Steptoe Expands International Trade Group in Brussels

(May 2, 2017, Brussels) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Yves Melin, a Belgian international trade, customs and EU regulatory lawyer, has joined the firm’s Brussels office as a partner. The firm is also pleased to welcome Yongqing Bao as a senior associate. Together, the pair will practice in the firm’s highly regarded International Trade & Investment Group and build upon the firm’s European Union (EU) Trade practice, led by Jim Searles.

Mr. Melin focuses his practice on trade remedies (anti-dumping measures, countervailing measures and safeguards), customs laws and procedures, export controls and sanctions, conflict minerals, World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement, and data protection. In the past 15 years, he has represented companies in more than 100 trade remedy proceedings across a wide range of industries.

Mr. Melin also has extensive experience representing clients before the Court of Justice of the EU (the highest court of the European Union) in disputes relating to international trade and customs laws. His trade work has earned him repeated recognition in The Legal 500 and Chambers Global.

In 2015, Mr. Melin was one of the founders of Green Lane, an alliance of European customs and international trade law firms. Green Lane consists of 49 trade and customs lawyers located throughout Europe, as well as in Brazil, China, Israel and Taiwan. Mr. Melin acts as Green Lane’s pivotal EU and WTO law contact, with other alliance members covering individual EU countries. With his arrival, Steptoe has now become the Belgian member firm in Green Lane.

Mr. Bao, a qualified Chinese lawyer, has been practicing international trade and EU customs law in Brussels for more than 10 years. He advises governments and private parties on various trade and investment issues, on EU law and on strategies for negotiating international trade agreements. He works closely with Mr. Melin representing Chinese clients on multi-jurisdiction European customs and other investigations.

In welcoming both, Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: “Steptoe’s trade practice has more than 25 years’ experience in Brussels alone, where we focus on EU and international trade matters. Yves is an excellent lawyer with extensive experience and an entrepreneurial drive. His and Yongqing’s arrival will build upon and further develop our strong capability in EU trade remedy and customs law.”

Eric Emerson, the head of Steptoe’s International Trade practice, added: “We are excited by the addition of Yves and Yongqing to our Brussels trade team, and we are equally pleased that by joining the Green Lane alliance, we will be able to provide even greater service to our clients.”

Mr. Melin commented: “Steptoe has always been known as a pre-eminent international trade firm, with a reputation for excellence in knocking down trade barriers and helping clients trade across borders. Facilitating international trade is what we have been striving to do for our clients, too. Steptoe’s large US presence, its strong reputation in Brussels, and its fantastic standing in China and Asia will provide me and Yongqing with the ability to further expand our practice. We are really looking forward to joining Steptoe’s lawyers and professionals, and strengthening the firm’s Brussels team.”

Steptoe has one of the largest and most respected international trade law practices in the world, and is consistently recognized as such by legal reference guides. Chambers has described the practice “a market leader that is at the cutting edge of practice in the international trade sector” as well as “the go-to team for trade remedy matters.” The practice has been named five times as an “International Trade Group of the Year” by Law360. In addition, Steptoe has received the China Business Law Award in International Trade the past four years.

Mr. Melin, who lectures on the practice of international trade law at the University of Lille, received his LL.M. in international trade law, with honors, from the University of Essex. He earned a master in law, with honors, from the University of Liège, and an Erasmus exchange, with honors, at the University of Maastricht. He holds certification as a Certified Information Privacy Professional from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Mr. Bao earned both his M.A. and his LL.M. from Paul Cézanne University and his B.A. from Fudan University in Shanghai.

About Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm widely recognized for vigorous advocacy in complex litigation and arbitration, successful representation of clients before governmental agencies, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions. The firm has more than 500 lawyers and other professionals in offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Phoenix and Washington. For more information, visit