Photo of International Law

International Law


Successful international business transactions require sophisticated legal expertise, first-rate practical advice and cross-cultural sensitivity – all hallmarks of our International Law practice. We represent both domestic companies operating overseas and foreign companies investing here. With deep experience advising clients and structuring win-win international legal agreements, we serve a wide range of businesses and industries with international legal representation. 

As the largest business and litigation law firm headquartered in North Carolina’s world-renowned Research Triangle Park area, we have many years of international business legal experience working with global clients, seamlessly navigating different legal cultures, helping to structure cross-border transactions and connecting you to the best local international law counsel when needed. If your company is involved in an international deal, you need lawyers with proven experience working across cultural divides and overcoming unique challenges, always with an eye (and an ear) toward helping you meet your business goals. Our dispute resolution and risk management lawyers have experience with managing the complex procedures and logistics of international litigation. Many international clients seek assistance with corporate relocation and expansion, in which we often provide counsel on comparative tax border, state and local financial incentives and site selection. North Carolina’s six foreign or free trade zones provide neutral, secured areas legally outside of the U.S. customs territory that offer economic advantages for businesses involved in international trade. Additionally, our seasoned international law lawyers advise companies on whether they can qualify to be located into the area. We invest the effort to get to know you, your company, your needs and objectives – and then, working side-by-side, can better help you succeed.

As our client, you will find that we provide a caliber of service and expertise on par with national firms, yet with the added value of greater partner-level involvement. We offer the skill, knowledge, experience, commitment and international connections to help your business succeed – a winning combination in any language.


U.S. Clients

U.S. companies conducting business globally need trusted advisors. Our relationships and experience enables us to strategically guide clients through complex cross-border transactions. Our International Law practice includes experience in:

  • International Trade Issues: We help clients seeking to import or export goods and services, or to avoid sanctions or other problems related to international trade.
  • International Mergers and Acquisitions: We assist a variety of U.S. companies seeking to acquire companies or assets abroad.
  • International Joint Ventures: We assist with strategizing and implementing the optimum structure for international joint ventures, including corporate, tax and other legal considerations.
  • International Commercial Agreements: We draft a variety of commercial agreements for cross-border applications that protect our clients’ interests.
  • Export Control and Economic Sanctions: We counsel clients on transactional, compliance and enforcement matters related to export controls, restrictions, embargoes and antiboycott regulations including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), Export Administration Act (EAA), International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Trading with the Enemy Act, Iran Sanctions Act, and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-bribery laws: We help clients understand their obligations under the FCPA and can design practical training, assessment, and compliance programs that may be applied internally or with a company’s service providers and contract partners. We assist with investigations of suspected violations and may provide counsel on the duty to report actual violations.
  • Requirements for International Shareholders: Many U.S. companies are concerned about the implications of allowing non-U.S. citizens to acquire equity in a private enterprise.
  • Coordination of International Finance transactions: We lead complex, cross-border lending transactions requiring coordination with international counsel, such as the simultaneous perfection of collateral in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Government Contracting: Our robust Government Contracting team can assist with issues arising in a cross-border context, including advice regarding the application of the Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Acts and other similar laws and regulations.

International Clients

Non-U.S. companies with interests in the United State require highly skilled lawyers to assist in navigating obstacles and challenges. We possess a strong referral network and international resources, including local consular contacts. Our International Law practice includes experience in:

  • Choice of Entity: We can help clients seeking to expand or establish a presence in the United States by advising on the implications of choice of entity.
  • Choice of Jurisdiction: Many of our attorneys are qualified in other states, and we can advise clients on practical and legal implications of locating in North Carolina, Delaware, New York or other jurisdictions. 
  • Incentives: We assist with governmental incentives designed to incentivize international clients to establish a presence in North Carolina.
  • International Mergers and Acquisitions: We assist a variety of international companies seeking to acquire companies or assets in the United States.
  • International Joint Ventures: We assist with strategizing and implementing the optimum structure for international joint ventures, including corporate, tax and other legal considerations.
  • International Commercial Agreements: We draft a variety of commercial agreements for cross-border applications that protect our clients’ interests.
  • Support of International Finance transactions: We often are called upon to provide legal opinions regarding the perfection of collateral in North Carolina.

Representative Business Sectors

  • Agriculture and Food
  • International Financial Services
  • Life Sciences
  • Consumer Products
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology

News & Publications

2016 Closed Transactions

2016 Closed Transactions

Since January 2016, Smith Anderson has advised clients in more than 300 transactions representing approximately $30 billion in value, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; real estate development and construction; life sciences and health care; technology and intellectual property; debt finance; private equity and mezzanine finance; initial public offerings; growth companies and venture capital; and fund formation. The following provides a comprehensive overview of some of our clients' key business transactions in 2016. Highlights include: 

  • Over 60 Mergers, Acquisitions and Public Offerings totaling approximately $22 billion, including the representation of Quintiles in its merger with IMS Health Holdings.
  • Over 60 Life Sciences and Health Care transactions, including an immuno-oncology partnership worth up to $1.6 billion for genome editing company Precision BioSciences.
  • Over 70 Debt Finance and more than 50 Private Equity and Mezzanine Finance transactions totaling more than $4 billion.
  • Over 100 Real Estate and Construction matters totaling more than $2 billion
  • Over 60 Technology and Intellectual Property transactions totaling more than $3 billion, including the representation of Southern Company and PowerSecure, Inc. in their strategic alliance with Bloom Energy Corporation.

Our firm is fortunate to have worked on a wide array of transactions with a diverse group of clients. CLICK HERE to expand the image below, which lists some of our clients and their business transactions in 2016.

Additional Offerings

Additional Offerings

  • International commercial agreements
  • Tax planning for international operations
  • International mergers, acquisitions and divestitures
  • International litigation
  • International joint ventures
  • Export transactions
  • International credit facilities
  • Trade finance
  • Committee on Foreign Investment US (CFIUS)
  • Documentation of NAFTA Certificates of Origin
  • Cross-border licensing arrangements
  • International project finance
  • Cross-border mergers and acquisitions
  • Formation of subsidiaries outside of U.S./corporate entities
  • Employment issues

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