Arnoud Willems, Sidley Austin

International Trade Lawyer Brussels - Arnoud Willems, Sidley Austin

Arnoud Willems is a partner in Sidley Austin’s Brussels office and leads the EU Trade and Customs team. He represents the interests of multinational companies in high-profile trade matters and advises clients on strategies for solving market access problems.

Arnoud helps Fortune 500 companies control the risks of their operations by ensuring compliance with export controls and economic sanctions, which affect any company moving goods, services, technology or capital across borders. Arnoud helps clients develop and implement compliance programs, conducts internal investigations and defends against enforcement actions.

His experience includes:

  • 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, authorisations 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 organisation of events in countries that are subject to economic sanctions


Arnoud’s industry experience ranges from pharmaceuticals and metals to technology, energy and manufacturing, and he has particular experience in providing advice related to BRICs.

Highly recommended by Chambers (Band 1) since 2008, where clients have been praising Arnoud as a ‘strategic mastermind’, and ‘tenacious and effective with respect to results’ (Chambers Europe 2019). Recognised by Who’s Who Legal since 2010, and by Best Lawyers since 2013.


Contact Details


Phone: + 32 2 504 6409

Address: Rue Montoyer 51, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium


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