Bennett Jones LLP

Valerie Hughes

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Valerie's practice focuses on International Trade & WTO law. She has served as counsel for the Government of Canada before WTO panels and the organization’s Appellate Body, as an adjudicator in WTO disputes, and as the only person to have served as both Director of the WTO’s Legal Affairs Division and Director of its Appellate Body Secretariat. Valerie has been involved in more than 70 WTO disputes. She brings a unique perspective to WTO dispute settlement having served as counsel, judge, and advisor to WTO judges. Valerie is also one of Canada’s leading lawyers in international treaty law and argued Canada’s first investor-state dispute under the NAFTA.


Admitted to the Ontario bar (1981).


Valerie is appointed to the Roster of Panel Chairs for the CPTPP, the Roster of Panelists under Article 31 of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and the Binational Panel Roster under that Agreement. She has won a number of awards that recognize her achievements and contributions to the practice of international law and the community including the OBA Award of Excellence (2019) and the John E. Read medal by the Canadian Council on International Law (2016).