When hiring an international law firm for your company, it's essential to consider several factors to ensure you choose the right one. In this article, we offer some steps and considerations to help you make an informed decision.
1. Understand the Difference Between International and Domestic Law
Domestic law primarily deals with legal matters within the borders of a specific country, focusing on individuals, companies, or entities operating within that country.
International law, on the other hand, involves behaviors and actions across borders, including interactions between different countries, states, or entities.
International law considers not only domestic laws but also international treaties and customs.
2. Identify Your Specific Legal Needs
Determine the specific areas of international law relevant to your company. These may include international business contracts, international real estate, international tax and business entities, international trade law, international human rights law, international environmental law, or nternational criminal law, to name a few.
Knowing your legal needs will help you find a law firm with expertise in the relevant areas.
3. Choose Between Public and Private International Law
Public international law covers sectors related to international relations, such as human rights, environmental law, and trade law.
Private international law (also known as international business law) deals with legal issues between individuals, corporations, and organizations across multiple countries.
Consider which sphere aligns with your company's requirements.
4. Research and Evaluate Law Firms
Look for law firms specializing in international law. Consider their expertise, reputation, and track record in handling international cases.
5. Ask the Right Questions
Inquire about the following when evaluating law firms:
Previous clients: Ask for references and case studies related to international matters.
Industry knowledge: Assess how well the firm understands your industry and its specific challenges.
Cross-border experience: Check if the firm has successfully handled cases involving multiple countries.
Other questions to ask:
o Does your firm practice import/customs law, export controls, or both?
o Does your law firm have international trade law experience in our industry specifically?
o Do you have experience in tariff classification?
Communication: Understand how they communicate with clients and keep them informed.
Fees and billing: Clarify their fee structure and billing practices.
6. Consider Cultural and Language Factors
International law involves dealing with diverse cultures and languages. Ensure the law firm can effectively navigate these differences.
If your company operates in specific regions, look for firms with local expertise and language proficiency.
7. Evaluate Compatibility and Trust
Building a strong working relationship with your law firm is crucial. Consider:
Trust: Can you trust the firm to handle your international legal matters?
Compatibility: Do their values align with your company's mission and goals?
Remember that choosing the right international law firm is a critical decision that can have an impact on your company's success in global operations. Take the time to research, ask questions, and find a firm that meets your specific needs and expectations.
Schulz Trade Law PLLC is a woman-owned law firm with more than 20 years’ experience leading corporate clients through the regulatory challenges of international commerce. Our seasoned trade attorneys, analysts and advisors have a unique depth of experience and knowledge in export and import compliance and enforcement matters. Fortune 500 companies and other global organizations trust our team to handle a multitude of high-stakes international trade and customs matters that minimize legal risks while promoting growth. If you need further assistance or have any specific questions, feel free to contact us at 214-643-6150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.