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April, 2006 - Wellington, New Zealand


Minter Ellison: International Trade Agenda Picks Up Pace


Minter Ellison has boosted its international trade practice, announcing a senior appointment for the firm's Canberra office and a senior promotion in Melbourne.

'International trade rules are having an increasing impact on the operation of the private and government sectors in today's global trading system,' Minter Ellison's Chief Executive, Guy Templeton, said. 'These rules emanate not just from the WTO but also from the raft of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations currently taking place and recently concluded.'

'In our part of the world, a strong international trade law capacity is essential. The appointment of Iain Sandford in Canberra and the promotion of Siva Somasundram in Melbourne underline Minter Ellison's position as a key adviser to governments and multinationals in the Asia Pacific and strengthen our ability to offer clients senior specialists with hands-on experience of international trade, international relations and government relations on a global stage,' Guy Templeton added.

Iain Sandford, who until recently was a legal officer with the World Trade Organization in Geneva, has joined the firm as Deputy Director of the International Trade Group in the Canberra office. In this new position, Sandford will draw on extensive trade and government relations experience in New Zealand, North America and Europe to help further develop Minter Ellison’s international trade practice.

During his three years at the WTO, Sandford provided legal advice and support to the Appellate Body on complex issues of WTO law, particularly in the areas of subsidies, trade remedy measures, agriculture, rules of origin, tariffs and non-tariff trade measures, trade in services and dispute settlement procedures.

His impressive credentials also include more than five years with New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including a posting to the New Zealand High Commission in Canada.

Siva Somasundram, based in the firm's Melbourne office, has been promoted to Deputy Director of the International Trade Group. Somasundram is a specialist in international trade and investment law and practice. He has held senior trade policy positions with the Singapore Government, including as one of its Geneva-based negotiators to the WTO and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Somasundram has provided expert advice to Ministers, government agencies and businesses on the legal and policy frameworks governing the international trade in services, investment and intellectual property rights.


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