsel to developers in connection with the project financing of the Mamonal electric generating station in Cartagena, Colombia.
  • Counsel to developers in connection with the structuring and closing of the Boca Chica power plant project in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.
  • Counsel to the Government of Ecuador in the $1.2 billion project financing of a proposed 450,000 barrel per day crude oil pipeline running from the Amazon fields of eastern Ecuador across the Andes to the port of Esmeraldas on the Pacific Coast.
  • Counsel to developers in connection with BOO and BOT electric power generation projects in Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador.
  • Counsel for the Government of the Dominican Republic and the Compañia Dominicana de Electricidad in their renegotiation and restructuring of its power purchase agreement with Smith-Enron Cogeneration Ltd. for the power generation project in Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic.
  • Negotiated and drafted asset purchase agreements involving international ventures, as well as project finance endeavors for the construction of electrical power plants in Peru and Colombia.
  • Counsel to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in connection with its guarantee of financing for the expansion of an existing oil and gas project in southern Colombia, including development of a crude oil gathering system and an outgoing pipeline.

Industry: Financial Services

  • Acted as counsel for a US bank in a class action regarding a fraudulent Ponzi scheme related to a product offered to Latin American investors.

Industry: Food & Agriculture

  • Assisted the European spirits industry to successfully challenge the discriminatory tax measures in Chile under Article III (national treatment).
  • Successfully represented the US manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup in a WTO challenge to a Mexican antidumping determination.
  • Successfully defended the US-based National Oilseed Processors Association and its Brazilian and Argentinean counterparts against the imposition of safeguard duties by the Government of India on imports of soybean oil.  This was the first Indian safeguard proceeding to be terminated by the government without the imposition of trade restrictions.

Industry: Government

  • Counsel to a Caribbean government in its negotiations with an independent power producer, owned by United States and Caribbean parties and involving approximately $770 million of financing, which became insolvent.

Industry: Healthcare & Life Sciences

  • Represented a Cayman Islands corporation in structuring its investments in certain US pharmaceutical concerns.

Industry: Manufacturing

  • Represented one of Brazil's leading manufacturers of agricultural implements, in connection with its acquisitions of several US companies that manufacture complementary product lines.
  • Served as arbitrator in an arbitration involving multi-million dollar claims by a shipbuilder relating to its modification and repair of military frigates for a South American State. 

Industry: Telecommunications

  • Counseled a telecommunications company during the privatization of Venezuela's telecommunications system.
  • Acted as counsel for a US telecommunications company in a litigation related to its distributors in Argentina and Brazil.

Industry: Transportation

  • Acted as counsel for a US cruise line association in a complaint before the Panama Canal Authority to prevent the imposition of additional tariffs.
  • Negotiated and drafted agreements to form a joint venture between a major US railroad and a Mexican company to establish train and sea links to transport points in the US grain belt to Mexico City.
  • Counseled the lender in connection with a $50 million secured credit facility for the working capital of a South American airline company.

Industry: Entertainment

  • Negotiated and drafted agreements to acquire television programming for distribution in Latin America and on Spanish language stations in the United States.
  • Represented a Mexican entertainment company in negotiating and documenting a distribution relationship for the home video distribution of Spanish language films in the United States.
  • Assisted in the creation of a joint venture between a Mexican television network and a United States entertainment company for distribution of Spanish language programming in the United States.

AFRICA 

Steptoe’s international experience extends into various African countries, including Libya, Egypt, Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.  Through our work with regional entities, we have gained substantial knowledge of the legal structures and area-specific issues. 

We have handled substantial arbitration matters for US, European and African based companies in the oil, construction, financial services, mining and hospitality sectors. 

Steptoe also has experience with international trade litigation matters in Africa, specifically antidumping and countervailing duty issues.

Representative Matters

Industry: Agriculture

  • Acted for Dutch claimants in an ICSID arbitration in relation to breaches of the Netherlands-Zimbabwe bilateral investment treaty.

