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In brief

Welcome to the December edition of this quarterly publication that includes a variety of legal and market focused articles on current topics of interest in the world of trade finance.

In our last edition, COVID-19 was the inevitable link between the articles we featured. In this edition, we bring into focus three major topics that are set to play their part in the global economic recovery process – technology, the transition to risk free rates and the role of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in the financial markets.

In the first of three articles, we examine how lenders can better protect themselves from fraud, including a particular look at the prospect of employing ever developing digitalised tools to do so. This topic is particularly poignant in light of this year’s collapse of Agritrade and the subsequent accusations of nefarious practices. In the second article, we aim to find a path through the world of LIBOR and the transition away from the benchmark to risk free rates – this subject is set to be a key feature of global financings in the coming 12 months and beyond. In the article, the authors take the opportunity to highlight some of the specific issues and concerns this transition will raise for trade financing arrangements and how they might be addressed. Finally, we tackle the rapidly-growing and evolving role of ESG in finance. We examine the products that are available, how they might be utilised for the benefit of all parties and what the future of their development might look like.

In addition, we introduce what will become a regular feature of the publication in the form of a Sanctions and Export Controls update page with a link to the Baker McKenzie blog of the same title.

As always we hope that you enjoy this edition of Baker McKenzie’s Trade Finance Quarterly Insight and invite you to reach out to any of the contributors or indeed anyone else in the team (please see enclosed Key Contacts) should you wish to discuss any of the issues covered in this edition or have any other trade finance related queries.

Download Trade Finance Quarterly Insight

Trade Finance Quarterly Insight


Michael Foundethakis acted as the global chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance Practice Group from May 2017 to July 2020. He currently heads Banking & Finance in Paris and continues to act as global head of Project and Trade & Export Finance for the firm. Mr. Foundethakis is highly recommended as a leading banking and finance lawyer by Chambers Global, Legal 500, JUVE and IFLR. Additionally, he was the exclusive winner of the ILO Client Choice Award 2011 in Banking for Germany and again winner of the same award in 2017 in Banking for France. A team led by Michael Foundethakis was awarded Banking, Finance & Restructuring Team of the Year at The African Legal Awards 2015.


Luka trained and qualified at another major international law firm before joining Baker McKenzie in September 2009.


Nick leads the London Banking team, focusing on cross-border syndicated lending transactions including in relation to emerging markets, governmental authorities, trade finance (including ECA-backed export finance) and funds finance. He is listed as a Leading Individual in Legal 500 and similarly commended for his work in Chambers & Partners.