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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.

These pointers should enable you to find a qualified foreign lawyer to handle your legal needs in a suitable and agreeable manner.


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