Industry: Energy

  • Represented a major US oil company in an arbitration against the Government of Libya.

Industry: Financial Services

  • Acted as counsel to an international investment guaranty agency in connection with its guarantee of a loan by a consortium of US and Western European banks to finance a housing project developed by the Government of Senegal.
  • Acted as counsel to a South African bank in connection with a trade finance dispute that went to arbitration at the SCC.

Industry: Hospitality & Lodging

  • Served as President of an ICSID arbitration tribunal in Wena Hotels Limited v. Republic of Egypt (Case No. ARB/98/4). 

Industry: Mining

  • Advised a mining company in relation to remedial action available to it to improve its position in the event of expropriation.

Industry: Manufacturing

  • Represented a US construction company in an ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitration against the Egyptian government.

Industry: Telecommunications

  • Counseled an African country's telecommunications office in the formation of a joint venture entity, privatizing certain cellular telecommunications infrastructure assets.

EUROPE 

Steptoe's London and Brussels offices offer a range of legal services to clients with needs in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the European Union more broadly.  Attorneys with British, Belgian, Canadian, Dutch, French, Greek, Swiss, and US backgrounds counsel our clients across industries, borders, and languages. 

We advise on national and EU laws and regulations. In the field of EU law, Steptoe lawyers provide advice on EU technology and e-commerce law, intellectual property, antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings, EU trade barriers regulation, EU competition and state aid matters, and EU insurance and financial services regulation.   Our lawyers have decades of experience of dealing with EU institutions and national government authorities.

We have a very strong international dispute-resolution practice, handling arbitration, mediation and litigation across Europe. For example, Steptoe lawyers recently successfully defended a leading software company against a US$ 100 million claim by a former director, in an arbitration in Zurich under Swiss law. Our insurance and reinsurance practice is also strongly international in its client base and the matters undertaken.

Our clients include agricultural producers, airlines, banks, energy companies, food and drink manufacturers and distributors, insurers and reinsurers, manufacturers, retailers, and technology and telecommunications companies.

Representative Matters

Industry: Advanced Materials & Chemicals

  • For a producer of synthetic feedstock, handled separate cartel issues and investigations in the European Union involving the production of lysine and citric acid.

Industry: Aerospace & Defense

  • Represented an Italian conglomerate in its proposed acquisition of a major supplier to the US Department of Defense.  The representation involved significant advice concerning national security regulations governing the acquisition of US government contractors by foreign-controlled entities.

Industry: Consumer Products/Apparel

  • Advised a large multinational consumer products company regarding a tax-sensitive restructuring of its German subsidiary debt.

Industry: Electronics/Electrical

  • Successfully defended a prominent software company from claims by a Geneva-based former executive for US$ 100 million in stock options claimed during a post-termination notice period under Swiss law.
  • Represented a European technology company in a strategic secured debt and equity investment in a nationwide travel consortium formed through a roll-up acquisition of five entities, and in a strategic equity investment in a travel information technology software development company.

Industry: Energy

  • Handling an outsourcing transaction for a major European oil company involving its global public key infrastructure.
  • Represented a major Russian petroleum producer in an ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitration in Stockholm involving a German machinery manufacturer.
  • Counseled a joint venture company comprised primarily of large western oil companies in connection with the US$ 300 million project financing of an oil and gas exploration, production, and export venture in Russia.
  • Represented a German company and its US subsidiary in the acquisition, funding and development of a significant wind energy project in the United States.

