Paolo R. Vergano

Mr. Paolo R. Vergano is a partner at FratiniVergano – European Lawyers in Brussels, Belgium and Singapore.

His practice focuses on international trade law (World Trade Organization (WTO) law, dispute settlement and trade negotiation in the areas of agriculture, services and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade). Mr. Vergano has extensive experience in advising governments and private parties on WTO matters and multilateral/regional/bilateral trade negotiations. He has actively participated in seven separate WTO dispute settlement proceedings and in countless EU proceedings (anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, duty suspension applications, TRQ establishment, etc.).

Since 2007, he has been the legal advisor to the ASEAN Secretariat and has worked in countless projects advising ASEAN in general and individual ASEAN Member States on issues of regional economic integration, regulatory transparency, streamlining of non-tariff measures (NTMs), removal of NTBs, dispute settlement, trade negotiations, legal drafting, private sector engagement, and trade facilitation. He has, in particular, assisted ASEAN to conceptualise, operationalise and roll-out a number of key trade facilitation tools and legal instruments:

  • the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA);
  • the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR);
  • the ASEAN Solutions to Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST);
  • the e-Platform for Consultations with the Private Sector; the ASEAN Trade Facilitation Framework (ATFF); and
  • the reform of the Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism (EDSM).
Prior to co-founding FratiniVergano in 2007, he worked in the international trade departments of law firms in both Washington, DC and Brussels, Belgium and with the External Economic Relations (REX) Committee of the European Parliament. Mr. Vergano is admitted in Belgium and is a member of the Brussels’ bar (A list) and of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA), of which he is a former Chair of the International Trade Committee.
Mr. Vergano is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Torino, Italy (1995), received a Diplôme Supérieur de Droit Comparé at the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparé in Strasbourg, France (1996) and holds a Master’s degree in International Business and Trade Law from the University of Fordham School of Law in New York, US (1997). He has been teaching at the World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland since 2002, at the LUISS University in Rome, Italy since 2017 and is a frequent lecturer and author on issues of WTO and EU law.

Since 2009, he has been the Editor of FratiniVergano’s fortnightly publication Trade Perspectives©, regularly providing readers with a set of recent international trade developments of particular commercial and regulatory interest. Since 2011, Mr. Vergano has also been on the Editorial Board of the Global Trade and Customs Journal.