We believe top consultancy services require deep sectorial expertise. We therefore focus our services in the areas where our expertise is strongest:

Agriculture and food

Agriculture and food

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Environment, energy and climate change

Environment, energy and climate change

As the ongoing negotiations on TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) has illustrated, non-tariff barriers to trade represent both the most costly and most contentious elements of trade. As the trend towards globalization has continued, the tariff barriers, because they are so evident have been largely addressed. On the other hand, non-tariff barriers remain because they are rooted not just in traditional protectionism but in the culture, history and politics of trading blocks and countries.

In many cases creative technical solutions bridging different regulatory systems are required to effectively open up trade. We believe only deep sectorial understanding of issues and regulatory systems can get us there. Therefore let’s trade-up!


Agriculture and foodAgriculture and food

Trade in agricultural commodities and processed foods form one of the cornerstones of global trade. With a growing global population and climate change effecting production in many areas in the world, we will in the future rely even more on an open trading system to feed the people. Countries like the EU and the US have developed sophisticated regulatory systems to safeguard food safety and environmental standards both for their own production and imports. Most often these standards stem from particular cultural and regulatory traditions and although pursuing similar objectives can be quite different when it comes to product requirements. This sometimes results in trade barriers. We believe that regulatory cooperation and regulatory convergence over time are the way forward to respond to these challenges. Our agricultural, veterinary and food experts have negotiated many regional trade agreements in this area and played a central role in shaping the global trading system under the SPS Agreement of the WTO. They have resolved many bilateral trade disputes on sensitive food issues and found creative technical solutions to bridge divergent regulatory systems.

Lars Hoelgaard and Andrew McKenzie are leading our work in this area.

Chemicals and pharmaceuticalsChemicals

Within the EU, chemicals remain one of the best examples of the functioning of the Internal Market. In the USA, there is a continuing debate on the reform of chemicals legislation and the trend towards State by State legislation. Globally, the impact of the REACH legislation has been significant, with regulatory spillover occurring in a broad range of countries from Brazil to Korea. Our experts have worked on the impact of these legislative initiatives on trade and, for example, are currently working on so-called TSCA (Toxic Substance Control Act) reform legislative proposal in the USA and assisting clients in strategies to promote a less complex form of REACH globally. We have worked on a number of product/industry defence issues where we have developed strategies to engage with WTO TBT committee process. We also work on the implementation of chemical legislation on a variety of jurisdictions and are supported by experts in a range of disciplines including, toxicology, ecotoxicology and epidemiology.

Joe Huggard and David Schwartz are leading our work in this area.

Chemicals and pharmaceuticalsPharmaceuticals

For pharmaceuticals, due to the importance of the US market and the FDA, historically, a greater degree of global regulatory consistency has been achieved. However, this has not stopped many national governments instituting their own regulatory authorities from which product approvals must be obtained. In addition, in many countries this is overlaid by the issue of reimbursement. While, the EMEA is seen by many as a positive example of EU regulation, there are still very significant differences between it and the FDA in many areas. Our specialists have experience in dealing with all aspects of the registration and approval processes in these two critical markets. In addition, we have expertise in areas such as GMP, GCP, clinical trials, ethics committee approvals and a variety of indications.

Joe Huggard and David Schwartz are leading our work in this area.

Environment, energy and climate changeEnvironment, energy and climate change

Trade policy becomes increasingly intertwined with sustainable development and environmental policies. Both the WTO and the UN system are aiming to find a better balance between liberalized trade rules and multilateral environmental agreements. Environmental concerns are at the heart of EU trade policy, reflected in Trade and Sustainability chapters in EU Free Trade Agreements, the GSP+ programme or the “Green Goods’ initiative, launched by the EU and 13 WTO members. At the same time, sustainability policies create new barriers to trade, by introducing standards or obliging foreign trade partners to comply with domestic policies, such as supply chain standards or ethical sourcing.

The relationship between international trade and natural resources, including energy is changing. Traditional forms of energy, such as hydrocarbons, are complemented by renewable energy forms, such as biofuels, wind, solar accompanied by a range of innovative products and services which are traded or moved across borders. A need is seen to reduce trade barriers and open markets in energy services, while ensuring an effective system of rules to the benefit of stable international energy markets and global development policies, in particular greenhouse gas reduction measures in some countries.

Our experts combine expertise in trade as well as sustainability and energy and work at the intersection of both policy areas.

Christian Hierholzer and Lars Hoelgaard are leading our work in this area.