Claus Zimmermann, LLM (Yale)

Rechtsanwalt (Lawyer), Avocat à la Cour, Associated Partner

Regulatory and Governmental Affairs
International Trade and Investment Controls

Claus Zimmermann

Claus Zimmermann advises large enterprises and governments on all aspects of EU foreign trade and regulatory law as well as on international economic law, especially WTO law. He has many years of experience as litigation counsel in complex proceedings before the WTO (assisting clients at all stages of WTO dispute settlement, in over 20 distinct disputes, across a wide range of WTO agreements), the Court of Justice of the European Union and various national courts. The main focus of his practice over the past decade has been the development and enforcement of international and EU trade and investment rules, notably with respect to trade barriers, trade remedies, customs, EU sanctions law and export controls. Claus also advises on the legal and policy implications of Brexit and assists clients in identifying and pursuing their interests in the negotiation of new bilateral and regional trade agreements. Claus is the lead lawyer in Noerr’s Brussels office for any issues involving international and EU trade law, EU regulatory affairs as well as contentious proceedings. He works closely with the foreign trade team in Berlin and Munich.


  • Served as counsel to the Government of China in a successful WTO challenge to US measures treating China as a “non-market economy” and to the use of the contested “zeroing” practice in anti-dumping proceedings. The proceedings placed China in a position to secure a large award of WTO-authorized trade retaliation against the United States (DS471, US – Anti-Dumping Methodologies (China)).
  • Served as counsel to the Government of Norway challenging the WTO-consistency of Regulation (EC) No. 1007/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on trade in seal products, and subsequent related measures (the “EC seal regime”). The outcome of this dispute, without compromising on animal welfare, ensured that the discriminatory aspects of the EC seal regime had to be amended (DS401, EC – Seal Products). 
  • Successfully represented clients in various cases before the Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union, notably in the following ground-breaking cases: Wortmann, Case C-365/15 (interest in customs cases, effect of judgments) and AETMD, Cases T-460/14  and C-144/18 P (sweetcorn, rights of defense).
  • Assisted the Government of Singapore with a detailed multi-language review of the draft European Union – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (“EUSFTA”) and Investment Protection Agreement (“IPA”). 
  • Advised the government of Israel as to the WTO-consistency of the EU labelling requirements for products originating in disputed territories. 
  • Advised the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners with respect to the negotiations between the United States and the European Union on covered agreements relating to the mutual recognition of prudential measures in the fields of insurance and reinsurance.


  • Legal and economics studies at the universities of Oxford, Yale, Paris 1 “Panthéon-Sorbonne”, and Passau. 
  • Doctorates in both public international law (Oxford) and economics (Paris 1 “Panthéon-Sorbonne”). During his time at Oxford, Claus taught European competition law and policy and public international law. 
  • Visiting researcher in Stanford’s John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics (2007-2008) and visiting fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University (2008) as well as at Harvard’s Department of Government (2008-2009).
  • From 2011 to 2020, lawyer in the Geneva and Brussels offices of a major international law firm, focussing on EU law and WTO law. 
  • Claus is a regular speaker at international conferences and guest lecturer at various universities. His thought leadership on international economic law has been published in leading journals, such as the Journal of World Investment and Trade, the Journal of World Trade, the American Journal of International Law and the European Journal of International Law. 
  • With Noerr since 2020.
  • Admitted to the Brussels Bar and to the Paris Bar.


  • Society of International Economic Law
  • European Society of International Law
  • American Society of International Law


