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Commendable practices regarding staff lawyers in overseas offices

“The first lawyers Microsoft tends to put on the ground overseas are commercial attorneys that negotiate contracts and provide basic legal advice.” To address the meat-and-potatoes of what’s on the in-house table makes good sense. Because of that front-line need, the article makes the point that multinational law departments put much more weight on experience than on education. And the best kind of experience shows up as education in the foreign country, then time spent working in a law firm in the United States, Britain or Australian, then experience in a law department in the country.

“All legal counsel should also be familiar with and understand the US regulatory framework, including Sarbanes-Oxley and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” according to the ACC Docket, Vol. 26, Nov. 2008 at 50. So the best combination is an experienced, local transactional lawyer who knows the linchpins of US law that apply to US companies doing business abroad.

Several posts on this blog had traversed topics on overseas lawyers (See my post of June 15, 2008: US companies with significant foreign revenue have many overseas lawyers; Nov. 16, 2008: five questions to ask when deciding on first overseas lawyer *6; Nov. 16, 2008: staffing options other than hiring an overseas lawyer *7; Dec. 11, 2008: secondments back to headquarters *; Aug. 21, 2005: lower cost lawyers overseas; and Jan. 11, 2009: six reasons to hire overseas.).

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