Prior to negotiating an agreement in an international country, I reach out to local law firms. They:

  • You are in control of the laws, language and customs
  • You know people from business and government.
  • Learn the process of doing things and know how you will be able to complete the task in
  • Learn to read the local tea leaves for the people you are negotiating with.
  • It’s free of any money to call their house Say hello, and let them know what you’re going to accomplish.

Luxury law good resource is Baker & McKenzie.

A few years ago , I visited their Paris office and was cold. I asked to speak to an attorney. I had a deal in the works and I asked Wallace Baker, managing partner who was the managing partner, to talk to both parties and tell me on whether a deal was likely. He was friendly, offered us a conference room the next day and even served us coffee. The deal did not go through but Ms. Baker didn’t charge me any fees. In fact, he even left the door open for me in the event that I needed his assistance again.

In Spain the situation was completely different. I had negotiated a contract with a Spanish company in Madrid and was handed the draft agreement in Spanish which I do not speak. I contacted Baker & McKenzie’s Madrid office and set up an appointment. James Baker, the managing partner, as well as the cousin of our partner from Paris I met with him on the same day, served me a cup of espresso and took the time to read the contract. He informed me, to my surprise, that the contract was written in a completely opposite way to the terms reached upon, so I concluded that the company did not have my trust. He was very accommodating about it and told me that I could return at anytime. I received a bill a months later for half an one hour’s worth of time. A massive bargain in my opinion.

In a subsequent instance, I was planning an outreach trip for sales in Thailand. I contacted my Baker & McKenzie partner in Bangkok and I asked him to meet for lunch with me and my potential clients and be involved in the event that the deal was successful. In addition to agreeing to go, but he also requested that his secretary confirm my guests’ attendance and make arrangements. Some of the guests came through his call. The meeting was a big success , and he proved to be the center of my presentation. He declared himself to be my attorney in Thailand. There was also no invoice however I did purchase him lunch.

Recently, I started to conduct business with Italy in Italy and Spain. I sent an email to those who manage the partners at Baker & McKenzie in Rome and Barcelona (closer to my clients than their Madrid office) and told them about my situation.

Small private business. We require cost-effective local guidance We have nothing to take on immediately. We’d like to find an attorney in the local area in case we are approached for an agreement. I would like our sales representatives in Rome in Rome and Barcelona to stop by and have a meeting to talk about the company. We suggested that, if we were small to be considered by Baker & McKenzie they could provide a local recommendation Aurelio Giovannelli, who is the director of the firm in Rome responded to my email the following day. He stated that they could be economical for a small business and was willing to assist. He reached out to an attorney in the area who specialized in small businesses and set the right resources to assist me on short notice. He was thrilled to meet with our local rep. Esteban Raventos, the Baker & McKenzie managing partner in Barcelona was contacted from outside the city and offered to have someone from the firm come to us as soon as the necessity was urgent.