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Steptoe Bolsters Environment & Life Sciences Practice with Ruxandra Cana

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is expanding its international Environment and Life Sciences Group with the addition of Ruxandra Cana as a partner in the firm’s Brussels office.  She will be joined by life sciences and competition lawyer Indiana de Seze, senior associate, and by former CEFIC sector group manager Michel Michaux, senior advisor, who will continue providing support to task forces and consortia, as well as regulatory counseling.

The team brings significant experience in European Union (EU) regulatory work, with a strong emphasis on chemicals (general chemicals covered by REACH, biocides and pesticides), cosmetics, medical devices, consumer products such as electronics, food (labeling, nutrition, food additives, genetically modified food), food contact materials and nanotechnology.

Ms. Cana is recognized for her work counseling multinational companies and industry associations on EU regulatory compliance, consortia formation (she has set up more than 20 REACH consortia) and product defense – she has litigated on chemicals regulation-related issues extensively before European courts.  In recognizing her regulatory work, the editors of Chambers Europe noted: “Ms. Cana has a highly visible chemicals practice and extensive knowledge of European chemicals regulations and EU rules.”  She is also the recipient of the International Law Office’s Clients’ Choice Award for EU environment law.

In welcoming them, Steptoe Chair Roger E. Warin commented:  “Ruxandra is well-known and respected in the Brussels and international markets, and her extensive engagement with both EU and national regulatory authorities complements our own.  This team’s arrival manifests our commitment to servicing our clients’ regulatory needs in the EU, US and Asia.”

Jean Russotto, managing partner of Steptoe’s Brussels office, added that having this group join “cements Steptoe’s position as the premier Brussels-based environment and life sciences regulatory practice.”

“We are very enthusiastic to be joining Steptoe’s REACH, biocides and plant protection products team,” said Ms. Cana.  “Steptoe’s deep knowledge of market access regulation and compliance regimes in key jurisdictions for the chemicals and manufacturing sectors, as well as its anti-corruption, competition/antitrust and trade capabilities will provide us with an enhanced platform to meet client needs.  This is a perfect fit and we look very much forward to continuing serving our clients.”

Steptoe’s environment and life sciences practice focuses on chemical regulation; the manufacture, use, marketing and end of life treatment of substances; issues related to potential exposure from consumer products; and worker safety concerns.  The practice has a long record of effectively representing companies and trade associations across a wide range of industries.

Steptoe lawyers routinely handle enforcement and compliance matters, site remediation and cost allocation, due-diligence environmental audits, complex permitting matters, and environmental impact statements.  According to the editors of Chambers Europe, Steptoe “enjoys a fantastic reputation for biocides and nanotechnology work.  The team's broad scientific expertise covers a variety of EU regulations in the pesticides, food and food contact sectors, and it provides comprehensive advice on directives such as REACH, WEEE and RoHS.”

Ms. Cana has an LLM in European law from the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium and has been practicing EU law in Brussels since 1999.  She is regularly invited to participate as a speaker at major EU and international conferences for the chemical industry.

About Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm widely recognized for vigorous advocacy in complex litigation and arbitration, successful representation of clients before governmental agencies, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions.  The firm has more than 500 lawyers and other professionals in offices in Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington.  For more information, visit