Practice/Industry Group Overview
Schnader has considerable international business law and other relevant experience to offer both foreign and domestic companies engaged in cross-border, multi-jurisdictional business. Broadly speaking, attorneys in our International Practice Group handle international business transactions (acquisition, divestiture, restructuring, financing, licensing, patent, copyright and trademark), litigation and informal resolution of cross-border disputes (before international arbitral, investigative and adjudicative bodies and national courts of law) and ongoing advice and counsel to businesses attempting to navigate the cross-currents of multi-jurisdictional laws and regulations (employment, tax, securities and environmental law). As necessary and prudent, we consult or associate with expert counsel “on the ground” who are known to our international lawyers and with whom we generally have worked in the past.
In international practice at Schnader, we understand that the value of our services derives from the benefits we provide to our clients. Therefore, while we are proud of our international experience, past successes, knowledge of foreign jurisdictions, language capabilities and other skills, our emphasis is always on the results produced for our clients. The services we provide include:
- counsel about practical solutions in foreign markets from lawyers who have completed transactions in those markets;
- sophisticated international tax planning by tax lawyers who understand international tax law and tax treaties that can save clients money;
- cross-border and international employment law solutions, including expatriate agreements, employment and secondment contracts and policies, data protection compliance, and knowledgeable advice on necessary measures in restructurings and transfers of undertakings;
- representation of parties to sophisticated contractual relationships of international scope in international arbitration proceedings and before international bodies such as the World Bank; and
- representation of foreign based companies in U.S. litigations by sophisticated attorneys who understand and appreciate global business demands and strategies and who have achieved positive and beneficial results in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Our activities are facilitated where appropriate, virtually anywhere in the world, by English-speaking attorneys who we know personally from prior projects or from service as officers of and active participants in international organizations such as the International Bar Association. These correspondent attorneys are fully familiar with the service expectations of American businesses.
Schnader’s practice reaches across a broad spectrum of international, multinational and cross-border work, including international business transactions, counseling, litigation and dispute resolution. We approach international matters by bringing together our own experienced practitioners, an active network of colleagues throughout the world, and a practical, sensitive understanding of legal, business and social cultures and communities outside the United States.
We structure and document a broad range of inbound and outbound commercial transactions, as well as transactions among foreign nationals, including:
- business acquisitions of and by both U.S. and foreign entities;
- formation of partnerships, joint ventures and other cooperative arrangements between U.S. and foreign entities;
- international real estate transactions, including purchase and sale of foreign real estate and U.S. real estate by or for foreign nationals;
- information technology - international copyright law, patent and trade secret matters, including licensing, cooperative ventures and other forms of technology transactions;
- import, export and foreign distribution, and resolution of attendant customs issues, including disputed customs matters;
- public and private financing for both U.S. and foreign transactions and ventures, including debt and equity financing and placements;
- foreign banking transactions, including documentary and standby credit financing;
- international tax law issues, including tax planning for international transactions and ventures and counseling concerning U.S. taxation of foreign income; and
- U.S. federal and state regulatory concerns particular to cross-border transactions.
Schnader has considerable experience in the purchase, sale, financing and leasing of foreign registered vessels, aircraft, railcars and containers. We have worked with ocean transportation intermediaries which provide global logistics services to the shipping industry.
Our lawyers also have extensive experience in international environmental law. We have advised clients on the application of international conventions and bilateral treaties and provide counsel on exposure potential for unauthorized discharge of oil and hazardous materials into the environment. Our lawyers also have handled significant foreign and cross-border insolvencies, asset protection and “offshore” investments, and transactions for equipment for foreign oil and nuclear facilities.
We have an active international trade law practice, representing foreign and domestic companies in antidumping and countervailing duty cases, and counseling and defending exporters and transportation companies in connection with U.S. export control laws and trade sanctions programs. We represent individuals and entities before the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on customs issues, ranging from alleged import violations and fraudulent entries, record-keeping requirements, customs broker regulations, classification and valuation of imported goods and country-of-origin marking requirements. On the employment side of international trade law, we counsel employers involved in proceedings brought by displaced employees for trade adjustment assistance.
