International Trade Law Firms: A Powerful Way to Help Your Business Grow

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What is International Trade?

At its heart, international trade is all about goods and services getting from A to B – with A and B being different countries. 

Just like commerce occurring within a country, international trade is governed by contracts: but with goods and services delivered across international borders, which country’s law governs the contract? Under international law, the parties involved can specify which country’s law will govern their contract and which country’s courts will rule on any disputes. 

The same country doesn’t have to be chosen in both instances: in theory, the contract could be governed by the laws of A, with disputes being heard in B’s courts. Parties are also free to pick the laws of a completely unrelated third country.

What if B doesn’t want to let A’s goods into the country? If both countries are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), then a lawyer’s role can be somewhat limited. If, for example, they’re representing a company from country A, whose goods are being blocked from entering country B, then legal action can’t be brought on behalf of the client directly. 

Only member states can access the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism, so the company in question would first have to lobby A’s government to bring a case against B.


The Role of International Trade Law Firms?

The work of international trade lawyers is split between two main areas: the application of domestic law to international trade, and treaty-based international law governing trade flows. 

On the domestic side, work covers export controls, embargoes and economic sanctions, import relief actions such as antidumping, countervailing duties and safeguards, and customs classifications, valuation and rules of origin matters. 

In relation to international treaties, attorneys advise on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, preferential trade regimes such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs).

Lawyers advise on the implementation of these domestic and international rules, and counsel clients in disputes related to their violation.


Who does this concern?

In order to gain market share, a company will often seek to develop its business internationally. This brings with it additional risks, which the company must manage. International trade involves not only tariff barriers, but non-tariff barriers, such as the different laws that apply to international commercial transactions between traders.

Companies engaging in international trade must negotiate their way through local laws, international treaties and the rules of common trade practices. Legal counsel must be versed in all three.


Major International Trade Law Firms

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb’s international practice in 16 major commercial centers throughout the world helps clients effectively address a broad range of trade and customs matters.

The firm’s dual presence in Brussels and Washington, D.C., gives them ready access to the key regulatory bodies in the EU and the U.S. and allows them to provide coordinated transatlantic advice.

Their lawyers can address a broad range of trade matters, including multilateral and bilateral trade dispute settlement, trade negotiations, trade defense, import and export regulations, foreign investment restrictions, sanctions and unfair trade practices.

They are also well-versed in the impact on business of the relevant multilateral agreements, EU and WTO trade rules, and U.S. legislation.


Akerman LLP

Akerman’s International Trade and Customs Practice provides strategic counseling for clients to gain and maintain an advantage in the global marketplace. 

Recognized by Chambers Global for our international trade experience, they assist domestic and multinational companies with all aspects of the cross-border movement of goods and services. 

Akerman’s work includes representing clients before U.S. and foreign regulatory agencies to obtain the licenses and approvals necessary when entering goods into the U.S. market or exporting goods to foreign countries.


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

The international trade practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP offers an array of services designed to optimize their clients’ ability to engage in the cost-efficient and timely exchange of goods and services across borders, in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. 

Their lawyers and advisors assist clients with issues before the World Trade Organization (WTO); the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR); the International Trade Commission; the departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, Justice and Homeland Security (including U.S. Customs and Border Protection); and other federal agencies and offices that deal with international trade regulation.


How International Trade Law Firms can support CONNECTS members

CONNECTS is a global online business matchmaking platform. Members have access to thousands of potential partners, suppliers, opportunities and clients from all around the world.

If members wish to start business with a company from another country, there will most probably be some rules and regulations that need to be considered before any deals can start.

This is where International Trade lawyers can be extremely helpful. They can advise both parties as to how to draft contracts in order to remain compliant with international law, thus avoiding any sticky situations.

If you are considering international trade as part of your business operations, going by an International Trade Law Firms and seeking their advice is the best solution to ensure successful business and compliance with international legislations.

You might also be interested in reading our article about the Incoterms 2020 and how they can help your international trading activities.


Are you an entrepreneur wanting to develop your business? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and take advantage of 3 months free trial.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.


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