In a story published by www.law360.com, a Texas importer has accused a law firm and two of its attorneys over its failure to advise filing protests over Malaysian steel imports, costing the company more than $6 million in duty refunds.
According to the article by Sara Martinson, "Steel Co. Says Steptoe & Johnson Cost It $6M In Duty Refunds," Allied Fitting LP told a Texas federal court in a legal malpractice lawsuit that Steptoe & Johnson LLP cost Allied more than $6 million in duty refunds for its failure to it to file protests with the U.S. Department of Commerce over Malaysian steel imports. The U.S. Dept. of Commerce had launched an investigation in 2017 on possible circumvention, whereas Chinese steel fitting producers might have circumvented anti-dumping duties by shipping their products to Malaysian companies to be exported to the United States.
"Commerce preliminarily determined in July 2018 that Malaysian companies were circumventing anti-dumping duties on Chinese carbon steel butt-weld fittings imports and ordered U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect 182.9 percent anti-dumping and countervailing duty deposits on Malaysian imports, including Allied's imports from Malaysian steel exporter Pantech Steel Industries Sdn Bhd," according to the complaint.
Allied stated it had paid duties for imports from Pantech that had been liquidated after Aug. 21, 2017, when Commerce started its probe into Malaysian steel fitting imports.
Allied indicated that had Steptoe & Johnson's attorneys advised to file protests while the Malaysian steel imports were being investigated for circumventing duty orders, "the company could have received refunds when the agency ultimately spared those imports from duties."
"Trendl, who was Allied's main point of contact at Steptoe & Johnson, and McCue, the head of the firm's customs compliance practice, failed to inform Allied that it needed to file protests over the Malaysian steel imports that were under investigation within 180 days of liquidation for it to be eligible for refunds," according to the complaint.
At the time of publication, the full story with the most recent updates can be found at www.law360.com.