Published on:

The budget challenges of ex pat lawyers

Lawyers are called ex pats (from the Latin, ex patria, from one’s country) when they are transferred from their home country to practice law in an office in a foreign country (See my posts of Oct. 10, 2005 on costs and April 27, 2005 on second languages required for Kodak lawyers.).

Some law departments choose this route, in favor of hiring local internal or external lawyers, because they want to assure themselves of US legal knowledge and standards of practice. The costs, however, are notoriously high. There are such additional supplements as paying for private education for children, paying for western-style housing where it may be expensive, paying for trips back to the mother country periodically, paying to make up for tax-rate differentials, and many other additional costs. Some people have estimated that ex pats cost two to three times as much as they would cost in their home country.