How to Find Good Legal Services Abroad

Advancement in technology has made it quick and easy to set up businesses abroad. Whether the business functions out of a brick-and- mortar office or a virtual one, doing business on an international level has become the norm. Conducting business in a foreign country entails familiarity with the host country’s laws. The legal intricacies of international trading could be quite challenging, and without the right legal guidance, a business owner may well end up paying penalties and fines, and saddled with legal hitches. What does it take to find good legal services abroad?

Areas of Specialization

One of the travails of establishments operating in a foreign country is finding good legal services. Lawyers usually specialize in one particular type of law, or other related areas. A lawyer may generally work on immigration cases, while another one may be a tax specialist. Note that there are lawyers who only render advice to their clients, and not represent them to actual court litigation.

General areas of legal practice include: personal injury, criminal law, tax, employment and family law. It is best to choose a lawyer that specializes in one’s legal concern and one that has a firm foundation in the laws of the host country.

Different Types of Lawyer

Foreign Legal Consultants may be classified as lawyers working for international law firms based in foreign countries. These attorneys may advise clients regarding the requirements and conditions of the host country’s law, but they may or may not be licensed to practice law in the country where they are based. If court representation is needed, a licensed lawyer in the country where he works is required.

Solicitors and Barristers are specialized lawyers who may be practicing in foreign countries. Solicitors generally do not represent clients in court, but advise them, and may put together legal cases for barristers to take to court.

Notaries usually do the functions of attorneys, but depending on the country they practice, their job description may vary. Notaries may draft transfers of property titles and wills. In some countries, notaries are Ministry of Justice appointees and may act as administrators in estate settlements.

Where to Find a Lawyer

Searching for a lawyer in a foreign country is no longer too tasking. Overseas embassies and consulates of most countries have listings of local lawyers who have expressed their willingness to assist citizens of another country. For example, an American in Thailand may go to the U.S. embassy and he will be furnished with a copy of local lawyers willing to assist a U.S. citizen.

There are international bar associations with local chapters that could help foreigners with their legal problems. Most of these associations and similar organizations have standing agreements with accredited members in other countries.

Law firms maintain websites. This should make it doubly easy for anyone needing legal counsel to find a qualified lawyer through this mode.

Law schools have credible law professors who may be practicing or may know a practicing lawyer in his circle. If the legal advice and drafts are needed, senior law students could handle these requirements.

Surely local contacts could refer qualified lawyers to meet one’s legal requisites.

Considerations When Selecting a Lawyer

Before settling for an attorney, there are several points to consider.

First, it is to your benefit to ask the lawyer in consideration his qualifications and experience. You may ask the lawyer’s strategy and plan in representing you. It is not impolite to ask how much his retainer fees are.

Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding your case. As your lawyer, he is expected to explain every plan and activity in a manner that you can understand.

Be very careful when turning over documents and money. Make sure that your lawyer understands and can tackle your legal concerns in a manner that is satisfactory to you. See to it that the lawyer-client confidentiality clause in the foreign country meets your expectations.

The Roles of an Employer Defense Attorney in the Business Realm

Even the most diligent employers occasionally require the services of a lawyer to help navigate tough employment law issues. These issues can crop up at any time, so companies should be prepared to face them with the legal assistance of an employer defense attorney.

Employee Classifications

Employers who incorrectly classify their employees may face legal action or hefty fines. For example, classifying staff members as individual independent contractors instead of employees could cause an employer to be sued by employees who feel that they are not correctly classified. The guidance of a lawyer during the classification process can help in avoiding such incidents.

Representation in Court

Employment lawsuits are complex and can take months or longer to resolve, especially if the involved parties are not cooperative. An employer defense attorney can save time by attending required court hearing sessions so the client can continue to run his or her business. The lawyer will also take care of collecting and preserving evidence for the case.

Reviewing of Agreements and Contracts

Clauses in contracts and agreements can be used as the basis for filing a court case. A lawyer can review the contract to make sure that all the necessary legal terms are correctly applied and are enforceable in court. In addition, the lawyer can give you insights on when to use the contracts to safeguard your company from legal problems. For example, issuing an employment contract to every new employee before a suitability evaluation is done could spell trouble for the business.

Review Handbooks and Policies

A lawyer can check the employee handbook and company policies in-depth to ensure that none of the statements or policies violate state or federal law or create unintended obligations. After thoroughly reviewing the documents, the lawyer may recommend implementation of additional policies to safeguard the business from legal issues.

An employer defense attorney can also review employment decisions-especially those that affect a significant number of the staff members-before they are implemented. Examples of decisions that require the intervention of a lawyer include a change of pension plan, discontinuing an employee benefit, and laying off some of the employees.

First Line of Defense

Finally, an attorney can deal with some of the often overlooked facts of day-to-day business – such as reviewing licenses, intellectual property violations, and potential tax liabilities – and act as a company’s first line of defense against malicious lawsuits. The legal advice and recommendations provided by attorneys will help avoid lurking legal cases and streamline the operations of the company.