LinkedIn Newsletter by Steven Weigler
I have an increasing business base of clients who either are building their businesses in the US or US companies (especially in E-Commerce) who want to do business outside of the US.
So, I have traveled to Bangkok to attend four days of meetings with my international law colleagues at IR Global (a group of similarly situated attorneys and accountants around the world). I will then come home and apply what I learn.
I love traveling to exotic places and meeting interesting people from around the globe. However, the real purpose of this trip is to continue to refine my ability to excel in international brand, IP, and business transactions.
International law is a combination of statutes, treaties, understandings, and customs between various governments and legal systems. Over my years of practice, I am pleasantly surprised by how systems of trade are “harmonized” to work with each other. In summary, it is not an epic challenge for me to draft a contract that can be enforced in both the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) and the United States. Nor, through international law, is it of huge difficulty for any competent IP United States attorney to research and implement an international intellectual property strategy and even prepare and file the relevant filings from the US. Furthermore, there are really good databases (that we pay a lot of money for) that provide guidance on various jurisdictional legal nuances.
I think the hard part is understanding the nuances of the related negotiation and culture. Generally, everyone in the world wants to do business. However, how they do business definitely differs. And as an attorney, your job is to facilitate the process, not muck it up with a lack of legal-cultural understanding.
For the last seven years, I have been spending time building a meaningful relational global network to help my clients all over the world, as well as to help my American clients internationally. You can call and test me. A business attorney who can advise on doing business in Malta? Check. IP attorneys in Africa to help secure a brand portfolio? Check (although it would need to be multiple attorneys). German counsel for me to consult to understand a business structure for a German company forming a US subsidiary. Check. Chinese/Vietnamese/Indian counsel to help with a supply chain infringement issue? Check. Check. Check.
I did not foster these relationships overnight. And why I form them may be deeper than just wanting to do my best for my clients. Regardless, I am in Bangkok to deepen my relationship with similarly situated international counsel. I will get some sleep when I come back!