Industry: Financial Services

  • Advised a London-based corporate finance consultant, the nominated adviser and broker, on the flotation of a leading software company on the London Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.  The software company is a leading developer and provider of software and IT solutions to the Chinese Government and export enterprises in China.  The market capitalization of the company was £31.5 million (US$55 million).
  • We are acting for one of the UK’s premier financial institutions to adapt its insurance policy wordings to improve contract certainty and to take advantage of the new Basel II regulations regarding credit risk mitigation.
  • Advised the nominated adviser and broker on the flotation of a Shanghai-based company that manufactures solar wafers on the London Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.  The market capitalization of the company was £50 million.
  • Acted as counsel to a venture capital fund created to invest in opportunities in the former Soviet Union involving conversion of defense-related assets to commercial purposes, in connection with its secured and unsecured credit facilities to a Russian manufacturing entity.
  • Provided counsel to a multilateral financing agency in connection with providing a hedging facility to a large Russian commercial bank.
  • Counseled an international financing agency in connection with its proposed $105 million revolving credit facility to the Sakhalin II project, a new petroleum refining project in Sakhalin Island of Eastern Siberia.
  • Acted as counsel to an international investment guaranty agency in connection with its guarantee of a loan by a consortium of US and Western European banks to finance a housing project developed by the Government of Senegal.
  • Served as counsel to an Eastern European government in connection with the creation of its national privatization program.
  • Handled disputes in the High Court of the Isle of Man involving a number of US and Russian investment houses in offshore locations.

Industry: Healthcare & Life Sciences

  • Representing an English pharmaceutical company in a £2 million dispute with its suppliers involving complex issues as to defects and quantum.
  • Handling a €24 million outsourcing transaction for a pan-European medical devices company.

Industry: Information Technology

  • Served as counsel to a French hotel computer reservations system provider in its acquisition of a complementary US technology company.
  • Representing a European technology company in an acquisition of the core assets of a technology provider and the formation of a marketing joint venture with them and a major US technology company.

Industry: Insurance

  • Representing a wide range of clients in relation to major property and casualty insurance and reinsurance claims, including energy, personal accident and life, pharmaceutical liability, and pollution.
  • Acting on various credit insurance matters, including negotiating a credit insurance contract to protect approximately €100 million of receivables under a specialized program. 
  • Advising on an innovative annuity and long-term care product for a UK insurer, including resolution of complex cross-border data protection and medical secrecy questions.
  • Advising a leading, London-based insurance exchange on contract certainty.
  • Providing counsel to the subsidiary of a global insurance firm and the surety insurers' group in connection with their takeover of numerous generating facility construction projects in the ongoing bankruptcy a former major international heavy construction contractor.
  • Acting as counsel to a Belgian insurance group on the transfer of its entire head office, insurance and reinsurance businesses, and foreign branches from Belgium to the United Kingdom.  The transaction successfully completed and is believed to be the first time that a transaction of this nature has been carried out under Belgian law.
  • Advising on cross-border consumer credit protection product sold by a large French group on a direct basis in a number of EU countries, including complex contractual, unfair contract terms and insurance intermediary issues, insurance premium taxes, local law compliance for product documentation; extension of these provisions to the Czech Republic; and implementation of the Insurance Mediation Directive.
  • Acting for a large insurance company in London and Zurich, in negotiating the transfer of a large portfolio of bespoke alternative risk contracts from our client to other insurers.  This involved hundreds of millions of dollars of coverage, provided under several complicated structures.  We have also advised this client on various other non-contentious matters.

Industry: Manufacturing

  • Represented a major Swiss metal company in a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitration regarding a $375 million contract dispute with a Russian metal producer.
  • On behalf of a Moldovan steel manufacturer, won a contract dispute with a steel trading company in an arbitration before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
  • Involved in international arbitrations arising out of disputes over aluminum production facilities located in Russia.
  • Represented a producer of medical equipment in connection with settling an arbitral dispute with the World Bank involving a transaction in the Russian Federation.
  • Represented a major Finnish construction company in connection with various actual and potential investments in the Midwestern United States.
  • On behalf of a major European steel producer, worked closely with the European Commission in planning its litigation strategy and arguments before the WTO Appellate Body. 
  • Acted as lead counsel supporting several EU WTO cases brought against US import relief measures, most notably the successful challenge of US countervailing duties against privatized companies and the recent successful challenge of the steel 201 tariffs. 
  • Served as counsel in the creation of a research, development, and manufacturing joint venture between Germany’s Bayer Group and US-based Troy Chemical Corporation. 
  • Represented a prominent Norwegian industrial company in connection with its restructuring and the spin off of its subsidiary, a global fertilizer manufacturer and distributor.
  • Represented the UK Government in the defense of $200 million in claims by an investor arising from privatization of a nationalized shipyard.
  • For a Guernsey company, handled enforcement of an arbitral award of $12.3 million involving tracing a Russian manufacturing company’s offshore assets.

