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Lourdes Catrain


Lourdes Catrain
English, Italian, French, Spanish
Practice Group

As a partner in the Trade practice, Lourdes Catrain has achieved milestone successes for clients on all areas of EU trade law and economic sanctions. These  include: the completion on behalf of a sovereign government of FTA negotiations with the EU; judicial delisting of an entity from the EU Iran Sanctions; the termination of an anti-subsidy investigation on behalf of the Government of Indonesia; a series of voluntary disclosures in various EU jurisdictions on breaches of economic sanctions and export control laws; advice on a customs valuation which resulted in the continued reliance on the favourable first sale rule for a large life sciences global company.  In the EU's largest trade dispute with China, solar panels, she represents the interests of a key EU upstream supplier which forcefully opposes the continuation of measures against imports from China. 

Lourdes led the foreign investment filings related to EUR 12.3bn acquisition by GE of Alstom's energy activities. Alstom relied on Lourdes' expertise on complex foreign investment regimes involving multiple jurisdictions and the Firm's unique ability to provide a "one-stop shop" for all the key jurisdictions subject to foreign investment approval.

She regularly advises companies on complex business dealings with countries subject to EU sanctions and together with the anti-corruption and white collar crime teams conducts internal investigation and prepares voluntary disclosures to the Member State authorities.

She has drafted compliance manuals for companies in the energy, consumer electronics, retail and luxury brands sectors followed by regular training sessions.   

She is a pan-European team player and leads a trade controls, sanctions and customs team well beyond Brussels with colleagues from Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Moscow, Munich, Paris and Rome offices.

She is "absolutely customer-oriented and a very smart and diplomatic person," according to clients, who also value her "knowledge of the subject area and ability to connect the issues and provide complex guidance in a generally summarised fashion." 

Chambers Europe-wide, 2018

Areas of focus

Representative experience

Acting for a leading polysilicon manufacturer in the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against solar panels originating from China

Assisting a sovereign government in Latin America in its successful free trade agreement negotiations with the EU

Assisting a global industrial group in connection with Iran and Russian sanctions

Assisting a major U.S. conglomerate on a voluntary self disclosure in connection with a breach of export control laws in several EU jurisdictions

Assisting a major U.S. services provider on addressing export control issues in its acquisition of assets in the EU

Assisting a major U.S. conglomerate on a voluntary disclosure in connection with breach of export control

Assisting an EU subsidiary of a U.S. aerospace manufacturer on exports of civilian-certified aircraft parts that are listed as defence items

Representing DelSolar Ltd. in the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against solar panels originating from China

Successful representation of the Government of Indonesia in the EU's first anti-subsidy investigation concerning imports of biodiesel.

Education and admissions


  • LL.M., University of Michigan Law School, 1992
  • J.D. Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1989

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • Brussels (E-list)
  • Madrid


'highly commended rankings for Lourdes Catrain as export control practitioners'

World ECR


International Trade

Chambers Belgium


Customs, Trade, WTO, and anti-dumping

Legal 500 EMEA


2016, 2015 and 2014, Best in International Trade for Women in Business Law

Euromoney Europe Award


Chambers Europe, International Trade/WTO


International Trade/WTO

Chambers Global


Law 360 MVP, International Trade

2007 – 2016

Trade and Customs, Trade & Customs

Who's Who Legal


Who's who legal, Trade and Customs, 2011, Most highly regarded individuals

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