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K&L Gates Straits Law Enhances International Trade Regulation Practice with Trio of New Singapore Trade Consultants

10 June 2019
Singapore - K&L Gates Straits Law LLC, the Singapore office of global law firm K&L Gates, welcomes Cecil Leong, Anthony Kerr, and Chian Voen Wong as trade consultants. They join the firm’s antitrust, competition and trade regulation practice from Mayer Brown Consulting (Singapore) Pte Ltd, where Leong served as Chief Executive Officer and led a team of very senior and experienced customs and international trade specialists. Leong joins K&L Gates Straits Law as the regional director for trade consulting, Asia, while Kerr and Wong both join as professional trade consultants.

Leong concentrates his practice for the last 20 years on matters pertaining to customs valuation, classification, post-entry audits, transfer pricing methodologies, internal and supply chain investigations, compliance, wholesale/distribution/dealer contracts, and advocacy with Singapore Customs, with a specific focus on the automotive import and distribution industry. In China, he has been involved in several significant customs valuation cases over the past 18 years. He has also represented clients on their trade and customs matters in India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey. In addition, Leong works with clients to identify, refine, and implement their investment and operational set ups, and analyze opportunities and risks presented by free trade agreements.

Kerr’s experience covers the full range of customs and international trade issues, including import and export procedures, customs valuation, preferential and non-preferential country-of-origin rules, the use of duty reliefs, tariff classification, customs warehousing, free trade zones, excise taxes, Incoterms, import and export licensing and systems, full customs compliance reviews, and customs and trade due diligence. He has extensive practical and technical knowledge of customs legislation in China and in other countries across Asia. Kerr has worked as a Customs and International Trade Consultant in Asia since late 1996, prior to which he held a number of key positions within the New Zealand Customs Service during 22 years of service with them.

Wong focuses on advising clients on international trade issues, including trade, customs, export control, sanctions and other regulatory requirements, and investment rules. She works with clients to design optimal supply chain flows, leveraging on, among others, free trade agreements and zones, bonded schemes, and incentive programs. She also has extensive experience engaging with regulatory authorities across the region and advising clients on customs, regulatory, and operational matters, including classification rulings, valuation, customs audits, investigations and voluntary disclosures, origin certification and verification, labelling, export control requirements and internal compliance programs, economic sanctions, and technical regulations and requirements, product recalls, and intellectual property enforcement.

David Tang, K&L Gates’ Managing Partner, Asia, stated: “We are delighted to have Cecil, Tony, and Chian Voen join our Singapore practice and international trade team. Their combined technical and practice experience gained from decades of working in the public and private sectors on global regulatory and trade matters across the region will help our clients conduct business in the ever more complex and challenging international business environment.”

K&L Gates’ trade lawyers are experienced in the various areas of international trade law and regulation, including export control laws, customs laws, and trade remedy laws and trade agreements, representing multinational and regional businesses, including manufacturers, exporters, and importers; governments; associations and other organizations; and individuals from nearly every geographic region. The firm’s lawyers in the United States, Europe, and Asia provide assistance in connection with business planning and transactions, regulatory proceedings, national and multinational trade proceedings and disputes, and government investigations and enforcement proceedings.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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