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International Dispute Resolution

LeClairRyan’s International Dispute Resolution team provides legal counsel and representation in a full spectrum of international disputes. These include representing domestic entities and individuals involved in disputes overseas as well as European, Asian, and Latin American entities and individuals involved in disputes litigated or arbitrated in the United States.

Our depth of experience includes handling single and multijurisdictional disputes worldwide, as well as cases in state and federal courts and a variety of arbitral institutions. Representing clients in a variety of industries – from insurance to manufacturing and banking to energy – we strive to be our clients’ trusted advisor in every matter. We apply our knowledge, insight and skill to help clients achieve their business objectives while managing and minimizing their legal risks, difficulties and expenses.

Among our team members are attorneys who have served as: (1) general counsel to the New York Chapter of Amigos de la Americas, an international organization promoting development in Latin America; (2) an arbitrator for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; (3) a Solicitor, which is comparable to second chair, during a trial on the Isle of Man; and (4) a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar who served in Brazil.
  • International Litigation
    Our lawyers have served as counsel in international litigation arising in a variety of substantive areas, such as:
    • Bankruptcy and creditors’ rights
    • Taxation
    • Antitrust and competition
    • Shareholder and securities matters
    • Fraud and racketeering
    • Trusts and estates
    • Expropriation
    • Breach of contract
    • Products and premises liability
    • Regulatory investigations and enforcement actions
    • Forfeiture actions
    • Intellectual property

    Members of our team consistently achieve favorable results for clients in international matters that involve regulatory and government agencies such as the Office of Foreign Asset Control, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Department of Justice. Our lawyers have a depth of experience handling disputes involving many of the laws and treaties that significantly impact international commerce and the administration and management of cross-border disputes, including:
    • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
    • Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
    • Alien Tort Claims Act
    • Lanham Act
    • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
    • European data protection laws
    • Hague Service and Evidence Conventions
    • 28 USC 1782, which provides assistance to foreign and international tribunals and litigators before those tribunals

    We frequently counsel non-U.S. clients on how to approach litigation in the United States – and how to avoid it. We have significant experience counseling clients on how to protect themselves from the expansive reach of U.S. jurisdiction, and we regularly handle challenging suits that have commenced in the United States, through the use of forum non conveniens and similar doctrines.

    Our breadth of experience enables us to handle effectively the many complexities surrounding high-profile international disputes. We have substantial experience with dual-track litigation, discovery proceedings, venue and forum challenges, choice-of-law issues and proving foreign law, antisuit injunctions, letters rogatory, and asset seizures.
  • International Arbitration
    Members of our team have handled international arbitrations, counseling clients in disputes pending, or to be filed, before prominent arbitral institutions, including:
    • International Chamber of Commerce
    • International Centre for Dispute Resolution
    • London Court of International Arbitration
    • International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes
    • Ad hoc arbitrations

    Our experienced trial lawyers are accustomed to taking matters from inception through hearing and award. We also regularly counsel our clients on drafting arbitration clauses and the many considerations that arise in the course of selecting an arbitral forum, venue, and controlling law.
  • International Insights
    Our experience with international legal issues reaches beyond courtrooms and arbitral forums. We actively participate in numerous relevant professional associations, allowing us to stay abreast of current legal trends in international litigation and arbitration or that otherwise affect our clients. These associations include:
    • International Bar Association
    • German American Lawyers’ Association
    • England’s Commercial Bar Association (honorable overseas membership)
    • U.S.-India Business Council
    • International Association of Defense Council
    • American Bar Association International Litigation Committee
    • American Bar Association Working Group on Judicial Assistance to International Arbitration

    Team members often speak on international dispute resolution issues at programs sponsored by these and other organizations, and they frequently contribute to publications addressing international dispute resolution issues.

    Our team members also boast fluency in numerous foreign languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Swedish, Chinese dialects of Mandarin and Hakanese, Portuguese, Japanese, Hindi, Kannada, and Bengali. Several attorneys have been educated, are admitted, or have practiced abroad, including one team member who has lived, studied and worked throughout Latin America and Europe. Our attorneys have collectively represented clients in connection with disputes being litigated in more than 30 countries across six continents.

    Skill and knowledge breed success, as proven by the recognition our attorneys continue to receive by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in international law, business litigation, civil litigation defense, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, among other practice areas.
  • Representative Matters
    Insurance and Reinsurance:
    • Defended several German life insurance companies in class action litigation initiated by Holocaust survivors and their heirs. Litigation resulted in an Executive Agreement signed by then-U.S. President William Clinton and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, creating a foundation to distribute billions of dollars to survivors and their families
    • Represented global insurance company in an investigation conducted by the Office of Foreign Asset Control involving potential violations relating to alleged trade with a sanctioned country
    • Represented European reinsurer in London arbitration and U.S. litigation of a dispute with its cedent arising out of losses caused by a major pipeline explosion in the Pacific Northwest
    • Represented U.K.-based reinsurer in a dispute with a Vermont-domiciled captive insurer of a major U.S. oil company arising out of a $500 million business interruption dispute
    • Represented major European insurer in a $2 billion property insurance dispute arising from the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001

