PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Marco Bronckers (1956) received his legal education in the Netherlands (University of Amsterdam, law degree, 1979).  As a Rotary International Graduate Fellow he obtained a post-graduate degree in law in the United States (University of Michigan, LL.M. 1980). In 1985, he was awarded his doctorate law degree by the University of Amsterdam.He started practicing law in 1980, to begin with in Washington, D.C. Following a five month internship with the European Commission's Legal Service in Brussels, he returned to the Netherlands in 1982 where he qualified for the Dutch bar (with the law firm De Brauw).  He moved to Brussels in 1990, where he continued with his legal specialties: competition law and international trade law.  Before creating VVGB Advocaten/Avocats in the summer of 2009, he was a partner in the Brussels office of WilmerHale (2002-2009), and before that Stibbe (1995-2002). In international trade law, he became the first lawyer in private practice to represent a government in government-to-government litigation before a GATT panel in Geneva (in 1988). He also was the first lawyer to represent a European company in a formal complaint about a foreign trade measure, which ultimately led to GATT-condemnation of a US trade law (the Section 337 case, in 1989). Since the late 1980s he also acted in several trade cases outside the GATT. For instance, he represented the International Federation of Phonogram Industries in a European complaint against Indonesia following the piracy of the ‘Live Aid’ concert for famine relief in Africa, which led Indonesia to amend its copyright laws. With the establishment of the GATT's successor, the WTO, in 1995, Marco has advised governments and industries on a variety of WTO issues, ranging from agricultural policy, antidumping measures, taxation, subsidies, the protection of intellectual property rights, postal and telecommunications services, biotechnology, and the environment. In addition, he counsels on the classic trade instruments (antidumping, safeguards, cvd, GSP, import and export regulation and customs law). He appeared before WTO panels and the Appellate Body in several cases. From 1999-2004 he served a term as one of the WTO’s five person Permanent Group of Experts on Subsidies. In recent years he has become more involved with the negotiations of the EU’s bilateral free trade agreements. A particular focus since 2015 has been the debate on investor-state dispute settlement (‘ISDS’).In competition law, for many years his practice focused on the liberalisation of the European public utility sectors, to start with in the postal sector in the 1990s.  He also did a considerable amount of telecoms work, and acted on the opening up of the electricity markets. For instance, when his home jurisdiction, the Netherlands, adopted a new competition law in 1998, he successfully represented the complainant, Norsk Hydro, in the first case that led to a (multi-million euro) fine in August 1999, confirmed on appeal in May breaking agreement in March 2001 on a new regime for the international transfers of soccer players. More recently, he was involved in cartel, compliance and abuse of dominance work in the areas of high technology, natural gas, wine, consumer goods, financial services and pharmaceuticals.Marco also has long-standing experiences with various areas of EU regulation. For instance, he was involved with the EU’s flagship legislation on chemical substances (REACH) since the early drafting stages in 2004. He successfully defended a US multinational in a financial fraud investigation initiated by OLAF; advised an industry group on a possible EU response against US extraterritorial legislation in the public health sector, and a US industry sector on the possibly extraterritorial application of EU competition law; negotiated a data sharing agreement between two chemical producers against the background of EU animal welfare principles; counselled non-EU producers of fertilizers on national and EU anti-terrorist legislation including potentially discriminatory marketing restrictions; advised an EU Member State as well as chemical and steel industries on different aspects of the EU Commission’s climate change proposals; advised on pesticide residues and contaminants in food. During his career as a practicing lawyer, Marco has frequently published and lectured on competition law and international trade law. This led to his appointment in 1997as part-time professor of law at the University of Leiden, where he holds the chair of WTO and EU law. In addition, he is a faculty member of the program International Economic Law and Policy, University of Barcelona; for many years he also lectured in the MILE program of the World Trade Institute, University of Bern. He is a member of the editorial board of the JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW (published by Oxford University Press), LEGAL ISSUES OF ECONOMIC INTEGRATION (Kluwer), the JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN RISK REGULATION (Lexxion), and a member of various professional bodies, such as the ILA, and the Brussels Antitrust Group. In 2019 he appeared in proceedings before the Amsterdam District Court as an expert on international law; and he pleaded in litigation before the Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.

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