Areas of Practice
  • Portuguese
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • University of Miami School of Law, LL.M. in Comparative Law, 2003; CALI Award for Excellent Achievement in International Finance
  • University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, M.B.A., 2001
  • University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, J.D., 1999
  • Brazil

Pablo M. Bentes

Managing Director, International Trade & Investment
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 1305
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Pablo Bentes is a managing director in Steptoe’s Washington office.  Mr. Bentes helps clients navigate the complexities of international trade policy and international regulatory compliance issues as well as resolve international trade and investment disputes. 

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Bentes served for six years as a legal officer at the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, where he assisted the Members of the Appellate Body in the conduct of appellate review proceedings under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.  In this capacity, he provided legal advice on a variety of complex legal issues arising in disputes involving agricultural and industrial market access, trade remedies, subsidies, services, intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, among others.  He also provided legal advice in connection with arbitrations conducted under Article 21.3 (c), and compliance proceedings under Article 21.5, of the DSU.  Mr. Bentes was involved in a number of significant and high-profile cases including the Airbus case, the zeroing cases, the beef hormones and clove cigarettes disputes, and the retread tires case involving Brazil, among others.  Mr. Bentes also periodically provided training on WTO dispute settlement and more generally on other WTO Agreements to governmental officials.

Prior to his service at the WTO, Mr. Bentes practiced law at a major Brazilian law firm, where he was head of the international trade practice, and a major law firm in the United States.  He represented both foreign and domestic clients on regulatory and international trade matters.  His practice focused on antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings in Brazil, Argentina and the United States; customs classification and country of origin rulings; and arbitration proceedings arising under Chapter Eleven of the NAFTA and under the Doha Waiver.  He also provided legal advice on matters arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Brazil.  Mr. Bentes’s earlier corporate experience includes drafting acquisition and shareholders’ agreements, board and shareholders’ resolutions, and legal opinions on securities regulation.

Mr. Bentes is currently a visiting professor at the University of Miami School of Law and is pursuing a Ph.D. in international law and economics from the Institut de Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement in Geneva. He is a co-founder and member of the ABCI Institute, an international think tank in Washington, DC and is a frequent writer and speaker on international trade issues. 


  • Law360, Rising Star in International Trade, 2015-2016
  • Chambers Global, International Trade/WTO: Brazil, Experts Based Abroad, 2013-2014
  • Next Generation Lawyer, The Legal 500 US, Dispute Resolution: International Trade, 2016-2017
  • The Legal 500 US, Litigation: International Trade, 2013-2015

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Professional Affiliations

  • Indicative List of Panelists, World Trade Organization
  • ABCI Institute, Co-founder and Member
  • American Bar Association, International Trade Committee Member
  • New York State Bar Association, Geneva, Chapter-Chair
  • Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Editorial Board Member
  • American Society of International Law, Member