Stephen Kho

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

$ $$$

New Hampshire Avenue Northwest 1333
Washington 20036 DC US

Stephen S. Kho handles matters related to trade policy and international dispute resolution. He represents companies and governments on matters ranging from market access and investment to public international law.

Stephen spent nine years at the USTR in the Executive Office of the President. As the principal attorney on China matters, he was responsible for developing dispute and advocacy positions related to China’s obligations in the WTO. He formulated policy and legal strategy, consulted Congress and industry, and coordinated interagency efforts on these matters.

Stephen’s substantive experience covers a range of trade issues, including:

  • Services and financial services
  • Trade in goods
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Investment
  • Electronic commerce
  • Subsidies
  • Trade remedies
  • Government procurement
  • Non-tariff trade barriers.

Stephen was also the lead USTR attorney on intellectual property and government procurement matters. In that capacity, he led the U.S. delegation in related WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dispute resolution proceedings, and participated in numerous free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.

As legal advisor at the U.S. Mission to the WTO in Geneva, he managed the WTO dispute settlement portfolio for the U.S. government.


  • Advises companies and sovereign entities on cross-border trade and investment policy and international dispute resolution.
  • Served as associate general counsel and acting chief counsel on China enforcement at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
  • Served as legal advisor to the U.S. Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Representative Work:

  • Advising U.S. companies on foreign market access barrier issues, such as tariff misclassifications, technical standards, pricing and reimbursement restrictions, and licensing requirements.
  • Assisting U.S. companies in international investor-state arbitration and other investment rights in relation to FTAs and bilateral investment treaties.
  • Creating and implementing strategies to enforce the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies in foreign jurisdictions.
  • Advocating before U.S. Congress, the U.S. executive branch and foreign governments with respect to draft legislation and regulation in the areas of climate change, intellectual property rights, agriculture, cybersecurity and financial services.
  • Representing and advising companies and sovereign entities with regard to:
    • FTA negotiations
    • WTO dispute settlement proceedings
    • Investment treaty negotiations
    • International border disputes and national security issues
    • Generalized System of Preference (GSP) proceedings, Section 301 and Notorious Market List proceedings.


  • Board Member, University of Virginia Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni.


  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, with distinction, 1998
  • J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, with honors, 1995
  • B.A., University of Virginia, with honors, 1991

Bar Admissions:

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland


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New Hampshire Avenue Northwest 1333
Washington 20036 DC US
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New York 10006 NY US