Williams Kastner’s attorneys provide a broad range of legal services related to international transactions and litigation. Our attorneys represent business and individuals located across the globe. Our lawyers and staff have extensive lingual capabilities and are able to communicate with our global clients in their native languages. At present, we offer our clients the ability to speak and write in: Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, English, Filipino/Tagalog, German, Dutch, Italian, Marathi, Portuguese, and Korean.
Williams Kastner’s International Practice Group includes legal representation and advice in national and international matters such as:
- Export/Import and sales of goods
- International taxation
- Banking and insurance
- Estate planning
- Immigration and naturalization
- Intellectual property
- Securities and finance
- Real estate transactions
- Maritime and fisheries law
- Corporate law
- Partnerships and joint ventures
- Product liability
- Employment law
Exporting Goods Into the USA
Williams Kastner assists numerous companies selling their goods in the United States, and provides invaluable assistance to exporters. Our aim, through advance planning, is to aid exporters to strengthen their contracts with their US-buyer clients, and avoid problems whenever possible, by getting the most out of applicable provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), or the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).
Immigration and Naturalization
Our attorneys have helped clients of many nationalities obtain entry, employment, and residence in the United States. We have recently obtained visas, including categories E, H and L, on behalf of our clients.
Taxation and Tax Planning
Our lawyers provide tax planning services and advice about a wide variety of tax issues for individuals and businesses. The firm represents clients before the IRS, the Washington Department of Revenue, and other local and foreign taxing entities. We have provided legal services to those who are making significant investment in the United States, as well as to those making investment abroad. These services include:
- Assistance in avoiding or minimizing U.S. or foreign tax jurisdiction
- Planning for appropriate personal and commercial tax residences
- Establishment of business entities for tax planning purposes, such as: subsidiary corporations, partnerships and trusts
- Appropriate use of tax exemptions, deductions and credits
- Advice regarding tax treaties
- Comparison of U.S. and foreign taxation rates
Our firm provides estate-planning advice for individuals with assets held in foreign countries, for marriages of mixed citizenship, and for foreign persons residing in the United States. Williams Kastner attorneys have broad estate planning experience involving:
- Gifting programs
- Domestic and foreign partnerships
- Off-shore holding companies
- Consideration of forms of co-ownership
- Creation of living trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Testamentary trusts
- Life insurance trusts
- Use of disclaimers
- Creation of bequests and devises
- Drafting and use of future interests
- Powers of appointments and spendthrift provisions
Our firm has a long history of extensive litigation experience in almost all areas of law and is frequently involved in matters involving foreign business interests, including products liability cases, intellectual property cases, breach of contract disputes, insurance and collection matters.
Import/Export and Intellectual Property
Williams Kastner attorneys have represented importers and exporters of a wide variety of products and services. Our experience includes the negotiation and drafting of purchase and sale agreements, financing and security arrangements, multi-country joint venture agreements, and marketing agreements. Our services also include interpretation and assistance under the General Agreements on Trade and Tariffs, the U.S. Canada Free Trade Agreement, the European Economic Community’s 1992 unification plan, and numerous U.S. foreign trade and taxation treaties.
Our attorneys have facilitated the export and import of goods and services using a wide variety of approaches. We have participated in establishing numerous partnerships and joint ventures to enable the transfer of goods and services. We have also assisted in the creation of numerous U.S. subsidiaries of foreign national corporations, and foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations. Where direct activity by foreign nationals in the U.S. or by U.S. nationals in foreign countries has been appropriate, we have assisted in making arrangements for such direct activity.
Intellectual property issues often arise in conjunction with the import and export of goods and services. Our intellectual property rights attorneys have provided legal advice in major areas of intellectual property relating to the import and export of goods and services, including trademark registration and licensing, copyright protection and licensing, foreign and U.S. patent applications and interpretations, and trade secret protection.
Securities and Finance
Williams Kastner attorneys have assisted in equity and debt capitalization of foreign national corporations, U.S. corporations, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign national corporations, and foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations. Our representation has involved the registration and issuance of securities, cross-border private placements, and the negotiation of loans from a variety of countries. Our attorneys have also dealt with international currency issues and rates of exchange in conjunction with capitalization. We are particularly proud of our successful negotiation for the establishment of the first international automated bank teller machine network.
Real Estate Acquisition and Sales
Our attorneys have assisted foreign individuals and entities in the acquisition of a wide variety of real estate, including major office buildings, industrial properties, ski resorts and other recreational facilities, apartment buildings, and private residences both within and outside of Washington and the United States. Services include negotiation of the terms of purchase and sale of real estate, tax-planning advice such as consideration of like kind exchange possibilities, coordination of due diligence investigations, and document preparation. We also assist, if desired, in assuring the confidentiality of foreign purchasers’ identities.
Maritime and Fisheries
Williams Kastner represents numerous foreign maritime and fishing interests, including processors, for all their legal needs. We have assisted clients in securing the release from arrest of many maritime vessels, and have represented other interests in arresting such vessels. We have also assisted in the purchase and sale of maritime vessels and fishing equipment and fish products. Williams Kastner attorneys have also assisted foreign governments in drafting fisheries, conservation and management laws, and in negotiating for fisheries product development.
Williams Kastner attorneys regularly provide day-to-day legal services for local subsidiaries of foreign companies, including: drafting articles of incorporation and bylaws, attending meetings, and rendering advice to various boards of directors regarding corporate decisions, trade regulation, environmental matters, risk management, insurance, employment, labor and executive compensation matters.