We have a particularly well-developed international aviation law, litigation and dispute resolution practice. Our partners have testified as legal experts in foreign proceedings and have presided at arbitrations under international regimes such as the International Chamber of Commerce.
Our international litigation and dispute resolution practice has considerable breadth and depth. We have successfully represented clients in high stakes proceedings before the World Bank. Our lawyers obtained a substantial award of damages before an international arbitral body for late delivery of equipment by a foreign supplier, and successfully enforced that judgment in a Texas state court. We have engineered successful settlements in sophisticated contract disputes and fraud actions brought before international arbitral bodies and we represent one of the world’s largest pulp and paper manufacturers in state and federal proceedings in the United States. Our cross-border employment litigation has included successful handling of employment litigation for a large multinational that was active simultaneously in a European employment tribunal and before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Schnader’s international lawyers have worked with businesses and individuals throughout the world. In the Western Hemisphere, we have worked throughout Canada and Mexico and also have working relationships with attorneys in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and elsewhere in South America and in the Caribbean and Bermuda. We have extensive experience and relationships in Europe including recent experience in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, France, Poland, Russia and the Ukraine. We are involved on a continuing basis in activities in Asia, including Japan, China, India, Singapore and Indonesia. We have significant relationships in Australia, and work closely with an Australian law firm that has been active in Southeast Asia for two decades.
The lawyers in our International Practice Group have a sophisticated understanding of international legal concepts, the application of national laws in the cross-border context and the requirements of the international legal and business communities. Some of our lawyers received legal training and experience in foreign countries and have lived and worked overseas. Among the languages Schnader lawyers speak and write are French, Spanish, German, Italian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Russian.
Schnader's international practice lawyers participate in a wide variety of activities to enhance their skills, practice and cultural experience and awareness. Recent accomplishments of and recognition received by our lawyers include the following:
- decorated by the Austrian government with the Great Cross for service to the Republic of Austria;
- chair of an International Bar Association (IBA) committee;
- multiple presenters of programs at IBA conferences in Berlin, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Cancun, Durban, San Francisco, Auckland, Prague and Chicago; and
- selection for listing in International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Law and in Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World's Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers.
In addition, our lawyers regularly speak and write on issues of international law and practice and have made presentations with major organizations.
Recent Representative Matters
The following is a brief sample of some of our more recent international activities:
- Negotiated an investment agreement for a U.S. company with the Russian government that resulted in a more than $750 million investment in Russia.
- Successfully handled arbitrations for claimants and respondents before the International Chamber of Commerce and other international bodies for European corporate clients by obtaining highly favorable settlements or awards after a trial.
- Representation of foreign and domestic companies in acquisitions, sales and divestitures of businesses, shipping vessels and real property, refinancings and restructurings, formation of holding companies and joint ventures, as well as in construction and development projects arising abroad.
- Developed employee stock purchase and stock options programs adaptable to unlimited jurisdictions to permit a substantially uniform benefits system for a multinational business.
- Established a computer network in the United Kingdom, consisting of approximately 3,500 interactive terminals working from a single central service station.
- Construction of a turnkey paper mill in northern England for more than $120 million.
- Interest rate and currency swaps under the International Swaps and Derivative Association documentation.
- Representation of international air carriers in court challenge to user fees by the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Represented transportation companies in customs, antidumping and countervailing duties matters.
- Prepared expatriate agreements and policies, secondment agreements, employment contracts and severance agreements pertaining to or for executives employees with cross-border responsibilities having complex compensation arrangements implicating multiple sets of legal requirements.
- Prepared global data protection policies and programs compliant with the European Union Data Protection Directive for a United States based multinational with operations throughout Europe.
- Representation of large Asia based company in multiple complex actions brought by United States government and multiple private parties arising from the largest debt restructuring ($14 billion) in emerging markets history.