Smith Moore Leatherwood understands that improvements in technology, logistics and other areas have made international business a practical reality and necessity for the majority of businesses, regardless of size. Our international team counsels and advises both domestic and foreign clients on a wide range of issues involved in conducting international business. We strive to integrate a thorough understanding of foreign cultures and legal systems with the appropriate legal skills and ability to work effectively with clients and local counsel throughout the world. Our attorneys have experience with international legal issues, as well as personal contacts with local experts, in many countries, with a particular emphasis on countries located in Europe, Asia, Central America and Latin America. In addition, through our memberships in both TAGLaw® and MSI Global Alliance, our firm and our clients enjoy access to a network of hundreds of local legal and accounting firms with offices in hundreds of countries.
Our international practice team regularly advises domestic and foreign clients with respect to:
We focus on structuring transactions, negotiating key terms and drafting agreements to help facilitate deals, contracts and agreements while protecting our clients' interests with respect to sales agreements, distribution agreements and other cross-border transactions.
Working with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and other government agencies, as well as with immigration agencies and regulations of foreign governments, is often a major issue facing both foreign and domestic companies. Our team provides immigration representation and counsel to many large and small companies with multinational interests, including assisting in the relationship with government agencies, I-9 issues, agency compliance and in the transfer of personnel and their families by obtaining nonimmigrant and immigrant visas and other necessary documentation.
Protecting and exploiting intellectual property rights in the United States and abroad is a critical issue for many clients. Our attorneys assist in determining the most effective methods for benefiting from intellectual property, while at the same time safeguarding property rights. Our representation includes all aspects of intellectual property, trade secret and unfair trade litigation, trademark registration and opposition, patent prosecution, copyright registration and technology transfer in the United States and abroad.
Mergers & Acquisitions
We utilize appropriate financing techniques and structuring innovations to structure deals, perform due diligence, form joint ventures and comply with competition regulations. We help identify the most beneficial structure to fit a client's needs and work with clients to comply with legal formalities to maintain the advantages of the chosen entity form.
We advise foreign and domestic lenders and borrowers in a variety of commercial lending and finance transactions. Many of these transactions incorporate not only multiple currency borrowing options, but multinational intercreditor issues and international collateral security concerns.
Customs & Trade
Exporting and importing are the lifeblood of many global businesses, and our team works with clients to ensure compliance with trade requirements in the United States and abroad, facilitating the flow of materials from your suppliers and products to your customers.
Working with our clients in an effort to solve disputes through negotiation, the court system or court alternatives, such as mediation and arbitration, our team represents United States and foreign companies in matters both in the United States and abroad.
We assist foreign clients understand United States tax complexities, as well as advise domestic clients on both foreign tax requirements and United States tax implications of doing business abroad to help prevent costly mistakes.
Estate & Tax Planning
We prepare wills, trust agreements and other estate planning documents for both foreign citizens residing in the United States and for United States citizens living abroad.
Labor and Employment
We help clients prepare and implement policies to comply with United States laws to reduce the risks of employment disputes, design and implement employee benefit plans, meet the challenges of organized labor, ensure I-9 compliance and avoid of employer sanctions.
Real Estate Development and Environmental
Acquiring property in the United States to establish or expand United States operations is a common issue faced by foreign clients. We help with zoning, surveys, lease/purchase negotiations and related real estate concerns. In addition, our team works with clients to help them comply with the ever increasing variety of environmental regulations at the national, state and local level, so that environmental issues do not slow the development of the business.