Paul C. Rosenthal


Phone number
(202) 342-8485

Chair of Kelley Drye, Paul Rosenthal is one of the most respected international trade and government relations lawyers in the United States, advancing his clients’ interests in Washington, D.C., across the country, and around the globe.

Paul’s determined advocacy and strategic advice—along with his dedication, intellect, and well-placed sense of humor—have formed the foundation of more than four decades of client relationships and an enviable record of success.

Paul’s clients often face challenges involving a mix of legal, economic, policy, political, and reputational concerns, and he is known for developing holistic, multi-dimensional approaches that resolve disputes, advance negotiations, and influence policymaking.

Paul regularly appears before U.S. trade agencies, where clients from a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, technology, chemicals, food, agriculture, and healthcare, trust him to win their most significant disputes. Indeed, Paul has appeared and succeeded before all U.S. trade agencies and reviewing courts and has participated in hundreds of agency and court proceedings.

He has represented clients in disputes involving the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as in the development of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and other multilateral and bilateral negotiations.

In his government relations practice, Paul helps clients advance their objectives before Congress and the Executive Branch. Paul acts as general counsel or Washington counsel to several international and national trade associations and served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs for more than five years.

Regularly recognized by his peers for his professional excellence and success, Paul is described as having a thoroughly informed style of advocacy—he’s highly creative and in person he’s a superb advocate in his demeanor and approach.” Clients tell Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business that Paul is highly knowledgeable” and an incredible asset” who gives us confidence during the hearings.”

Paul also holds prominent rankings in Chambers Global, Washingtonian magazine, Legal 500 US, The Best Lawyers in America©, Legal Times, International Who’s Who in Trade & Customs Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Lawdragon. He was selected for inclusion among the elite Band 1 lawyers listed in Chambers for International Trade and, according to a market source, is probably the best of the petitioner lawyers” he knows.

In addition to serving as chair of the firm, Paul is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and previously served as managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office and co-chair of the Government Relations and Public Policy practice group.

Paul maintains an active pro bono practice and serves as chair of the advisory board of the University of Iowa Institute for Vision Research and the advisory board of the Robert T. Matsui Center, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Paul Rosenthal is the doyen of the petitioners’ bar.’ Sources consider him a fantastic advocate in all aspects of trade law.’ ” (Who’s Who Legal: Trade & Customs)

International Trade

Served as lead counsel to brief and/or argue hundreds of cases before agencies and reviewing courts.

Represented a wide variety of industrial and agricultural interests in multilateral negotiations including the Uruguay Round and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Doha Round negotiations, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S./EU Free Trade Agreement, as well as legislation to implement various trade agreements.

Represented the worldwide chocolate and cocoa industry in connection with its efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in its supply chain.

Represented the U.S. auto industry in its dispute concerning access to the Japanese market.

Represented a machine tool client in a Section 232 (National Defense) voluntary restraint agreement.

Represented U.S. exporters of beef, pork, pasta and dairy products in successful General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)/WTO dispute settlement proceedings involving unfair subsidies, quotas and phytosanitary restrictions.

Represented numerous U.S. producers in successful antidumping and countervailing duty cases involving a range of products, including flat-panel displays, forklift trucks, transfer presses, foundry products, a wide variety of steel products, PET resin, polyester fiber, pork, pasta, garlic, honey, canned pineapples and indigo.

Represented the U.S. lamb, specialty steel and carbon steel industries in successful escape clause” proceedings.

Represented the U.S. juice manufacturing industry in connection with the first pre-importation judicial review involving customs issues at the Court of International Trade.

Represented numerous food and industrial clients on customs issues, including valuation, drawback, marking and classification matters.

Represented chemical manufacturing clients in generalized system of preference (GSP) proceedings before the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.

Represented U.S. food exporters in trade cases in Mexico and South Africa.

Represented a large pharmaceutical company in connection with enforcing its rights under the WTO’s agreement on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property.

Represented U.S. exporters in matters involving market access issues in Europe, Korea and China.

Government Relations and Public Policy

Represented clients in connection with Buy America requirements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as well as other legislation.

Represented clients on major policy initiatives in the areas of appropriations, healthcare, agriculture, labor, trade and tax. Serves as general counsel to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association, Municipal Casting Association, and several other international and national trade associations and industry coalitions.

Pro Bono

Serves as Chair of the advisory board of the University of Iowa Institute for Vision Research.

Serves on the advisory board of the Robert T. Matsui Center, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Recipient of the Burton Award” for legal writing, 2018.

Selected as one of Washingtonian Magazines Top Lawyers.”

Ranked as one of the leading practitioners in the International Trade area by Chambers USA, Chambers Global and The Legal 500 U.S.

The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), International Trade and Finance Law.

Selected as a Leading Lawyer in International Trade” by Legal Times.

Listed as a top attorney in the International Trade area in the International Who’s Who in Trade & Customs Lawyers and Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers.

Listed in Lawdragon 500: Leading Lawyers in America.

U.S. Court of International Trade Advisory Committee, former member

Practicing Law Institute, former member