Industry: Media & Entertainment

  • Advised a leading media conglomerate on the restructuring of the ownership of the Euro Disney theme park.
  • Defended the Washington Post against claims in Tarasov v. The Washington Post and International Herald Tribune, a defamation case brought by a Russian businessman for an article that appeared in the two publications in England in 1993.

Industry: Other

  • Receiving instructions from an EU Accession State to act in the defense of a large ICSID arbitration arising from the State’s privatization program.

Industry: Professional Services Firms

  • In connection with a French tax controversy, advised a foreign professional services company on its treatment under the French-US tax treaty.
  • Served as counsel to a major international construction company that received financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in connection with a joint venture to retrofit Russian railroad cars and tankwagons with heating systems.

Industry: Real Estate

  • Advising two property developers on the funding and acquisition of a hospital site, comprising 750,000 sq ft of developable area.  The total development value of the project is in excess of £200 million.
  • Acting for property developer in relation to its purchase of land for the development of approximately 300,000 sq ft of Class A1 retail space.  Acting in relation to the development and disposal of this land to retail operators.  Dealing with all planning, construction, contamination, and environmental issues.
  • Counseled a major Finnish construction company in connection with various projects in the United States, including the development of a major condominium and apartment project in Louisville, Kentucky financed by the Finnish Export Bank with a guarantee from the company.

Industry: Retail

  • Advised three investment firms on the management buy-in of a well known jeans business for a total purchase price of £30.5 million.

Industry: Telecommunications

  • Acting on behalf of a major European telecommunications operator in $232 million Freezing Order proceeding against a significant mobile operator in Malaysia in support of enforcement of an ICC Award.
  • Acting on behalf of three global telecommunications providers in disputes with suppliers and distributors concerning new telecommunications technology.  Advising on injunctive relief, competition issues, damages claims, and related arbitration proceedings. 
  • Representing a UK-based telecoms company as Claimant in an ad hoc arbitration with a major British telecommunications company.  The dispute involves complex carrier interconnect and telecoms issues.
  • Acting for pan-European medical technology company on the outsourcing of its IT operations.
  • Currently acting for three global telecommunications providers in six groundbreaking LCIA arbitrations concerning rights to distribute new telecommunications services in worldwide markets.
  • Representing a UK-based telecoms company as Claimant in an ad hoc arbitration with a major British telecommunications company.
  • Acting for the spin out of the technology unit of a British university, in relation to a center researching a possible cure for cancer. 
  • For a British company, used a groundbreaking theory to protect client’s trade name, even though the name was never registered with the UK Trade Marks Registry and the firm never did advertising or public sales; successfully argued that the firm had protected its trademark by undertaking the protracted regulatory and licensing approval process required for UK telecommunication companies.
  • Advised a Spanish telecommunications company in its acquisition of the Puerto Rican long distance carrier company.
  • Represented a major Swiss corporation in its acquisition of a significant minority interest in a US-based leading international supplier of satellite transmission and distribution services; under terms of the share purchase agreement, the Swiss were able to secure special voting rights and assurance of representation on the board of directors.
  • Advised a telecommunications contractor in disputes under BITs over mobile phone licenses in Eastern Europe.

