International Law

The world is becoming increasingly smaller and more accessible to companies from every corner of the earth. Businesses growing into international markets quickly realize that a more accessible world does not mean a less challenging marketplace. Increasingly, the rapid development of global markets requires companies of all sizes to quickly develop a command of international markets, business practices, and regulations. Gray Plant Mooty provides real-world business experience and legal expertise to provide our clients proven counsel in the international marketplace.

Global Clients, Global Experience

Every business opportunity is as unique as the company pursuing it. Gray Plant Mooty services clients both domestically and internationally with their multi-national and international goals. Our clients originate from nearly every region on the planet and most imaginable market sectors. Our first objective is to understand each client’s specific business objective and to development strategies to meet their goals. Gray Plant Mooty’s lawyers then partner with clients by applying years of experience within various international aspects of the business and the applicable law. Our collective experience and international network of experts is uniquely equipped to lead our clients’ business from concept to the market.

International Counsel—Without Borders

Through our involvement in Multilaw, one of the largest associations of global law firms, we have developed strategic alliances with prominent firms in every major market of the world. As a member of Multilaw, we are connected to more than 70 independent law firms in more than 50 countries worldwide. The network encompasses over 6,000 lawyers in more than 150 commercial centers throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, Africa, and Australia/New Zealand. Through this alliance, we provide our clients with unprecedented and immediate access to qualified legal assistance in almost any foreign jurisdiction.

Global Reach

Gray Plant Mooty’s International Law team has served clients in more than 100 countries and has been especially active in the following locations:

Canada

Our “neighbor to the north” is one of the United States’ largest trading partners. We regularly assist U.S. companies in expanding their business into Canada, whether through franchising, distribution, joint ventures, branch offices, or sales representatives. The Canadian legal system is similar in many ways to that of the U.S., but there are differences—both significant and subtle. Our International Law team helps clients discern those differences and avoid legal missteps while pursuing their business objectives. We also provide a full array of legal services to Canadian entities desiring to conduct business in the United States.

China & the Pacific Rim

Companies in the Midwest region of the U.S. have developed strong business relationships with Chinese partners to introduce goods and services to the Chinese market and to connect with China’s massive labor force to efficiently manufacture goods for sale elsewhere. Gray Plant Mooty brings unique experience to those strategies, among others. Our lawyers have actively counseled U.S.-based clients expanding into China for more than 25 years. During that period, we also have represented Chinese interests in the United States.

Our long-standing activity in China allows us to counsel small companies seeking to enter the Chinese market, as well as to assist major companies expanding their presence in China. We’ve recently have served client business interests in China in the following areas:

  • Franchising
  • Product distribution and licensing
  • Joint venture relationships
  • Trademark and other intellectual property counseling
  • Establishing supply chains to import goods from China
  • Establishing supply chains to manufacture goods in China for export elsewhere

European Union & Scandinavia

The European Union has been a significant force in international trade. The inclusion of additional Eastern European countries into the E.U. has strengthened that reality. That expansion increases trade barriers for U.S. companies seeking to market goods and services in Europe. We have counseled a large variety of U.S. companies facing complex European Union competition, franchising, distribution, and merger regulations.
Our experience in Northern Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, is a testament to ancestral ties to the Upper Midwest that have developed into deep business ties. Gray Plant Mooty’s industry experience in the life science, medical device, health care, agricultural, and energy industries is an ideal match for the rich sectors in Scandinavia looking to launch products and services into North America. We counsel numerous companies of all sizes on strategically entering the North American market and how to successfully commercialize their products and services

Latin America

While other economic regions have been slow to recover from the recent global recession, many countries in Latin America are thriving—and many of our clients have agreed that Latin America is an emerging market that will be there to stay. We have assisted companies of all sizes, from emerging to multinational powerhouses, in developing new markets in the region for their goods and services as well as guiding them in addressing challenges with existing business relationship and competitors.

The Power of Practical Experience

Several of our team members have previously served within private and public corporations in both legal and business operations and bring “real-world” experience to the practice of law. In addition, our lawyers participate in numerous business trade organizations, including the Midwest Global Trade Association, the International Franchise Association, the Minnesota International Center, trade offices, and various American-foreign Chambers of Commerce. Our international business experience—coupled with our knowledge of current and developing legal issues—makes our team uniquely qualified to provide our clients with the practical advice, coupled with legal advice, necessary to achieve their business goals.

A Powerhouse in International Franchising

The rewards of doing business internationally are great—and so are the risks. Fortunately, our team knows the ropes and has been recognized globally as one of the top four international franchise law firms (by Chambers Global). We will steer you around pitfalls and away from problems to help get you where you want to be. Companies operating through franchising and licensing internationally retain our team to:

  • Prepare and negotiate international franchise and distribution agreements, sales contracts, licensing agreements, and joint venture documents
  • Prepare disclosure documents to comply with foreign disclosure laws
  • Protect trademarks and other intellectual property
  • Enforce international agreements
  • Help overseas franchisors expand their systems in the United States
  • Help with existing U.S. anti-terrorism legislation compliance
  • Structure international transactions and relationships
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