Our Team - Expanded Resources
International Co-Counsel and Foreign Local Counsel Colleagues
InternationalCounsel expands the capabilities of its principal attorneys both through its international co-counsel team members as well as through its local counsel colleagues in Europe, Asia and Latin America
While InternationalCounsel's team is led by our principal attorneys, our international co-counsel offer our clients an expanded team and additional expertise.
Similar to the backgrounds of our principal attorneys, international co-counsel include exceptional former in-house international counsel. As members of our team, these senior attorneys expand our capabilities to serve our clients. Importantly, ongoing oversight from our principal attorneys continues to assure prompt delivery of services with a consistent level of quality and results.
Click here for more on our international co-counsel approach
Our Asia Regional Counsel Colleague in Hong Kong. In part because of time-zone differences and the diverse range of legal challenges throughout the Asia-Pacific region, we look to our colleague in Hong Kong to play an on-the-ground "Asia regional counsel" role in Asia.
Gary Wong is an exceptional former in-house international executive with a particular focus on cross-border matters in Asia. Through his delivery of commercial advisory services, Gary expands our capabilities to serve our clients. Consistent with our International Co-Counsel approach, while all legal advice is provided through our principal attorneys in Chicago, Gary adds an important dimension to our cross-border capabilities in general with particular emphasis on Asia. Further enabling us to assist U.S. and Europe-based clients in Asia, Gary�s ongoing on-the-ground availability in the region allows him to meet with executives either traveling or based in the region, as well as coordinate with local service providers in Asia.
As former Chief Legal Counsel with both Arco Chemical Asia Pacific Ltd. and Lyondell Asia Pacific Ltd., Gary is well-versed in the role of Asia regional counsel due to his many years in this capacity in Asia. His substantive experience has included a full range of international corporate and cross-border investment matters, the management of international litigation and intellectual property matters and the development of corporate governance, compliance, regulatory and anti-corruption initiatives. He has managed local counsel relationships throughout the world and has a particular depth of experience with Asia.
Prior to his nearly 10 years of international in-house experience, Gary had spent another 10 years with major law firms, including with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York. His educational background includes a law degree from University of California, Hastings College of Law, where his academic performance earned him Order of the Coif, as well as an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He is conversant in Mandarin Chinese and has a working knowledge of Cantonese.
Additional International Co-Counsel. Our team includes other highly-capable professionals with senior experience.
Xiaoming Zhang is a former attorney and vice director with law firms in Shanghai and Suzhou, with almost 10 years of legal practice experience in China. He was admitted to practice in China beginning in 1996 and also received his graduate legal degree from Northwestern University School of Law. Xiaoming has also served as an international trade executive with a trading company in China.
Through his provision of Chinese consulting advice to InternationalCounsel, Xiaoming expands our capabilities to serve our clients for their needs related to China. Since Xiaoming is not admitted to practice in Illinois or elsewhere in the U.S., all legal advice is provided through InternationalCounsel's principal attorneys.
In addition to his experience with the foreign direct investment and other market-entry needs of foreign companies entering China, Xiaoming has had in-depth experience with the day-to-day contract, import and export, intellectual property, lease and property and the broad range of other issues facing foreign companies operating in China. Consistent with InternationalCounsel's emphasis on in-house experience and skills, Xiaoming acted as the equivalent of an in-house China legal counsel for several foreign companies.
His prior experience as an international trade executive gave him the practical, hands-on experience to understand how to actually import products into China and export from China, including import and export documentation, letters of credit and other payment methods, customs clearance, commodity inspection, insurance needs and transportation issues.
Xiaoming received his undergraduate degree from a leading Chinese university, East China University of Politics and Law, which is in Shanghai. He also completed his graduate legal studies at the Northwestern University School of Law, where he received an LL.M degree. Given his upbringing, education and experience in China, Xiaoming is fluent in Mandarin Chinese
Foreign Local Counsel Colleagues
As discussed in our Practice Summary, while our approach is to handle much of the structuring, drafting and negotiating of projects based on our internal skill-set and access to local law materials, many of our projects require the input of on-the-ground resources in our clients' target countries. Up-to-the-minute guidance on applicable law and practice as well as its critical real-world application is essential to the process. We have also developed ways to manage and control foreign local counsel resources at substantial cost savings to our clients.
