Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is joining forces with customs and duty consultancy Barbourne Brook to guide regional, national and international clients through the complex customs and duty considerations associated with imports and exports in a post-Brexit world.

The collaboration agreement between the two entities will provide clients with an enhanced service, offering a unified approach and access to in-depth legal and customs planning knowledge.

Ranking in the UK’s top 20, WBD is the transatlantic law firm close to home with 26 offices across the UK and US. The firm acts for clients operating in many industry sectors and has a strong track record of advising on exporting and international trade matters. WBD’s cross-disciplinary team of expert lawyers works with both public and private sector clients to identify market and compliance requirements, protect intellectual property and put in place international supply agreements to support supply chains and the export of products and services across the globe.

Established in 1994, Barbourne Brook is a market leader in customs planning, supporting SMEs and large businesses improve their profit margins through better customs understanding and management. Barbourne Brook helps its customers by reducing and recovering customs duties, mitigating risk by ensuring compliance is managed, and giving access to world leading data and Customs Analytical Tools to provide real insight and cost savings.

Peter Snaith, partner and international trade specialist at WBD, comments: “We’ve been working with Barbourne Brook for many months now, advising clients and hosting round table meetings to provide the full picture when it comes to legal, regulatory, tax and customs planning. Clients have really benefitted from our shared expertise and this joined-up approach is providing a one-stop-shop for any business looking to trade into or out of the UK.

“In the aftermath of Brexit and most recently with the Government’s plans to establish eight new Freeports in England, with more locations expected to be announced in Wales and Scotland, we have seen a surge in enquiries relating to trade requirements with the EU. We are providing preliminary guidance surrounding the customs incentives and other benefits Freeports and free zones can bring, as the government’s initiative takes shape. However, the bulk of the advice we are providing is for businesses who are not located in or near a freeport, who can nevertheless make significant savings through more efficient routing and scheduling of their supply chains coupled with the duty mitigation strategies which the team at Barbourne Brook can implement.

“Barbourne Brook’s focus on innovation, automation and analytics is something WBD is really interested in and a recurring theme in our conversations with clients when we talk about Distributed Ledger Technology as a way towards frictionless trade. The team complements ours perfectly and we’re thrilled to cement our relationship through a more formal collaboration agreement. We look forward to working together on many more exciting projects in the future.”

Rob Jenkins, CEO and customs and duty specialist at Barbourne Brook, comments: “Formalising our collaboration with Womble Bond Dickinson was the next logical step to build on an already strong relationship, to deliver holistic solutions to customs challenges flowing from the UK leaving the EU. We have been very impressed with the WBD team and their willingness to get to grips with a complex new regulatory landscape on behalf of their clients. Barbourne Brook operates in a niche area which, more often than not, professional advisors shy away from. The legal and customs worlds have such significant cross-over that our joint client discussions now truly offer a unique perspective.”