Trade & Customs Law in Canada - East
614 Arc-en-Ciel Street, Ontario, Ottawa, K4A 3H9
Woods, LaFortune LLP is an innovative, flexible and proactive cost-effective boutique law firm that specialises in all aspects of international trade, customs and investment law.
The Woods, LaFortune LLP team works closely with our clients to provide them with tailored strategic services. Through our senior level experience and our network of specialists and subject matter experts, we act quickly to provide strategic, personalized, creative, and cost-effective solutions to clients’ international trade and investment matters and generate positive results for our clients.
Woods, LaFortune LLP is also often engaged to provide proactive and on-going advice to clients to help them navigate the complex international trade landscape. Our areas of expertise include:
- Trade Remedies (Anti-Dumping, Countervail, and Safeguards)
- Customs and Country of Origin
- Import Controls
- Export Controls and Sanctions
- Government Procurement
- Investor State Disputes Settlement (NAFTA, CETA, FIPA, BIT litigation)
- Regulatory Compliance
- Government Relations
Woods, LaFortune LLP gives our clients the competitive advantage they need to compete and win in the global market place.Show more +
Michael Woods has broad experience in international business with special expertise in all aspects of international trade law. He brings a unique “problem-solving” approach to client matters, drawing on his broad base of experience in international transactions of all kinds. His practice includes international trade law and cross-border litigation, import and export controls, regulatory law, information technology and knowledge management, and government procurement and contracting,. With over twenty years of service in government, Michael has a demonstrated ability as an effective practitioner in the field of government relations.
Michael began his career in trial litigation and appeared as counsel in several jury trails as well as appeals at the Court of Appeal (Ontario) and the Supreme Court of Canada. He joined Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) – now Global Affairs Canada - in 1981, where he served as a trade lawyer, a trade negotiator as well as a trade diplomat with postings at Canada’s Embassies in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Korea. While at DFAIT, he was counsel on a series of landmark NAFTA, WTO, FTA and GATT disputes on matters ranging from vital market access matters to complex subsidy and anti-dumping issues. As a trade negotiator, he played a key role in the key multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations including the WTO Uruguay and Doha Rounds as well as the Canada-USA FTA and NAFTA negotiations.
Michael has a well-regarded and widely recognized expertise in trade remedies and regulatory matters and has appeared in numerous cases as counsel in anti-dumping, countervailing and subsidy cases before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) and the Federal Court of Canada. He also served as lead counsel in two NAFTA Chapter 11 challenges, including the largest case in terms of claimants to date, as well as in arbitrations under Canada’s Foreign Investment Protection Agency (FIPA) and the U.S. Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). He also has a very active government relations practice focused on international trade and a wide range domestic matters.
In 2001, Michael returned to private practice and has been a partner at a prominent boutique and a leading national law firm, and now co-founder of Woods, LaFortune LLP. He has developed a global practice and represented international and domestic clients in a wide variety of matters. Leveraging his contacts and experience, he had played a lead role in putting together private trade missions in several countries including several with former national high profile political leaders. He has served as a member of the Board of the Forum of International Trade Training (FITT) since 2007 and has also served on the Board of the Canada Arab Business Council (CABC) and the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA). He has published many articles and lectured on trade and international business at a number of universities and colleges in Canada and the United States.
- LL.B., University of Toronto
- B.A. (Honours), McMaster University
- Post Graduate studies in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Mediation, Harvard University, University of Windsor
- Law Society of Upper Canada
- Canadian Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO)
- American Bar Association
- Canada America Business Council
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