The evolving globalization of the economy, geopolitical realities and current impacts on supply chains have created opportunities and issues for businesses of all sizes.
DeWitt is a resource for international legal solutions for businesses and individuals. DeWitt’s attorneys have been intimately involved in international business and have developed sound business judgment in addition to legal expertise.
DeWitt attorneys have the depth of experience to assist in all facets of international business activity, including:
- Accessing foreign markets to increase sales and/or lower sourcing costs
- Acquiring foreign companies and/or developing strategic relationships such as joint ventures and distributorship agreements
- Creating and auditing import/export compliance programs
- Foreign investment in the United States, including mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures, formation of new business entities and real estate acquisitions
- Immigration, including employability and pre-immigration estate planning issues
- Licensing and protection of intellectual property
- Representing businesses and individuals regarding violations of federal trade law
Domestic Businesses Doing Business Abroad
We provide counsel to companies expanding their international footprint. The firm advises on the acquisition of foreign companies and/or the development of strategic relationships such as joint ventures and distributorship agreements.
Financing, compliance with United States and foreign laws, and tax effects are areas in which DeWitt attorneys provide assistance to companies when undertaking foreign expansion. The firm also utilizes its strategic alliances with local counsel through the Lexwork International network of attorneys and other contacts to ensure that our clients’ needs are met in the most complete and efficient manner possible.
Global Distribution and Supply Chain
We assist domestic businesses to navigate foreign trade and supply chain legal issues that exist in the globalized economy. Our attorneys work with companies and help to establish and maintain compliance with federal export laws and regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”), and the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).
We also assist clients with complying with United States export laws by:
- Creating and updating export compliance procedures
- Collaborating with the client and the federal government in the determination of proper Export Control Classification Numbers (“ECCN”) for commercial products
- Obtaining export licenses where necessary and appropriate
- Creation and structuring of distributor agreements and networks
- Advice regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Our attorneys offer guidance on many of the same issues in relation to the importing of goods for sale or as part of a company’s supply chain. The primary areas of the firm’s expertise in relation to importing and customs are:
- Classification and valuation of goods
- Advice on Foreign Trade Zones and other duty deferment options
- Navigation of U.S. anticorruption laws
Doing Business in the United States
Through the firm’s M & A practice, our attorneys assist foreign companies with their investment in the United States by facilitating mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and the formation of new United States business entities involving international investors.
Representative international clients include companies looking to invest directly in a United States entity, institutional investment firms, as well as private individuals. When facilitating such transactions, the firm aids compliance with all applicable laws including securities regulations, employment law, tax laws, as well as environmental laws and regulations. DeWitt’s real estate practice assists international investors interested in acquiring or increasing holdings of United States real property.
DeWitt, along with its affiliated tax specialists, assists foreign and domestic clients to avoid unnecessary tax implications when doing business here or abroad. DeWitt, along with affiliated accounting firms, provides international tax consultation regarding:
- Structuring of inbound or outbound investments and joint ventures
- Maximizing foreign tax credits to avoid double taxation
- Repatriation and compensation issues for individuals and companies
Our attorneys provide assistance to those seeking to employ foreign nationals or to individual professionals looking to qualify for employment in the United States. The firm helps clients with applications for various types of United States visas and also with applications for permanent residency status. DeWitt also provides advice regarding the EB-5 Visa Program to obtain visas for foreign individuals making a significant investment in the United States.
In addition, the firm counsels multinational executives, managers, entrepreneurs and investors on the potential estate tax consequences surrounding attainment of U.S. immigration status, or a decision as to taking up U.S. residence. DeWitt attorneys help such persons avoid negative tax consequences through the proper creation and maintenance of pre-immigration trusts. DeWitt has access to solutions utilizing offshore life insurance products to facilitate the re-sourcing of foreign accounts prior to immigration.
DeWitt represents international and domestic clients of all scopes and sizes with their intellectual property needs, worldwide. Such clients range from non-profit organizations to major universities, large corporations to small businesses and individuals. Distance and location are not an impediment to our working relationships with clients in such matters. DeWitt’s Intellectual Property Group has clients from, and who do business in, Europe, South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
In addition to DeWitt’s expanded capabilities through Lexwork International, its attorneys also have strong relationships (some going back 30 years) with local counsel in many industrialized foreign nations. Whether you require assistance with patent, trademark, copyright, acquisition, litigation, in-licensing, out-licensing or deal brokering, we have a highly qualified and successful team of attorneys and patent agents ready and able to assist.
Our firm is an active and proud member of Lexwork International: an association of midsized independent law firms in major cities located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Currently there are more than 40 member firms worldwide. Lexwork International includes more than 2500 lawyers in 36 countries with offices in more than 110 cities.
Through Lexwork, DeWitt has the ability to ensure the highest quality representation and personal service when a referral to outside or foreign counsel is needed. Lexwork is an association of like-minded firms, with the desire to provide clients with high quality, cost-effective advice and legal representation. Clients with legal needs in foreign countries can be referred to firms that are knowledgeable about local laws, regulations, and local customs. Lexwork attorneys are often extremely helpful in making referrals to trusted counsel even when it is necessary to reach out beyond the network.
DeWitt attorneys also have affiliations with law firms in China, India, South America, and the Middle East. The firm also regularly advises clients looking to do business in China and India due to the specialized experience and knowledge of the culture and conditions of those countries.
- Advised a large multinational manufacturing firm with respect to all international matters including global supply chain matters and facilitating manufacturing sourcing in China.
- Advised a large automotive parts manufacturer regarding international acquisitions, investment banking, setting up global supply chain in Europe, South America and Asia, sale transaction to Japanese company in a limited auction.
- DeWitt attorneys work with United States federal financing sources such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”), the Export Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM”), and the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to assist in funding overseas transactions.
- Prior disclosures to the United States Government involving violations of both import and export regulations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other regulations.
- Acquisition of companies in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, People’s Republic of China, Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, and other countries. Representing offshore companies in acquiring United States companies, or investment in United States companies in the automotive sector, medical, general manufacturing, controls, water, technology and energy sectors.
- International licensing agreements for many areas of technology including medical technology, automotive, general manufacturing, intellectual property, e-commerce and web-based technology.
- Negotiating and documenting international distribution agreements and representative agreements.
- Advising clients on raising funds in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada, and representing United States investors in Europe and Asia.
- Handled a major patent infringement action involving a biotechnology patent. This matter was successfully settled to the client’s advantage prior to trial. It resulted in a lucrative license agreement for the client.
- Coordinated the incorporation of a biotechnology company, a joint venture arrangement between our client, an Indian biotechnology company, and a San Diego biotechnology company to research our client’s patents. This was a collaboration involving the transfer of patents, the sale of a business and the transfer of stock (all capably handled by our law firm).
- Assisted a foreign client in forming a U.S.-based corporation to handle client’s patent rights. Through our firm, a U.S.-based corporation was formed to develop and market monoclonal antibody- based technology.