(February 6, 2020, London) — Steptoe is pleased to announce that Christophe Bondy, a former senior counsel and deputy director of Canada's Trade Law Bureau, has joined Steptoe & Johnson UK LLP in London as a partner. Bondy will practice in the firm's internationally recognized International Trade Group, which was just named a Law360 Practice Group of the Year for the sixth time in 10 years, and focus on investor-state arbitration, international trade, international commercial arbitration and public international law. His arrival continues the expansion of the firm’s international arbitration practice, which welcomed Teddy Baldwin and Chris Paparella in 2019.
Bondy is a barrister and solicitor of the Law Society of Ontario, is admitted to the Paris Bar, and is a registered foreign lawyer with the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales. He has practiced international dispute resolution and international trade policy for more than 20 years. Bondy is best known as an investment treaty counsel both for states and for investors, but has international commercial arbitration experience as well under all major rules. He also has extensive experience in the negotiation of international trade and investment treaties. Bondy has advised and represented sovereigns, international organizations and private clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious public international law and international dispute resolution issues.
Prior to returning to private practice in 2015, Bondy served for nearly a decade as senior counsel and deputy director at Canada's Trade Law Bureau in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada). There, he successfully led Canada's defense in multiple investor-state arbitrations under NAFTA Chapter Eleven and advised all levels of government on compliance with international investment and trade obligations.
While at the Trade Law Bureau, Bondy was senior counsel to Canada in the negotiation of the Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), considered by many as a template for modern Free Trade Agreements, with particular focus on services and investment. He acted as counsel to Canada in the negotiation of international trade and investment agreements around the world and advised up to the highest levels of government.
In welcoming Bondy to the firm, Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: "Christophe is an experienced trade negotiator and counsel who was key to the development of investment treaty law while defending the Canadian government in numerous NAFTA cases. In the private sector, Christophe has handled major investment treaty disputes on behalf of both states and investors, including Barbados, Croatia, Nigeria, and major industrial investor claimants under NAFTA Chapter Eleven and ICSID. His experience as an arbitrator in an Energy Charter Treaty dispute and as an expert witness on international investment law will provide insight to our clients, and he will further deepen the pool of talent we have practicing international arbitration, international trade, public international law and international disputes in our London and US offices."
Clients rely on Steptoe's International Trade Group to handle their most important trade cases. The group continues to be involved in high-profile and sensitive trade disputes between the United States and China, as well as key trade matters involving India. For its work in Asia, Steptoe has been named International Firm of the Year in Trade by China Law & Practice three of the past four years. In London, Bondy joins Steptoe partner Matthew Coleman, who in 2016 was recognized with major awards by both Global Arbitration Review and The American Lawyer for an investor-state arbitration he led against the government of Zimbabwe.
Bondy remarked: "Steptoe has a longstanding reputation in top-flight international trade, investment and commercial disputes, particularly involving governmental action. Steptoe's profile is a perfect fit with my own, and provides the ideal platform to pursue and expand my practice. I am particularly looking forward to working with such a strong group of colleagues with complementary experience."
Bondy's arrival is the second senior hire for Steptoe's international practices in the London office in the last four months. It follows the arrival of Zoe Osborne in October 2019.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.