Whiteman Osterman & Hanna advises clients on all aspects of doing business in the international marketplace.
We provide support from a client’s first export transaction, through negotiation of agency, distribution and licensing agreements, to international investment through foreign sales offices, branches, or subsidiaries. Our attorneys counsel clients on customs and international trade law, intellectual property protection, and international acquisitions. An important part of our practice is assisting our clients to solve international disputes through alternate dispute resolution procedures.
Given our location (Albany, New York) and fee structure, we are able to pay particular attention to small and medium-sized companies in international transactions. In addition to our own legal advice, we work to connect first-time exporters to the network of support services available to them from public and private export organizations, as well as to other services such as translators, freight forwarders, and international banking services.
In advising its U.S. clients on offshore issues, the Firm works closely with legal counsel in leading general practice, and specialized firms around the world on intellectual property, international business and investment questions. We use our extensive network of contacts to select international counsel individually for each transaction, based on that counsel’s particular expertise.
- International Business Transactions: We draft and negotiate for our clients international agreements for sales of goods and services; agency and distributor agreements; licenses of technology; and business finder agreements. We advise on United States regulations directly or indirectly affecting international business transactions, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and antitrust laws. Our practice in these areas is both in-bound and out-bound.
- International Investment: We counsel our clients on issues in connection with establishment of foreign sales offices, branches and subsidiaries in the United States or overseas. We assist in establishing corporations and other business structures in the United States and abroad; including planning, drafting and implementation of corporate documentation and agreements. We also handle complex transactions such as joint venture and consortium agreements; purchases and sales of assets; and mergers.
- International Property Protection: Working closely with our Intellectual Property Practice Group and foreign counsel, we advise United States clients on the risks, benefits and mechanisms for protection overseas of their trademarks, trade names, copyrights, and related proprietary information. Similarly, we assist foreign clients to understand and implement appropriate protection for their intellectual property rights in the United States.
- Customs and International Trade Law: We provide advice on import/export disputes; product standards for imported or exported goods (labeling, packaging, certification); certificates of origin and other customs documentation; and customs-based remedies for unfair competition.
- Export Control: Our attorneys work with clients to determine whether their particular technologies or products fall within the purview of the United States export control laws and boycott regulations, to comply with the “deemed export” rules affecting disclosure to foreign nationals; and to prepare applications for licenses or related jurisdictional determinations.
- International Finance: We assist clients to locate and evaluate export finance mechanisms; to identify and evaluate economic development agency incentives; and to negotiate incentive packages for investment.
- Dispute Resolution: As transactions and relationships develop, we advise our clients on planning for an ultimate exit strategy, including analysis of dispute resolution procedures to be put in place. We educate our clients on the options available to them, including mediation, arbitration, litigation and other alternate dispute resolution procedures.
Members of our office speak and write several languages, including German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and French. Many members of the professional staff have lived and worked overseas, and can assist clients with first-hand knowledge of the relevant cultural customs and culture.