International Trade and Export

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Legal certainty for exporters

international trade and exportWhen in Rome, do as the Romans do! This proverb rings true particularly with businesses that compete in international markets.

Drawing on our extensive IT industry knowledge, LawDownUnder delivers specialist advice and strategies to internationally trading companies. With your long-term interest in mind we prepare your business to successfully operate in a new market. We minimise risks and costs in cross-border transactions and take care of compliance and regulatory issues. We assist our clients with negotiating and drafting international commercial contracts.

We advise clients on international business transactions, intellectual property, international trade law, and investment.

We work in partnership with New Zealand businesses of all sizes. New Zealand is a nation of small businesses. Only around ten per cent of businesses employ more than 20 staff. This is often a challenge to building internationally competitive businesses from New Zealand. Most New Zealand companies that enter new international markets do not fully understand how challenging it is to create new networks in a completely different cultural and economic environment.

The international trade lawyers and other professionals in our trade practice help clients settle cross-border disputes and enforce overseas judgments. We work with a global multilingual and interdisciplinary team. By doing so, we are able to negotiate directly with local trading partners and officials.

Why you need an international trade lawyer

International contracts are legally binding agreements between parties that are based in different countries. Most lawyers have no particular expertise in international law because most of their dealings aredomestic. An international trade lawyer will be able to point out transactional and legal risks that are inherent in international transactions. Simultaneously, your international trade lawyer will be able to advise on how to protect your assets and how to avoid the pitfalls of unwanted liabilities (especially those you did not even know that they existed).

Certain international law standards will automatically form part of an international contract unless the parties have expressly excluded their application. This may cause problems because some of the international law standards are tailored towards the civil law systems as opposed to the common law system.

Especially when trading with Europe you must be certain that your contract will be enforceable because it is often the case that certain conditions are implied and cannot be contracted out of.

It is therefore important to put your international contract terms in writing and to fully understand their meaning to avoid problems in the future. Negotiating international contracts usually involves use of a foreign language (for at least one of the parties) which can lead to linguistic and interpretative problems if not done correctly.

Litigation, Arbitration, and Dispute Resolution

Our international trade lawyers advise clients on choosing the most appropriate dispute resolution method. It is our main priority to resolve disputes quickly and effectively with as little disruption to your business as possible.

International commercial arbitration is one of several forms of dispute resolution for international transactions. The use of arbitration has increased – especially in international commercial transactions – because it is generally faster and cheaper than litigation before courts. The resulting arbitration agreement or decision can be enforced in most countries of the world.

Areas of Expertise

We offer international trade law advice and services on issues relating to the following:

  • Choosing the right distribution channels
  • International licensing
  • International agency and distribution agreements
  • Commercial contracts
  • International trade law
  • Conflict of laws
  • Multi-jurisdictional disputes
  • Customs compliance, strategy and disputes
  • Export controls and international sanctions
  • Import and export restrictions and sanctions
  • Cross border commercial transactions
  • Enforcement of overseas judgments
  • Incoterms 2010
  • and much more