Arnoud Willems

Sidley Austin
Phone + 32 2 504 6409
Address Rue Montoyer 51, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

Arnoud Willems is a partner in Sidley Austin’s Brussels office and leads the EU Trade team. As an EU and international trade practitioner, he advises on trade and customs legislation and on the negotiation, conclusion, and implementation of trade agreements and WTO rules.

Mr. Willems regularly represents clients before the European, Dutch and Belgian administrative authorities, courts, and arbitration panels.

A key aspect of his practice involves helping companies with the myriad of EU export controls and economic sanctions laws and to control the risks of their operations. His experience in this area is very broad and includes, inter alia:

  • Advising on EU and Member State export licensing, embargoes, sanctions, and enforcement initiatives
  • Conducting export and national security controls due diligence in the context of M&A transactions
  • Deploying and implementing global compliance programs including training programs
  • Advising on the classification of dual-use goods
  • Counselling on the scope and enforcement of EU, U.S. and third-country embargoes and blocking statutes
  • Conducting internal investigations of possible export violations, preparing voluntary disclosures, and representing clients in penalty actions by government authorities
  • Interpreting sanctions and dual-use regulations, obtaining exceptions, authorizations and licences allowing the continuation of business, and the unfreezing of assets
  • Counselling on the transfer or sale of encryption technology
  • Advising on matters relating to the organization of events in countries that are subject to economic sanctions

Mr. Willems’ industry experience is equally vast, ranging from pharmaceuticals to metals and minerals, to technology and manufacturing, and he has particular experience in providing advice related to BRICs.

Mr. Willems features prominently in the EU and international trade rankings of the leading bar publications. He is a member of several committees, publishes and speaks widely, and his articles have been published in Asian, European and American journals.