Corporate Counsel

Foreign Investment

The following are just a few of the reasons foreign investors are demonstrating unprecedented interest in (i) acquiring US real estate, (ii) acquiring US businesses, and/or (iii) establishing new ventures in the US:

  • The US dollar continues to be weak against the Euro and other foreign currencies
  • The US economy shows indications of having weathered the worst of the economic crisis
  • US real estate has devalued an average of 50% over the past few years and the market has now stabilized
  • Other world economies, most notably European countries, are now in crisis
  • Foreign capital, especially from Europe and Venezuela, is in flight
  • The Chinese market is more open now than ever.
  • The Chinese economy is transitioning, and many fear a political swing
  • The economies of some developing countries, most notably Brazil, are stable and growing

The opportunities for foreign investment are clear, and now seems to be the right time.  The trick is finding the best vehicle for taking advantage of the opportunities.

The conditions are perfect for foreign individuals and companies looking to diversify, move capital to a safe place, and/or establish a foothold in the US. All they need is somebody they can trust.  ~ J. Harrington

HLA was founded as an international law firm that caters to foreign investors and businesses.  When it comes to servicing foreign clients, we follow these basic principles.

Foreign Investment: Principle #1

Experts In Our Field

Foreign clients need to know they can rely upon our counsel and our judgment for making decisions that will affect the outcome of their venture.  Even the most sophisticated business person cannot know all the intricacies of doing business in a foreign environment.  That is why they need a firm like ours.

What the foreign client does not want to do is make bad decisions based on incorrect advice or spend time and money before coming to the realization the professional on whom they have been relying is not competent to handle their matter.

LLC or Land Trust?

At HLA, we only claim to be experts in those areas that we know very well, and we do not try to go outside our comfort zone.  If you need advice or legal representation in a business, immigration, or real estate matter, this firm is the right choice for you.  If you require a service that we are not certain we can provide with excellence, we will put you in touch with a reliable professional who can. What we will not do is pretend to be something we are not.

Foreign Investment: Principal #2


Investment of any kind is always a big deal. Nobody wants to lose time and money through misunderstandings. Foreign clients need to know that their attorney understands their goals and is diligently taking steps towards accomplishing them.

Communication is crucial in all areas of law, but perhaps especially so in international law. At HLA, we understand the communication that brings about the best results has several components, such as language, culture, and effort.  Our attorneys have lived, studied, and worked in Spain, France, Argentina, China, and Japan. The firm’s founder, particularly, continues to travel extensively and familiarize himself with additional languages and legal systems, to the extent possible.

In order to serve our international clients, we make every attempt to speak their language, understand their cultural context, and put in the time it takes for them to know they are well-represented.

Foreign Investment: Principal #3

Being Trustworthy

As a business person or investor, you probably have a certain comfort level doing  business where you live because you know people you can trust and you know how things work.  There is always a certain amount of vulnerability when venturing outside this comfort zone.

At HLA, we understand our foreign clients may feel like they’re taking a leap of faith when they engage us, and we take that responsibility very seriously.  We encourage you to look over reviews of our firm available online and check our record and reputation in the local court houses prior to contacting our office. Once you have engaged our services, you will find we put a great deal of emphasis on diligence and responsiveness.

When you hire a law firm to represent you or your company, you invest a significant amount of trust and resources in that firm.  Please be assured that we understand this fact, and being worthy of that trust is one of the firm’s guiding principles.

Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA)