May 4, 2011

It's no secret that we live in a global economy, where companies of every shape and size are able to conduct business around the world. In this vast, highly competitive business environment, Much Shelist regularly finds our clients involved in matters outside of the United States that require guidance from local counsel. For more than 15 years, the firm's affiliation with the International Alliance of Law Firms has allowed us to collaborate with other member firms to help solve our clients' international legal needs. Here are just a few recent examples of how we have leveraged the resources of the Alliance to benefit our clients.

Negotiations Near and Far

An existing Much Shelist client provides software as a service (SaaS) to a growing number of U.S. companies. Recently, our client asked us for assistance in negotiating a software subscription and service agreement with a Swedish company. At the time, nothing except the citizenship of the company caused any international law implications. However, during the negotiations, the company informed our client that it was required by the Swedish government, a major contractor to the company, to choose Swedish law to govern all of its contracts.

With just a few phone calls and e-mails, we were able to engage the Alliance member in Sweden to provide advice on the interpretation of the agreements under Swedish law. The matter, thanks to the addition of local counsel, moved forward seamlessly and without delay.

Forming a Business on Foreign Soil

A new Much Shelist client provides interior design and general contractor services to companies across the globe. Recently, while working onsite in Nigeria with local parties on a new project, this client contacted us about structuring a new business that would take into account the unique risk management issues and tax consequences of doing business in that foreign jurisdiction.

Within two hours, following one e-mail exchange and a phone call, our Nigerian Alliance counterpart met with our client to provide advice that was critical to structuring the business in the most beneficial manner possible. With additional help from the Nigerian firm, we were also able to assemble accounting professionals in both jurisdictions to complete our client's team of trusted advisors and move the project forward.

Overcoming the Language Barrier

Another Much Shelist client with diverse holdings around the world was reviewing its various investments in order to determine whether or not individual assets were ripe for disposition. As time was running short to make important decisions, our client discovered that certain loans were secured by mortgages of real estate located in Israel. Further complicating the situation, the mortgage documents were drafted in Hebrew.

In stepped the Israeli Alliance member. By quickly reviewing the mortgage documents, as well as the local government registries, our counterpart in Israel was able to help our client overcome the language barrier, understand its rights and ultimately make the best decisions possible.

Facilitating a Competitive Presence

More and more U.S. companies are developing business and legal needs across the country and overseas that require prompt action with the help of local counsel. Our clients are no different, and the resources available through the firm's affiliation with the Alliance have helped many of them address those complex needs as they establish a competitive presence throughout the world.

Firm to Host Meeting of Attorneys from Around the World

In late May, Much Shelist will welcome attorneys from around the world for the Annual Global Meeting (AGM) of the International Alliance of Law Firms. This network of small to midsize business-oriented law firms has 60 members in 48 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Nearly 100 attorneys from member firms are expected to attend the event, which takes place May 25-28 in Chicago. Click here to learn more.

This article contains material of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. Under applicable rules of professional conduct, this content may be regarded as attorney advertising.