Corporate Counsel

International Transactions

The amount of money and assets trading hands in transactions between US and foreign parties is staggering.  Publications put out by the US Department of Commerceand other agencies show the sheer volume of international business and the financial benefits to availing oneself of the world market.

Consider the following:


  • 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 crisis
  • US real estate has devalued an average of 50% over the past few years and has now stabilized
  • Other world economies, most notably European countries, are entering into crisis
  • Foreign capital, especially from Europe and Venezuela, is in flight
  • The Chinese market is more open now than ever, and many experts believe the Chinese economy is transitioning
  • The economies of some developing countries, most notably Brazil, are stable and growing

Putting these factors together, entrepreneurs and real estate professionalssee this as an advantageous time to attract foreign capital and/or sell goods and services abroad.  But how does one tap into these opportunities?  And, how does one avoid disputes?  After all, the flip-side to these exciting international prospects is the possibility of costly mishaps.

International Business: Language

It is plenty difficult enough for two parties to truly understand their intentions and expectations in a business venture even when they both speak the same native language.  Add translation and imperfect fluency to the equation, and the possibility of miscommunication increases greatly.

Some international disputes are the result of honest misunderstandings.  The parties had good intentions and they would have done things differently if the comprehension had been better.  Understanding after the fact is too late, though, because there is money on the line.  ~ J. Harrington

It is particularly unfortunate when these kinds of deals go bad because the lost time, money and relationships could have been avoided.  Don’t fall victim to the old adage “Penny wise, pound foolish.”  Meet with an HLA attorney to review and facilitate the transaction before signing on the dotted line . . . or sending off money/merchandise.

International Business: Customs & Cultures.

Even within the same country, there is a wide range of approaches to business.  That range gets even broader—and the likelihood of the parties having compatible mentalities gets narrower—in the international context.For example, one party may be hoping to create a long-term, mutually-beneficial business relationship, while the other may just want to get whatever benefit it can and then disappear.

Countries with strong legal systems tend to foster more formal business environments, whereas some countries may be more akin to the old Wild West.  And, some cultures are infused with moral or religious codes that create completely different expectations and business styles.

These differences should not be deterrents, however.  Wherever you go in the world, business gets conducted.  It is just important to know something about the foreign customs, and more important still to protect your interests through careful contracting.  You can rely on one of HLA’s experienced international attorneys to assist in identifying cultural differences and facilitating a successful transaction.

One of the great advantages to doing business internationally is that one can always find good prospects in one place or another.  On one hand, economic downturn in a country—such as the US, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, etcetera— means investment opportunities.  On the other, burgeoning countries—such as Brazil, China, India, Germany—have increased demand for goods and services.

HLA provides two distinct services to its transactional clients:

As counselors, we help our clients make smart decisions and structure their ventures to best advantage.  As attorneys, we draft the agreements, escrow monies, and close the transactions.

International business and real estate arethe firm’s niche and the reason the founder moved to South Florida in the first place.With its multi-lingual attorneys versed in the world’s major legal systems, HLA is the perfect choice for your cross-border transactions.
Benefit from our experience and expertise, and trust HLA to bring about your transactionsin the most professional and cost-effective way.