Ms Cherise VallesDeputy Director
+41 22 919 21 13


Ms Valles is Deputy Director at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL). Before becoming Deputy Director, Ms Valles had been Senior Counsel at the ACWL. She has assisted ACWL developing country Members in many dispute settlement proceedings before the Appellate Body, panels and arbitrators at the World Trade Organization (WTO). She has also drafted hundreds of legal opinions on the WTO agreements, including on the GATT 1994, the GATS, the TRIPS Agreement, Customs Valuation Agreement, the SCM Agreement and the Safeguards Agreement. She was actively involved in the development of the ACWL training programme and has taught at all the courses. Ms Valles hosts the ACWL Women’s Discussion Group , in which women delegates meet to discuss topical issues in WTO law.

Before joining the ACWL, Ms Valles was at the U.S. law firm of Sonnenschein (now Dentons). She provided advice to corporate clients on international trade law issues.

Prior to Sonnenschein, she was Counsel in the Trade Law Bureau of the Canadian government, where she provided legal advice and advocacy services in several WTO cases. She provided legal advice to the Canadian government on a wide range of topics, including services, investment, intellectual property and the Canada – U.S. softwood lumber dispute.

Ms Valles joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1989. During the Uruguay Round, she was responsible for trade policy issues in the Services, Investment and Intellectual Property Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She had a three-year posting as a Trade Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ms Valles was born in Bombay, India. She has a B.A. (Honours) in Political Science from McGill University, a M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, and a J.D.  from the University of Ottawa. She was called to the Bar of Ontario, Canada.

Ms Valles has lectured on WTO law for international organisations (e.g., International Development Law Organization) and at universities (e.g., the LL.M. programme at the University of Western Cape, South Africa). She also lectured on trade in services at the Joint Academy of the World Trade Institute and Centre for WTO Studies in New Delhi, India.  She is frequently appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as an Arbitrator for domain name disputes.


She presents regularly at the WTO training programmes, most recently as a panellist on “Representing the Complainant before panels, arbitrators and the Appellate Body” at the WTO Advanced Course on Dispute Settlement.

Other presentations include:

– “A look to the horizon: where will trade and investment law, investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement be in 10/20 years”? The London Conference on International Law, organized by Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, United Kingdom, October 2019

“Revisiting Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries” at the World Trade Forum Plenary Session, Berne.

– “The Appellate Body Crisis” at a conference organized by the Cato Institute and held at the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

– “Different forms of expert involvement” at a symposium organized by the Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law, Luxembourg.

– “How to balance prompt settlement with adequate settlement of disputes?” at a conference organized by the World Trade Institute at the WTO.

– “Written Advocacy” at a conference organized by the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy and the Geneva Centre for International Dispute Settlement.

– “Do developing countries have policy space to achieve legitimate objectives?” at a symposium organized by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

– “The WTO Dispute Settlement System: Challenges faced by Developing Countries” at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

– “Treaty Interpretation under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties” at a conference organized by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London.

– “Implementation Issues Arising under the WTO Agreement” at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Advanced Seminar on the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding in Singapore.


Ms Valles’ publications include:

  • “Challenging Unwritten Measures in the World Trade Organization: The Need for Appropriate Legal Standards”, (co-authored with Vitaliy Pogoretskyy and Tatiana Yanguas), Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 22, Issue 3, September 2019.
  • “Different Forms of Expert Involvement in WTO Dispute Settlement”, Journal of International Dispute Settlement, Vol. 9, No. 3, September 2018.
  • “The TBT Agreement: where did it come from and where is it going?” Global Trade and Customs Journal, September 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 9.
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue on ACWL Lawyers on the TBT Agreement, Global Trade and Customs Journal, September 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 9.
  • “The Appellate Body Report in China – Rare Earths: Addressing Violations of WTO-Plus Obligations”, Global Trade and Customs Journal, April 2015, Vol. 10, Issue 4.
  • Book review, How Interpretation Makes International Law: On Semantic Change and Normative Twists by Ingo Venzke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) in World Trade Review, 2015, Vol. 14, Issue 3.
  • Comment on “Considering Development in the Implementation of Panel and Appellate Body Reports”, Trade Law and Development Journal, Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2012) in Trade Law Symposium.
  • “Article V – Freedom of Transit” in Rüdiger Wolfrum, Peter-Tobias Stoll & Holger Hestermeyer, (eds), Trade in Goods: Max Planck Commentaries on WTO Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010.
  • Guest columnist, “Setting the Course on Data Privacy”, International Herald Tribune, 28 May 2001.
  • “eCommerce in International and Regional Organizations”, a chapter in International eCommerce: Business and Legal Issues (CCH Publishers), March 2001.
  • “The Right to Retaliate under the WTO Agreement: the ‘Sequencing’ Problem’, (co-authored with Brendan McGivern), Journal of World Trade (2000), Vol. 34, Issue 2.

To contact Ms Valles, email to:

Contact Us

Send us an email and we'll get back to you shortly.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
Leo PalmaJan Bohanes