A surge in trade disputes has forced the World Trade Organization to reallocate staff to cope with a flood of litigation in the pipeline for 2013, according to diplomats and documents at the global trade body in Geneva.
The WTO's 157 members have launched 26 trade disputes so far in 2012, the most since 2003 and three times more than the eight new complaints filed in 2011.
According to an internal WTO document seen by Reuters, the WTO decided to reallocate staff to the disputes team to deal with the increasing number and complexity of legal cases.
"We are seeking to reallocate resources from other divisions. It's happening already," said one WTO source.
As well as moving staff, the trade body also advertised for a senior dispute settlement lawyer, at a starting salary of around 161,900 Swiss francs ($175,300), and is seeking short term candidates to help deal with the caseload.