Industry: Transportation

  • Brought and won a GATT case challenging Germany's civil aircraft exchange rate guarantee as an export subsidy.  Subsequently, Steptoe challenged a broad range of subsidies provided by France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.  We also brought a case against France's repayable advance subsidies, which we ultimately settled.
  • Counsel to the Spanish government’s assets holding company in the restructuring of its US-based joint investment with American Airlines in foreign airlines.
  • Represented a major US transportation company in a $200 million debt offering (part of a $500 million "shelf" registration) made in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
  • Represented a major US transportation company in a $270 million common stock offering made in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
  • Represented a major US transportation company in issuance of new debt in a $130 million debt exchange offer made to US and European holders of six different series of outstanding debt of such company.
  • In antitrust litigation, represented German and Swiss airlines in a dispute involving trans-Atlantic travel, where the United Kingdom enjoined certain acts with a nexus in the United States.
  • Defended the Italian directors of a defunct transport company when a liquidator sued them personally in England for 20 years of unpaid leases.

MIDDLE EAST

We provide a broad range of legal services to clients with interests in the Middle East region and our diverse client base there ranges from chemical processing plants to financial institutions.

Our work includes filing claims for damages resulting from the Persian Gulf War, recovering stolen assets, and defending foreign investors.  Most recently, we advised on all aspects of the US and multilateral sanctions against Iraq involved in the 2003 Iraqi Freedom engagement and the reconstruction effort.  The firm was also deeply involved in a number of arbitrations before the US-Iran Claims Tribunal, located in The Hague, where we successfully represented many US companies in pursuing contract and investment claims against the Iranian government.  Our lawyers have acted for claimants at the ICSID in relation to acts of Middle Eastern States.

Representative Matters

Industry: Advanced Materials & Chemicals 

  • Advised a Middle Eastern State in the defense of multi-million dollar claims by a consortium of foreign investors arising from construction of a complex chemical processing plant. 
  • Advised a substantial Saudi chemical producer with various US investment, trade, and regulatory issues arising from business interests in the United States.

Industry: Energy

  • Represented numerous US energy, engineering, and consumer products companies in connection with filing claims with the UN Claims Commission for damages arising from the Persian Gulf Conflict.
  • Represented a US energy company in an ICSID arbitration against a Middle Eastern State.
  • Counsel to US and foreign energy companies with business activities and interests in the region regarding compliance with US export, sanctions, and anti-corruption laws.

Industry: Financial Services

  • For a large banking institution located in the Middle East, recovered assets stolen and laundered through US banks. 
  • Represented debtors in disputes concerning Sharia finance including the first reported decision on such arrangements in England.

Industry: Insurance

  • Represented insurers to a global engineering contractor in a multi-million dollar investment dispute with a Middle Eastern State concerning an infrastructure construction project. 

Industry: Media and Entertainment

  • Represented a Middle Eastern media group on a trademark infringement case and in relation to the negotiation of a joint venture concerning a news channel.

Industry: Private Clients 

  • Represented an individual in a US$250 million fraud case involving a Middle Eastern Royal Family.

Industry: Professional Services

  • Defended a company that supplied interrogators in support of the US military's mission in Iraq against a number of multi-million-dollar lawsuits in which Iraqis seek recovery for injuries they allegedly suffered while in US custody.

Industry: Telecommunications

  • Represented a global telecommunications supplier in the prosecution of multi-billion dollar ICSID arbitration claims against a Middle Eastern State arising from the supplier’s investment in a national telecommunications system.

ASIA

Steptoe’s seasoned Asia practice focuses primarily on transactions, trade, and compliance issues.  Our lawyers have extensive experience on cross-border transactions and issues relating to new investments, joint ventures, and global supply operations throughout Asia, and in particular, China, Japan, Korea and India.  We also advise clients on handling employment and dispute resolution matters in the region. 