  • CILEO Summer School in Public International Law, held online under Covid-19 restrictions (26 September 2020): “The WTO Dispute Settlement System: Past, Current and Future Challenges” 
  • Sidley Global Arbitration, Trade, and Advocacy Group Lectures, Washington, DC, Geneva and Brussels (9 January 2020): “(Adverse) Facts Available in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Cases – US, EU, and WTO Perspectives” 
  • Sidley Global Arbitration, Trade, and Advocacy Group Lectures, Washington, DC, Geneva and Brussels (6 June 2019): “Recent EU Case Law Related to Dispute Settlement Provisions under International Trade Agreements” 
  • Sidley Brussels Trade Lectures, Brussels (1 April 2019): “Recent Arbitration Decisions and EU Case Law on International Investment Agreements”
  • Siena 2018 Jean Monnet Chair Winter School on “Money as a Means of Community Belonging”, University of Siena, Italy (12-14 December 2018): “Monetary Sovereignty – An Irresistible Evolution Towards ‘Cooperative Sovereignty?’” 
  • Law & Practice of the Common Commercial Policy: The first 10 years after the Treaty of Lisbon, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium (7 June 2018): „Prudential carve-outs for financial services in EU FTAs” 
  • High-level conference at the Uzbek Ministry of Justice, Tashkent, Uzbekistan (13 April 2018), “Uzbekistan on its way to WTO accession” 
  • Blockchain and the Constitution of a New Financial Order: Legal and Political Challenges, University College London (UCL), UK (19 June 2017): “Digital Money and Monetary Policy” 
  • Digital Currencies, Digital Finance and the Constitution of a new Financial Order: Challenges for the Legal System, Athens, Greece (27 July 2016): “Monetary Policy in the Digital Age” 
  • Fourth Biennial Conference of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), Bern (10-12 July 2014): “The limits of international economic law in dealing with currency misalignments” 
  • Dialogues on Globalization of the Evian Group, Lausanne, Switzerland (10 July 2014): “Exchange Rates and Trade: Should the WTO Get Involved?” 
  • Conference “Sovereignty in the 21st Century” of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), London, UK (20 June 2014): “Monetary Sovereignty: Plus ça change...?” 
  • Asian Development Bank Institute Conference, held at the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland (11-12 March 2013): “The Future of the World Trading System – Asian Perspectives” 
  • Third Biennial Conference of SIEL, Singapore (12-14 July 2012): “The applicability of GATT Articles XX and XV:9(a) beyond the GATT 1994” 
  • W G Hart Workshop 2011 “Sovereignty in Question”, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, UK (28-30 June 2011): “A Contemporary Concept of Monetary Sovereignty and its Implications” 
  • Second Biennial Conference of SIEL, Barcelona, Spain (8-10 July 2010): “The Promotion of Transfer-of- Funds Liberalization Across International Economic Law” 
  • Annual Conference of the International Law Association (ILA), British Branch, Oxford, UK (15-16 April 2010): “IMF Surveillance and its Normative Effects Put Into Perspective” 
  • 104th Annual Conference of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), Washington, D.C., USA (24-27 March 2010): “A Contemporary Concept of Monetary Sovereignty” 
  • International Law in Domestic Courts Colloquium, Oslo, Norway (14-15 May 2009): “Resolving Jurisdictional Overlap between the IMF and the WTO” 
  • Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., USA (10 September 2008): “Fundamental Exchange Rate Misalignment under IMF and Trade Rules” 
  • Inaugural Conference of SIEL in Geneva, Switzerland (15-17 July 2008): “Jurisdictional Competition between the IMF and the WTO and its Impact on the Prevention of Monetary Protectionism”


  • “Prudential Carve-Outs for financial services in EU FTAs”, co-authored with B. Natens, in M. Hahn et al. (eds.), Law and Practice of the Common Commercial Policy – The first 10 years after the Treaty of Lisbon (Brill Publishers, Leiden, 2020), forthcoming
  • “Monetary Policy in the Digital Age”, in I. Lianos et al. (eds.), Regulating Blockchain: Techno-Social and Legal Challenges (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2019), 99-111
  • “Global Benchmark Interest Rates: Conflicting Objectives and Increasing Hybridization”, in Thomas Cottier et al. (eds.), The Rule of Law in Monetary Affairs (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014), 153-177
  • “A Contemporary Concept of Monetary Sovereignty“ (Monograph, 330 pages, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013)
  • “The Concept of Monetary Sovereignty Revisited” (2013) 24(3) The European Journal of International Law, 797-818
  • “IMF-WTO Interaction: Institutional, Jurisdictional, and Procedural Aspects”, in Ole Kristian Fauchald and André Nollkaemper (eds), The Practice of International and National Courts and the (De-)Fragmentation of International Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford 2012), 57-85
  • “The Promotion of Transfer-of-Funds Liberalization Across International Economic Law” (2011), 12(5) Journal of World Investment & Trade, 725-741
  • “Rethinking the Right to Initiate WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings” (2011) 45(5) Journal of World Trade, 1057-1070
  • “Exchange Rate Misalignment and International Law” (2011) 105(3) The American Journal of International Law, 423-476
  • “Congress Continues to Attack Currency Manipulation as China Defuses G-20 Pressure For Now: the International Law Issues” (2010) 14(19) ASIL Insights
  • “The Neglected Link Between the Legal Nature of WTO Law, the Political Filtering of WTO Disputes, and the Absence of Retrospective WTO Remedies” (2012) 4(1) Trade, Law and Development, 251-267
  • “Strengthening the WTO by Replacing Trade Retaliation with Stronger Informal Remedies?” (2012) 11(1) Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, 82-102
  • “Local Customs” (co-authored with A. Shoyer and S. Andersen) (2012) 11(8) The Latin Lawyer, 19-20
  • “Toleration of Temporary Noncompliance: The Systemic Safety Valve of WTO Dispute Settlement Revisited” (2011) 3(2) Trade, Law and Development, 382-406