Similar to the practice of major multinational companies, we continually monitor the capabilities of outstanding lawyers in Europe, Asia and Latin America. When these lawyers have proven themselves to be both excellent sources of substantive advice as well as sensitive to our needs for responsiveness and cost-control, the lawyers are added to our working group of "preferred partners." We also evaluate such lawyers in accordance with best practices in handling confidentiality, conflict avoidance and other ethical matters. Click here for more on our approach to working with our local counsel "preferred partners"
The fee statements of our local counsel colleagues are integrated with ours, allowing for our review and close management of overall costs and resource allocation.
Local Counsel Colleagues - Some Examples
Germany. We rely mainly upon both an outstanding full-service law firm based in Munich as supplemented by the resources of a Germany-admitted attorney based in the U.S. Examples of recent projects have included (1) carefully-controlled input on agency and distribution agreements, (2) advice on advertising, privacy protection and other laws impacting cross-border e-commerce and web site information and (3) European Union competition law constraints on contract terms which limit a company's ability to carve-out exclusive territories or include non-compete provisions.
Italy. We work with both one of the outstanding local firms in Italy as well as with the Rome office of a UK law firm. Examples of recent projects include (1) advice on the termination and recommended terms for agency and distribution agreements, and (2) biotechnology rights in Italy subsequent to the approval of a U.S. new drug application, including rights to manufacture and agreement terms and conditions as well as enforcement issues under Italian law.
Poland. We have relied primarily on one of the leading Warsaw-based firms, a relationship which grew out of the significant Central European work of one of our principals in the early 1990's when several economies began to privatize and overhaul their legal systems. Examples of recent projects have included the implications of Poland's eventual European Union membership and the evolution of Poland's laws to begin to conform with EU directives, such as in the areas of competition law (including agreement terms which may be prohibited) and agency and distribution law (including rights of terminated local representatives).
Lithuania. An example of application of our skills to a country which is less commonly on the roadmap for internationalizing companies. Our recent work has been primarily with a Vilnius-based firm and has included the preparation of documentation for a major financing funded by both the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and a leading Finnish bank.
Asia and the Pacific
Japan. Two of our principals have had longstanding ties to Japan and its leading lawyers, dating from the mid-1980's. Our recent work has included projects with two of Tokyo's "big 4" firms and two smaller but nonetheless excellent firms. Recent projects have included (1) joint venture structuring, document preparation and negotiation of major retailing entities with U.S. and Japanese investors, (2) agency and distribution issues and the implications of Japanese law on provisions such as termination notice, and (3) formation of Japanese Kabushiki Kaisha corporate form entities (as well as the Yugen Kaisha closely-held form) as wholly-owned subsidiaries of U.S. companies, including tax, ownership and control and related implications.
Korea. We combine the 3-year on-the-ground experience in Seoul of one of our principals, handling a wide variety of foreign investment matters, with the extensive additional experience of another with pharmaceutical projects in Korea. Our recent work has included collaboration with some of the finest lawyers in Korea at three separate law firms.
China. We have worked with some of the best local Chinese law firms and, on a more limited basis, have drawn upon the advice of attorneys from U.S. and U.K firms based in Hong Kong and in the PRC. Our recent work has included joint venture and research and development structuring and implementation, including on behalf of a world-renowned scientist and his investor group.
India. We have worked with some of the best Indian law firms in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Our work has included investment into India, including outsourcing arrangements, and acquisitions in the U.S. on behalf of Indian companies.
Malaysia. We have had an excellent and longstanding relationship with one of Kuala Lumpur's outstanding firms, and have also worked with two of the other larger firms based there
New Zealand. As the home jurisdiction of one of our principals, we have had significant and deep experience with this country, as well as Australia.
Brazil. We have worked with three of the significant firms in Brazil. Among these, since a local affiliate of a major multinational law firm has excellent capabilities there, we have also drawn upon this expertise. This is an example of how we draw upon the best and most appropriate resources, irrespective of affiliation or whether the resources may also act as a competitor in some contexts.
Mexico. One of our principals has had extensive joint venture and commercial agreement experience with Mexico. We have used the resources of three of the major Mexico City firms and have longstanding relationships with several lawyers throughout the country.
Argentina. Our project work in Argentina has been in conjunction with a sophisticated group that grew out of our "in-house equivalent" assignments with a major U.S. telecommunications company.
Saudi Arabia. As an example of our mid-east work, our on-the-ground legal resources in the Kingdom have assisted us with some of the stringent local protections there, such as applicable to agency and distribution relationships.
Russia. While we have had challenges in finding responsive and cost-effective resources here, we have recently been very comfortable with a fine Moscow-based group.
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