    Finance and Investment:
    • Represented multi-national telecommunications company in suits filed against it in Chennai, India, arising from a telephone infrastructure project in the state of Tamil Nadu
    • Represented investment banking firms in litigation matters arising from merger and acquisition transactions
    • Represented managing director of an international financial services company in litigation arising from injuries he sustained in a boating accident in The Turks and Caicos Islands
    • Represented UAE-based bank in an interpleader action in New York relating to assets frozen pursuant to U.S. sanctions regimens
    • Represented off-shore financial institutions in connection with forfeiture claims asserted by the U.S. government
    • Advised Latin American financial institutions on U.S. regulatory issues
    • Represented Latin American investors in connection with claims asserted in bankruptcy proceedings
    • Represented German private equity management firm in Lanham Act case brought by U.S. joint venture partner
    • Represented international investment bank in an arbitration with a South American copper producer that alleged unauthorized futures and options trading by its former head trader
    • Represented private investment bank in litigation with a large public company involving a failed venture in Germany to produce and sell electric vehicles
    • Represented European trading company in an FCPA investigation resulting in no charges being brought against the company
    • Represented worldwide financial services company by implementing FCPA compliance plans responsive to concerns raised by an independent monitor, providing advice on FCPA issues and assisting with an internal investigation in South America

    Manufacturing and Distribution:
    • Represented Brazilian manufacturer in breach of contract action against a major U.S. retailer
    • Obtained dismissal of three class action lawsuits brought in the U.S. against the Austrian manufacturer of the funicular train involved in a ski resort fire in Kaprun, which resulted in 155 deaths
    • Represented international shipping company in an environmental crimes investigation
    • Represented international electronics manufacturer in several lawsuits against former licensees alleging breach of contract and patent infringement
    • Represented Canadian distributor in antitrust litigation involving the pricing of chocolate
    • Represented major international food manufacturer by providing advice on FCPA issues and reviewing its business model to assess and address FCPA risks

    Retail and Hospitality:
    • Represented large hotel, casino and retail space developer in potential litigation involving a multibillion-dollar project in Asia
    • Represented prominent European jewelry house in litigation and arbitration in the U.S. and Europe arising from contractual relationships
    • Represented worldwide apparel and retail company and its outside directors in a shareholder derivative suit in New York State Supreme Court
    • Represented international confectionary and beverage company in multiple litigations involving claims of deceptive business practices and trade secret misappropriation
    • Represented former owner of the retail mall at the World Trade Center in property insurance litigation arising out of the events of September 11, 2001, against numerous foreign and domestic insurance companies
    • Representing international hotels and restaurant companies regarding FCPA issues, including a review and revision of their FCPA policies and training materials

    • Represented international pharmaceutical company in connection with developing an electronic discovery program
    • Represented major international pharmaceutical company by providing FCPA advice and conducting internal investigations into allegations of FCPA violations in Asia, South America and Europe
    • Represented major international pharmaceutical company by providing FCPA advice and conducting a review of a significant proposal regarding payments to physicians employed by state-owned hospitals engaged in clinical trials in South America

    • Represented satellite services company in disputes with satellite manufacturers, launch service providers and insurers, and with an international media conglomerate over a direct-to-home television service in India
    • Represented large telecommunications company in an international arbitration with a vendor of products and services

    Media and Internet:
    • Represented Latin American media company in disputes over licensing of programming
    • Represented PSINet in an arbitration in London against a George Soros-owned company. International Chamber of Commerce Rules applied.

    Trusts and Estates:
    • Represented member of a European family in a dispute over U.S.-based assets held in an estate administered overseas
    • Represented family members in Germany in will contest litigation tried in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

    Shareholder and Officer:
    • Represented individual in a minority shareholder dispute against a majority shareholder and corporation on the Isle of Man. Collaborated with local counsel and acted in Solicitor’s role, which is comparable to second chair, at trial. Obtained favorable trial results.
    • Represented corporate officer in a multicountry FCPA investigation resulting in no charges being brought against the officer

    • Represented Irish client in an arbitration in which Irish law was applied in Washington, D.C., against a California company
    • Served as arbitrator for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in interconnection disputes under U.S. law and the Administrative Procedures Act of Puerto Rico

    Pro bono:
    • Provided pro bono representation to former Nobel Peace Prize recipient in litigation with the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department challenging the constitutional grounds of federal regulations that prohibited recipient from working with any American citizens to publish her memoirs in the United States

    Additional matters:
    • Represented private power developer in litigation arising from the sale of a barge-based diesel power plant in the Dominican Republic
    • Represented various foreign corporations in connection with potential expropriation claims and in negotiating resolutions of expropriations