Our regulatory compliance group assists many multinationals with extensive interests in China, including the largest foreign investors in China, on US and Chinese regulatory compliance issues.  The firm advises on specific activities and transactions; helps companies structure and document specific relationships; performs due diligence on entities; and conducts internal investigations.  We are intimately familiar with the government structures in China, including the workings of entities like the All-China Trade Federation Union. 

Beyond China, Steptoe has an active practice focused on US/EU-India business and regulatory matters, including international trade and policy, export controls, security and defense, intellectual property, corporate, tax, telecommunications, technology, and competition.  Our lawyers have particular experience assisting clients to resolve commercial problems and expand access in India, as well as representing Indian companies in addressing barriers to entry and expansion in the US, EU, and other markets.  Our breadth, depth, and dedication to client service have made Steptoe the law firm of choice for many leading Indian and US companies, financial institutions, and investors. 

Read more about our China practice.

Read more about our India practice.

Read more about our Korea practice.

Representative Matters

Industry: Advanced Materials & Chemicals

  • Represented a major multi‑national chemical company concerning claims against the Government of Vietnam for expropriated property.
  • On behalf of the largest private company in India, provided strategic trade policy advice to resolve commercial problems and to support expansion in foreign markets and have defended our client in trade litigation around the world.

Industry: Energy

  • Acted as counsel to two private equity investment funds in connection with their combined $200 million equity investments in an independent power developer active throughout Asia.
  • Acted on behalf of a South Asian state and its national oil company in the defense of multi‑million dollar arbitration claims by a foreign investor arising from the sponsorship, construction, and operation of a 1,300MW power project. 
  • Represented a Japanese company in establishing and obtaining financing for a joint venture to acquire and develop wind energy projects in the United States. 

Industry: Financial Services

  • Represented a Japanese closely held corporation in its proposed acquisition of a Hawaiian savings and loan holding company for $60 million.
  • Represented the Republic of Korea and three of the country’s financial agencies in investor disputes with a large investment bank over failed derivative transactions.
  • In connection with a Japanese tax controversy, advised a major US investment bank on the proper application of OECD principles embodied in the US-Japan tax treaty.
  • Defending a UK-based commodities dealer and its Turkish subsidiary in a continuing €30 million action concerning secured loan facilities granted to processors of hazelnut products in Turkey.  There are related actions in Italy and Turkey.

Industry: Food & Agriculture

  • Assisted the European spirits industry to successfully challenge the discriminatory tax measures in Japan and Korea under Article III (national treatment).
  • Assisted a US agriculture association in successfully challenging an Indian trade association initiative to seek the imposition of an initiative of safeguard duties. 
  • Successfully defended the US-based National Oilseed Processors Association and its Brazilian and Argentinean counterparts against the imposition of safeguard duties by the Government of India on imports of soybean oil.

Industry: Healthcare & Life Sciences

  • Represented a Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer in its acquisition of a US company that owned the patent for certain enzymes necessary for the development of drugs to alleviate pain caused by spinal disc dysfunction.

Industry: Insurance

  • Counseled an insurance company as it advanced $100 million international fraud and contract claims against a major international construction firm and Indonesian paper pulp mill firms in ICC arbitral tribunals and national court forums.  The May 2000 issue of Bankruptcy Court Decisions profiled the case and its successful conclusion.

Industry: Manufacturing

  • Acted as counsel to an underwriter in proposed NASDAQ initial public offering of a Chinese company that manufactures auto accessories, performing due diligence in Guangzhou.
  • Successfully represented a prominent Chinese builder building material supplier in patent infringement litigation before ALJ relating to investigation into unfair trade practices from China.
  • Counseled a large Japanese manufacturing company in connection with its worldwide joint venture with a major US corporation establishing manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, and Luxembourg and sales arrangements throughout the world for a plastics product line project.

Industry: Natural Resources

  • In a landmark case worth $15 million involving Indian diamond dealers, challenged the validity of Morabaha agreements/Islamic financing arrangements.