For several years, Williams Kastner has enjoyed an exclusive strategic alliance with Foreign Law Consultant Charles Duan and the law firm Duan & Duan to offer our clients a broad range of legal services related to doing business in China. In addition, Williams Kastner and Mr. Duan assist domestic enterprises to directly or indirectly obtain listings on overseas securities exchanges, and assist their overseas subsidiaries with financing through foreign capital markets. Mr. Duan is Managing Partner and founder of Duan & Duan Law Firm, and an admitted Foreign Law Consultant in the state of Washington. As a founder of Duan & Duan, he led an effort that resulted in the firm becoming the first private independent law firm recognized by the People’s Republic of China. Today, Duan & Duan has offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing and an international roster of Fortune 500 companies as clients.
This unique and successful alliance provides Williams Kastner clients with a local and unprecedented resource for matters related to all facets of doing business in China or with Chinese companies considering U.S. agreements:
- International trade: International trade, franchising, transnational mergers and acquisitions, foreign direct investment, anti-dumping and international dispute resolution.)
- Securities and finance: Domestic commercial loans, international commercial loans, syndicated loan participations, project financing, securities, letters of credit, lease financing, insurance, trusts, investment funds and other legal work connected with financing or the capital markets.
- Intellectual property: Representation and consultation services on various IP-related matters. These include both the processes of securing and enforcing trademarks, protection of trade secrets and anti-unfair competition matters.
- Corporate and project investment: Counsel related to business operations for domestic and foreign enterprises, such as assistance to clients in matters of inbound and outbound investments, mergers and acquisitions, technical cooperation, corporate establishment, application for licenses and certificates, labor and personnel issues, drafting, reviewing and negotiation of contracts.
- Construction and real estate: Representation in all levels of PRC construction and real estate markets. This includes legal guidance in the establishment and planning of construction projects; invitations for bids and bidding; leasing; management of construction contracts; requisitions, sales or transfers of land; relocation and removal of housing; development and operation of real estate and real estate companies; title transactions and registrations; tenancy and property management; real estate financing (i.e. mortgage and insurance); and also financial accounting and tax advice related to real estate projects.
For Chinese companies considering inbound U.S. operations and investment, Williams Kastner provides a range of legal services including:
- Tax planning: Tax planning services and advice about a wide variety of tax issues for individuals and businesses. The firm represents clients before the IRS, the Washington State Department of Revenue, and other local and foreign taxing entities. We have provided legal services to those who are making significant investments in the United States, as well as to those making investments abroad. These services include assistance in avoiding or minimizing U.S. or foreign tax jurisdiction; planning for appropriate personal and commercial tax residences; establishment of business entities for tax planning purposes; appropriate use of tax exemptions, deductions and credits; advice regarding tax treaties; and comparison of U.S. and foreign taxation rates.
- Import/export: Facilitate the export and import of goods and services using a wide variety of approaches. Attorneys have participated in establishing numerous partnerships and joint ventures to enable the transfer of goods and services. They have also assisted in the creation of numerous U.S. subsidiaries of foreign national corporations and foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations. Where direct activity by foreign nationals in the United States or by U.S. nationals in foreign countries has been appropriate, we have assisted in making arrangements for such direct activity.
- Real Estate acquisition and sales: Assisted foreign individuals and entities in the acquisition of a wide variety of real estate, including major office buildings, industrial properties, ski resorts and other recreational facilities, apartment buildings and private residences both within and outside of Washington and the United States. Services include negotiation of the terms of purchase and sale of real estate, tax planning advice such as consideration of like kind exchange possibilities, coordination of due diligence investigations, and document preparation.
- Corporate law: Day-to-day legal services for local subsidiaries of foreign companies, including drafting articles of incorporation and bylaws, attending meetings and rendering advice to various boards of directors regarding corporate decisions, including those related to trade regulation, environmental, risk management, insurance, and executive compensation matters.
- Estate planning: Williams Kastner provides estate planning advice for individuals with assets held in foreign countries, for marriages of mixed citizenship and for foreign persons residing in the United States.
- Immigration: Williams Kastner attorneys have obtained visas on behalf of and helped clients of many nationalities obtain entry, employment and residence in the United States.
- Labor & employment: The firm’s labor and employment law attorneys provide both public- and private-sector clients with consultation and representation, not only at the negotiating table and jobsite but also before all federal, state and local agencies and courts.
Europe, Mexico and Latin America
Williams Kastner is a member of the USLAW Network. USLAW Network is a national organization composed of over 60 independent, defense-based law firms with over 4,000 attorneys covering the United States and Mexico. Among the 60-plus firms, there are over 150 offices in 47 states. An alliance with the Trans-European Law Firm Alliance (TELFA) gives USLAW members access to 25 European law firms, each representing its own jurisdiction. In France, Williams Kastner, through our USLAW Network, has an alliance with Paris Law. In Germany, our alliance is with Alpers-Stenger.
All USLAW Network firms are fully vetted and subject to a rigorous review process prior to admission. All member firms are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, possess broad commercial legal capabilities and have substantial litigation and trial experience.
Recent International Experience
Williams Kastner attorneys have advised clients on international matters and have represented clients throughout the world. The following list is a brief summary of some of the recent international projects and matters where Williams Kastner attorneys have represented clients.
Since 1996, Randy Aliment has represented Honeywell in Winnipeg and Vancouver, with matters involving up to $10 million.
Randy Aliment has drafted contracts and negotiated new agreements and ventures for City University locations in Eastern Europe.
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates
Randy Aliment has resolved disputes via international arbitration processes in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Williams Kastner represents a number of clients with business interests and investments in China through our alliance with Duan & Duan. Recently, Williams Kastner partnered with Duan & Duan to represent the largest seafood packaging manufacturer in the world in a pivotal agreement. The positive outcome led the client to seek Williams Kastner’s representation in other areas. Jerry Edmonds and Dana Ferestien have international arbitration experience in Hong Kong and both collaborate with partners at Duan & Duan in representing clients in China.