silverRobert B. is a silver member
Exclusive IR Global advisor for Trade & Customs Law in New York since 2015

Robert B. Silverman

(212) 557-4000


Robert B. Silverman is one of the Firm’s founding members and heads the Firm’s litigation group. 

Mr. Silverman routinely assists clients across a wide variety of industries in structuring import transactions to minimize customs duties, ensure regulatory compliance and eliminate penalty exposure.  He represents companies during audits involving classification, valuation and eligibility under Free Trade Agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, AGOA, GSP, etc. He also counsels clients in connection with Customs investigations, seizures, exclusions, penalty and liquidated damages assessments. Mr. Silverman is also regarded as one of the foremost footwear classification experts in the United States and has been involved in all major footwear controversies affecting imports for over 30 years. 

Prior to entering into private practice, Mr. Silverman served as a trial attorney in the Customs Section of the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice where he represented US Customs in proceedings before the Court of International Trade, Federal District Courts, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


– “Double Jeopardy Provisions of New York Criminal Procedure Law-Variations on a Federal Theme,” Brooklyn Law Review (1972)
– “Impeachment of Credibility by Previous Convictions – U.S. v. Follette,” Copyright Brooklyn Law Review (1972)
– “An Analysis of the Customs Regulations Regarding Custom Brokers,” Copyright (1987)
– Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Customs Section (1972-1976)

– NY/NJ Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association, Counsel
– Customs and International Trade Bar Association

– New York State Bar Association
– American Bar Association

– US District Court for the Eastern District of New York (1974)
– US District Court for the Southern District of New York (1986)
– US Court of International Trade (1982)
– US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (1982)
– Supreme Court of the US (July 12 1996)

– New York (1973)

– Brooklyn Law School
 J.D. cum laude (1972)
– Member, Brooklyn Law Review
– Brooklyn College of the City University of New York B.S. (1969)

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About Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP is one of the nation’s largest law firms devoted exclusively to international trade and customs matters.

Office Locations:– New York- Los Angeles – Washington D.C.- Hong Kong

The firm represents a wide variety of clients, ranging from privately held companies to Fortune 100 corporations engaged in the manufacture and distribution of textiles, consumer electronics, foodstuffs, computer and telecommunications equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automotive products, steel, wearing apparel, agricultural products and a host of other consumer and industrial products. Our clients include domestic and foreign manufacturers, importers, exporters, trading companies, customs brokers, trade associations and foreign trade associations.

The firm’s lawyers have substantial experience practicing before the government agencies responsible for the administration and enforcement of our international trade and customs laws. Many of our lawyers gained experience with US Customs & Border Protection, the Department of Commerce, the International Trade Commission, the Court of International Trade and the Department of Justice. Several of our attorneys are also licensed customs brokers and are uniquely qualified to understand issues relating to the delivery and clearance of imported/exported merchandise.

Customs duties often play a significant role in an importer’s cost of goods sold. Proper planning can reduce import duties, provide certainty regarding duty assessments, and ensure compliance with applicable laws, thereby maximizing profits and minimizing liabilities. The rules and regulations that govern customs and international trade matters are in a constant state of change. As a result of our many years of experience and a broad-based clientele, we are often in a unique position to anticipate problems before they arise and to resolve issues once they are identified.

We encourage companies to review their transactions in order to minimize duties and avoid compliance problems with US Customs & Border Protection and the other agencies that regulate international trade. We believe that customs and trade issues should be treated in the same manner as other business issues subject to financial planning. Periodic third-party review of a company’s manufacturing and import/export activities and relationships can help avoid unexpected assessments and will frequently generate significant savings.

PracticesWe believe that the interests of any company engaged in international trade are best served by attorneys who devote their energies exclusively to that discipline. The rules and regulations that govern customs and international trade matters are in a constant state of change and we work closely with the government agencies that regulate these areas. We monitor developments in these areas and our lawyers are involved with these issues on a routine basis. Learn more about any of our practice areas by choosing from the list on this page.

– Acquisitions, Restructuring and Financings- Antidumping, Countervailing Duty and Other Import Relief Laws- Art and Antiquities- Classification- Compliance Assessments and Customs Audits- Country of Origin and Marking- Customs Broker Regulation- Customs Rulings- Drawback- Export Controls and Sanction Programs- Fish and Wildlife- Foreign Trade Zones and Bonded Warehouses- Intellectual Property- Legislation and Trade Policy Decisions- Litigation- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)- Penalties, Seizures and Investigations- Product Admissibility- Product Safety- Quotas and Import Restrictions- Special Duty Programs- Supply Chain Security- Valuation

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Exclusive IR Global advisor for Trade & Customs Law in New York

599 LEXINGTON AVENUE FL 36 New York NY 10022-7648