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Patricia O'Connell
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Wiley Rein’s Robert DeFrancesco Named a “Rising Star” by Law360

April 9, 2013

Wiley Rein partner Robert E. DeFrancesco III has been named a “Rising Star” by Law360, which called him one of the nation’s “top three international trade attorneys under 40” and cited his “instrumental” role in winning one of the largest trade remedy cases ever brought against China.

As the U.S. solar industry was being injured by subsidized Chinese imports, Mr. DeFrancesco’s work on behalf leading manufacturer SolarWorld Industries America Inc. “helped secure stiff duties for Chinese rivals, leveling the playing field,” Law360 said in an April 5 profile.  The case involved $3 billion in Chinese imports in 2011.

Mr. DeFrancesco has particular expertise in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings, appearing before the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 

Alan H. Price, chair of Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice, said Mr. DeFrancesco is an imaginative and thorough lawyer who has an impressive grasp of clients’ industries.  “He brings a unique combination of being able to solve big-picture problems while working through minute details on the record,” Mr. Price told Law360.  “Rob really is a rising star and we’re very pleased to have him work with us.”

Arguing in the solar panel case that Chinese producers were unfairly flooding the U.S. market with inexpensive products, Mr. DeFrancesco helped persuade U.S. regulators to impose duties on the Chinese manufacturers.

He also played an integral role in Wiley Rein’s filing of petitions on behalf of U.S. wind tower producers, seeking investigations into Chinese and Vietnamese imports of utility scale wind towers.  The investigations led U.S. regulators to levy duties on the products from both countries.

“I love the intellectual challenge of putting together a case with a lot of macroeconomics and figuring out how you go about analyzing an industry,” Mr. DeFrancesco told Law360.  “You need to have a good sense of the whole industry.  It's what keeps these cases interesting.”

In addition to Mr. DeFrancesco, Wiley Rein Appellate partner William S. Consovoy and Insurance partner Cara Tseng Duffield were also named Law360 “Rising Stars” in 2013.