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R. Kevin Williams

fax +1 312.985.5956

R. Kevin Williams advises clients on the import and export process that includes tariff classification and valuation of imported merchandise, export licensing, country of origin determinations and marking, and anti-dumping/countervailing duty cases. He also advises clients on issues related to CBP withhold release orders including the revocation or modification of these orders.

He focuses his international trade and customs practice on areas including tariff classification and valuation of imported merchandise, export licensing, country of origin determinations, country of origin marking, intellectual property protection, anti-dumping/countervailing duty cases including representation before the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, and retaliatory actions such as those taken under Section 301. Kevin also advises clients on export licensing and the implications of the Anti-Boycott/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and he develops comprehensive import and export compliance programs.

Kevin regularly addresses topics from duty rates, trade war tariffs, terrorism-related export restrictions, and penalties and sanctions, among others. Clients seek his advice on U.S. Customs and Border Protection programs, and he provides counsel on trade implications in merger and acquisition transactions.

Equally happy touring a factory or researching the legislative history of the customs laws and regulations, Kevin seeks to understand his clients’ business and goals, and identifies opportunities to reduce costs or recover money from the government. He successfully litigated two cases in the Court of International Trade to interpret the meaning of a semi-colon in the tariff and reduced the importer’s duty rate from 30% to free.

He also assists clients in assessing and managing risks under Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) topics, including the development of internal governance programs to manage international trade compliance risks (Customs, unfair trade, export control, OFAC). Kevin also helps companies manage trade compliance issues related to the prohibition on importing goods made with the use of forced labor.


J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois, 1987
McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, 1987
B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, 1976



State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of International Trade