| International Matters
BOGOTA * CARACAS * GUATEMALA CITY * MEXICO CITY * MONTREAL * SAN JOSE * SAN JUAN * SAN PEDRO SULA * SAN SALVADOR * SAO PAULO * SANTO DOMINGO
Arbitration (including ICSID), Criminal Law, Litigation & Liability Defense, Tax & Estate Planning, Transactions
At Fowler Rodriguez, we maintain a strong international presence through several of our practice areas, including, but not limited to: Admiralty and Maritime, Banking and Financial Services, Business Counseling and Transactions, Corporate Practice, Immigration and Naturalization Law, Tax and Estate Planning, Products Liability, and International Criminal Law, International Litigation, and International Transactions.
Our attorneys have extremely diverse backgrounds, and are not only fluent in several languages, but are also able to contend with legal documentation in foreign languages. Their immersion in the international legal industry similarly emerges through their work experience: our attorneys have worked for the United States government, both in Washington D.C., and overseas, foreign governments, and international organizations.
Because of the firm’s strong connections domestic and abroad, Fowler Rodriguez is able to provide resources and solutions to a myriad of client issues. We rely on our experience and our extensive international network to resolve our clients’ disputes.
A few of our international practice areas are described in greater detail.
International Arbitration (including ICSID)
Arbitration clauses have become more prevalent in today’s contracts. Without even meaning to, a person or corporation can be bound to arbitration in cities or countries where they are unfamiliar with the law or practices; or they might find themselves in an inequitable place of adjudication where the judges are corrupt or the rule of law does not follow equitable principals or is not followed. The attorneys of Fowler Rodriguez can help prevent clients from finding themselves in this position by strategically reviewing contracts and minimizing and negotiating potentially adverse situations.
If a client finds himself in an unfamiliar arbitration proceeding, the attorneys of Fowler Rodriguez have the experience to smoothly operate and guide clients though the proceedings. Fowler Rodriguez attorneys have handled arbitration proceedings around the world and know what it takes to handle panels abroad.
We have experience before the ICSID. ICSID is an autonomous international institution established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID or the Washington Convention) with over 140 member States. The primary purpose of ICSID is to provide facilities for conciliation and arbitration of international investment disputes. If you are a business practicing abroad, and you seem to have no recourse, the ICSID might serve as a potential option.
International Criminal Law
As companies expanding into foreign markets have regrettably learned, civil litigation abroad sometimes leads to criminal prosecution of the company, putting executives and employees alike at risk under the law. Occasionally, foreign authorities pursue a strategy tantamount to extortion - they bring criminal charges to leverage an otherwise purely civil dispute. Accordingly, corporations and their executives must be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Because of this, sound defense against criminal charges abroad requires a multi-cultural law firm with experience in international legal litigation and criminal law. It also requires a firm with an understanding of the art of diplomacy.
At Fowler Rodriguez, our attorneys counsel and defend clients in matters involving foreign criminal prosecutions, extradition, extortion, arrest warrants, INTERPOL proceedings, Red Notice removal, transnational crimes, and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. We represent clients in cases involving money laundering, conspiracy, crimes on the high seas, financial crimes, intellectual property crimes, the FCPA, corruption and cyber crime, for example. To accomplish this, our firm draws upon our collective experience combined with an extensive network of affiliations throughout private, business and government circles worldwide. Many of our attorneys are bilingual and can speak fluent Spanish, French and Italian, in addition to having a working knowledge of many other languages.
Our international criminal law practice group is led by one of the firm’s named partners who is a leading advocate for human rights in Cuba, and who has written and lectured extensively on international law and world trade. The group has litigated in almost every country in Latin America, in Spain, and in many other international courts. Our practice group also includes a former prosecutor with U.S. Department of Justice; a former officer of the U.S. Department of State; a former official of the Colombian Ministry of Justice who directs our Bogota office; and the partner who spearheaded the opening of the firm’s second office in Colombia, located in Cartagena.
International Litigation & Liability Defense
As businesses expand into foreign markets to compete in the global economy, international disputes are drastically increasing. International litigation is often legally complex and difficult to predict. Coordinating and implementing an effective legal strategy requires knowledge and training.
Fowler Rodriguez provides a broad range of legal services to domestic clients doing business overseas and foreign clients transacting business in the U.S. Our lawyers have successfully handled international disputes involving violations of RICO, U.S. and foreign securities, fraud, unfair trade practices and antitrust laws. The firm’s clients include foreign companies and governments litigating in the United States. The cases include business, energy, telecommunications, tobacco, maritime, franchising, insurance and patent matters.
The lawyers of Fowler Rodriguez know where to bring the action, or where to seek to move an action in order to defend it. They are experts in the fields of jurisdiction, forum non conveniens and forum selection, and are internationally recognized for their work on significant environmental disasters.
In addition, Fowler Rodriguez has represented both debtors and creditors in international bankruptcy proceedings, as well as bank and trading companies in trade and trade finance matters. The firm is frequently engaged in litigation involving letters of credit and bankers’ acceptances.
International Tax and Estate Planning
The Fowler Rodriguez Private Clients group represents individual clients throughout the world in all aspects of their business and personal affairs, including:
• Domestic and international estate planning
• Estate and trust administration
• Tax planning and litigation
• Trusts and estates litigation
• Creation and administration of family partnerships, joint ventures and property holding vehicles
• Charitable activities, including foundations
Attorneys regularly advise clients in the structuring and restructuring of ownership of closely held business enterprises, in the U.S. and abroad, to best achieve long term family goals in a tax efficient way. The group has also negotiated multi-generational tax planning for family businesses, as well as diversifications of family assets including concentrated positions in marketable securities.
Our clients expect us to know their business. Our international practice is structured to provide a full-service and client-specific approach. Our international services include domestic and foreign incorporation of new enterprises, inbound and outbound investments, litigation and dispute resolution, joint venture agreements, import/export issues and trade finance.
The litigation of sophisticated and complex international transactions, mergers and acquisitions, financing, contract disputes, internet and eCommerce and intellectual property are areas in which we are particularly experienced, and in which we have represented many major private, state, federal and foreign government-owned companies. Our lawyers also have extensive experience in handling a variety of additional international matters, including intellectual property licensing, overseas manufacturing operations, agency and distributorship arrangements, construction agreements, inbound and outbound capital investments, joint ventures, outsourcing, immigration, aircraft equipment acquisitions and product liability. The Fowler Rodriguez network of independent affiliated offices and correspondents is far-reaching and facilitates the conduct of international commercial trade and transactions.