Mayer Brown establishes consulting unit in Asia to advise on international trade matters

24 Jul, 2014

Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced the establishment of Mayer Brown Consulting (Singapore) Pte Ltd (Mayer Brown Consulting) to advise clients on a wide range of Asia-focused international trade matters including WTO issues, international trade policies, customs, export controls and anti-dumping investigations.

The new consulting unit will be staffed by five highly experienced customs and international trade advisors based in Asia, headed by Chief Executive Officer Cecil Leong in Singapore. Other members include Greater China Managing Director Flora Sun, Senior Director Anthony Kerr, Director Wong Chian Voen and Senior Advisor Zhao Jun.

“We are seeing increasing demand from clients doing business in Asia who regularly need advice on a variety of trade and customs issues, and Cecil and his team have the experience and skills to satisfy that demand,” said Duane Layton, co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global  Government & Global Trade practice.  “They also will work on joint projects with our trade and customs teams in other parts of the world, especially Brussels, Washington, Beijing, Vietnam and Brazil, to solve our respective clients’ problems and address their needs.”

Previously, Mr. Leong was the Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Sun was the Greater China Director of a leading international trade consulting firm that was ranked Band 1 by Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global in 2013 and 2014.

Mr. Leong is one of the most experienced and highly regarded customs advisors in Asia. He advises clients on a wide range of investment and operational issues as well as opportunities and risks presented by free trade agreements. He also reviews government policies and programs for consistency with WTO rules and assists in the formulation of WTO-compliant incentive schemes.

In Singapore, Mr. Leong has advised many of the participants in the automotive import and distribution industry on matters pertaining to customs valuation, classification, post-entry audits, transfer pricing methodologies, wholesale/distributor/dealer contracts and advocacy with Singapore Customs. In mainland China, he has been involved in several significant customs valuation cases. He also has represented clients on their trade and customs matters in India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.

“Mayer Brown has a culture of collaboration across a truly global platform, which is impressive,” Mr. Leong said. “In addition, the firm has many world-class professionals, not only in international trade but across a variety of practice groups. These were key considerations in my decision to lead the launch of Mayer Brown Consulting.”

Ms. Sun is experienced in the areas of customs duties and other indirect taxes, foreign exchange and commodity inspection. She advises and supports clients in defending their positions with China Customs and other Chinese authorities and in resolving disputes on various matters, including customs valuation, classification, bonded processing trade and duty free equipment. She also has extensive experience in assisting clients to review and structure their business models, supply chains and import-export processes to optimize duty and tax considerations and improve logistics efficiency.

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