Industry: Transportation

  • Representing a leading Asian airline in a major grand jury investigation and class action civil litigation regarding various antitrust issues in the air cargo industry.
  • Represented an Asian airline in multidistrict class actions by travel agents alleging fixing of agent commissions.
  • Defended a Japanese airline in a patent law case brought in Japan that involved US defendants.
  • In connection with Taiwan's negotiations for accession to the WTO, worked with USTR to obtain significant concessions to liberalize access to Taiwan's motorcycle sector.

RUSSIA & THE CIS

Steptoe lawyers have been advising on Russian & CIS related matters for several years and have a great deal of experience in the region. Our team, which includes Russian lawyers, have experience in a numbers of areas and in particular in Mergers & Acquisitions and joint ventures advice, as well as arbitration, fraud and litigation matters.

Representative Matters

Industry: Chemicals

  • Represented a large Russian chemical producer in a multi-million dollar construction dispute arbitrated in Stockholm under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Industry: Construction & Real Estate

  • Served as counsel to a major international construction company that received financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in connection with a joint venture to retrofit Russian railroad cars and tankwagons with heating systems.
  • Advised retail operators on exit in respect of certain real estate investments.

Industry: Manufacturing

  • Acting for two of the investors and a corporate vehicle on a number of claims for conspiracy and other tort claims against 12 defendants in relation to a Central Asia aluminium plant. Value $70 million. 
  • Representing several Russian and offshore companies in bankruptcy proceedings of a large Russian steel plant in western Siberia.

Industry: Oil & Gas

  • Advising on disputed state licenses on a gas field in northern Russia on behalf of a Russian gas supplier.
  • Advised a joint venture company comprised primarily of large western oil companies in connection with the US$300 million project financing of an oil and gas exploration, production, and export venture in Russia.
  • Advised an international financing agency in connection with its proposed $105 million revolving credit facility to the Sakhalin II project, a new petroleum refining project in Sakhalin Island of Eastern Siberia.
  • Represented a major Russian oil producer in US litigation to dismiss a claim in favor of arbitration proceedings.
  • Represented a major Russian petroleum producer in an ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitration in Stockholm involving a German machinery manufacturer.

Industry: Telecommunications

  • Acting on litigation in the High Court of the Isle of Man involving a shareholder dispute over a Kyrgyz mobile operator.
  • Through arbitration in Montreal, settled a $10 million dispute involving a joint venture between a Canadian telecommunications firm and a Russian firm.
  • Represented an international development agency in connection with its financing of an enhanced digital telecommunications system for the City of Moscow, a transaction reported to be the first limited recourse project financing under the then newly-enacted Russian Law on Mortgages and the second project financing in the territory of the former Soviet Union and the first such project financing since the split of the Union into its constituent parts.
  • Advised a European telecommunications company and its consortium in the proposed privatization of the principal Russian telephone company.

OTHER COUNTRIES

Steptoe’s international experience also includes countries such as Australia, Armenia, and Turkey.  In these countries, we have argued antidumping cases, conducted arbitrations, and advised on acquisitions.

Representative Matters

Industry: Energy

  • Counseled an international financing agency in connection with a hydroelectric power project in Armenia.

Industry: Healthcare & Life Sciences

  • Represented the Bermudian subsidiary of an Australian biotech company in its acquisition of a Delaware corporation in a complementary line of business.

Industry: Telecommunications

  • Represented a major US telecommunications company in both ICC and Zurich Chamber of Commerce arbitrations regarding a $1.8 billion dispute arising from a financing agreement default and related disputes with Turkish telecommunications concerns.
  • Acted for a major telecommunications service provider in its $191 million acquisition of an Australian communications company, which will form the world’s leading satellite-based remote communications provider. 

Industry: Transportation

  • Negotiated a settlement in Australia, avoiding international arbitration or multinational litigation, for a large corporate client that partnered with another firm in a venture geared to the transit industry, then sold its interest to the other party to exit the business.