Hugh Cheetham

Special Counsel / Ottawa

Hugh Cheetham has practised international trade and investment law for over 30 years, most recently as Senior General Counsel in the Government of Canada’s Trade Law Bureau.

Hugh worked as lead counsel and as a negotiator on some of Canada’s most economically impactful trade agreements. For example, he represented Canada as lead counsel in the negotiation and implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In addition, he was counsel to Canada in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), a role that included working on the Labour Chapter and its novel labour enforcement mechanism.

Hugh has also represented Canada as lead counsel in over twenty WTO proceedings before both Panels and the Appellate Body, covering a range of matters of significant importance to the Government of Canada, from trade in structural lumber to exports of capital goods such as civil aircraft. Hugh’s WTO advocacy also includes representing the Government of Canada as lead counsel in the first WTO case to address trade in infrastructure goods relating to renewable energy generation, transmission, and distribution. Hugh has provided advice, support and oversight to the Government of Canada on many related matters and has also appeared before binational panels established under the dispute settlement provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and Canadian courts on trade matters.

Prior to joining the Trade Law Bureau, Hugh was counsel at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal in Ottawa, and at a national law firm in Toronto.

Hugh was the recipient of the Government of Canada’s Head of the Public Service Award as well as several awards for his litigation, negotiation, and advisory work.

Hugh joined Cassidy Levy Kent as Special Counsel in 2022 and consults with the firm on selected matters. He also maintains a separate trade consulting practice for which conflicts are not imputed to Cassidy Levy Kent, and thus does not access other matters or firm systems


  • B.A. (with Honours), University of Toronto
  • LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • LL.M. (with Honours), University of London (L.S.E.)

Bar Memberships

  • Ontario