David Morfesi
Special Counsel and Director International Trade
As Director of Minter Ellison's International Trade Group, I specialise in assisting public and private sector clients with cross-jurisdictional business operations on matters involving international trade policy and regulation
  • +61 3 8608 2947
  • +61 466 151 805

I provide expert advice on WTO law, free trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties, anti-bribery and corruption, sanctions, export controls, trade remedies, customs matters, regulatory matters affecting trade in goods and services, and a full range of intellectual property law and policy matters.

Career Highlights

  • Prior to joining MinterEllison, I was a trade negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, in the Executive Office of the President, based in both Washington, DC and Geneva, Switzerland. I was also a negotiator for several US free trade agreement negotiations, including the Australia-US FTA. I served as delegate to the WTO and UN organisations in Geneva, and represented the US as counsel and technical expert for WTO dispute resolution.
  • Represented an international agribusiness industry association in conducting technical assistance and training for the Government of Philippines concerning its domestic regulatory implementation of treaty obligations in international trade and intellectual property.
  • In late 2015, in a highly publicised move, the Queensland Parliament enacted legislation to re-regulate the Queensland sugar industry. We advised Wilmar, Australia's largest sugar miller, on whether this legislation would violate the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). Our advice and analysis was used by Wilmar in submissions to the Australian Government and State and Federal inquiries. We continue to advise Wilmar on the implementation of this legislation in Queensland and potential trade issues.
  • Advised a sovereign government on international trade obligations concerning the protection and licensing of government controlled brands and logos.
  • Provided advice to senior advisors at a major European private investment bank, and directly briefed the bank's institutional investors, concerning ongoing WTO dispute resolution and how its impact on the industry sector might influence investment positions in the short, medium and long term.
  • Advised an international business software developer on issues regarding multi-jurisdictional sanctions and export controls obligations, identifying and addressing existing risk, and developing internal risk management and compliance policies for the company.
  • Developed and delivered a two-day technical assistance and training programme for a high-level government delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Australia's antidumping and countervailing duties regime.
  • Advised a global agribusiness on the implementation of Australia's autonomous sanctions regime, and the adaptation their risk management and compliance system to meet the new requirements in light of their specific needs.
  • Developed internal training on business integrity (anti-bribery/corruption) under Australian, UK and US laws for the Australian subsidiary of a European multinational company