International Business Litigation and Dispute Resolution
International business lawsuits arise in connection with disputes among businesses and individuals residing in different countries. We vigorously represent clients based outside of the U.S. in disputes involving U.S. companies and individuals, and U.S. entities and individuals in disputes involving foreign companies conducting business in the U.S.
The most common international business disputes revolve around contracts, intellectual property and business torts such as intentional interference with contract and defamation. Naturally, in an international business litigation, each party wants to be heard in the court of their home country, which leaves the other litigant fearing that a national court may favor the local party.
Our firm is well versed in international complex business litigation, and combines international experience in Europe and the United States, with litigation strategy, multilingual skills and understanding of foreign legal systems. We successfully address issues of significance in international litigation – jurisdiction of courts, service of process, admission of foreign evidence, and enforcement of judgments.
“Protecting your business interests is our top priority.”
In the United States, jurisdiction of courts in the international context is different from jurisdictional issues arising in connection with disputes between litigants from one or more U.S. states. In the international context, states use a long-arm statute to exercise long-arm jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants. A long-arm statute allows a courts in a U.S. state to exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant, including a foreign defendant, on the basis of certain acts committed by an out-of-state defendant and sufficient minimum connection with the U.S. state.
Service of process in the international business litigation context is complex. However, most countries including the United States, are signatories to the Hague Service Convention (1965) officially known as the Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. Further, obtaining evidence from a foreign country in an international dispute can present challenges. The Hague Evidence Convention governs transmission of evidence in the international litigation context for the signatory countries, including the United States.
Successful international business litigation, however, turns not only on winning a judgement but also on enforcing it
Before a United States court can enforce a judgment issued by a foreign court it must first recognize the judgment or in other words domesticate the judgment. To domesticate or recognize a foreign judgement means to make it equal to any other judgment issued by a court in the United States, and once the judgment is domesticated it has the same authority as a judgment issued from the outset in the United States. However, the United States does not give full faith and credit to foreign judgments and the United States is not a party to any treaty governing the recognition of foreign judgments.
Aside from international business litigation, resolution of international business disputes may also be achieved through various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration. There are many arbitral institutions across the world including the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center (HKIAC) and the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC).
Arbitration may be a preferable method of settling an international business dispute when done correctly because it is generally conducted in a country that is neutral vis-à-vis the parties. Further, arbitral tribunals in commercial disputes have no inherent power or jurisdiction. Their authority arises from the parties’ contract. However, once selected by the parties, arbitration has the backing of statutes and treaties and the parties should take particular care in drafting arbitration provisions.
Once a dispute has arisen, self-interest will often mean that it is too late to reach further agreement on how a dispute should be resolved. However, if the international dispute is headed toward litigation, we analyze the jurisdiction issues and get the case in the court that is most favorable to the client.
Contact us, your international business lawyer, to assist you with your international business litigation and dispute resolution needs.