Some examples of our members' recent work include:
Double taxation treaties: A Polish member and Dutch member have been working together to solve double taxation issues. The Polish firm's clients have been dealing with the Dutch tax authorities to establish if they have representation in the Netherlands within the meaning of the double taxation agreement. In addition, their client's employees had a dispute over the issue of the taxpayer's status in the Netherlands. Our Dutch member has extensive experience in negotiating with the Dutch tax authorities and has identified a number of issues and other legal risks for the Polish clients, other than just tax. Cooperation between the two members has also given them opportunities to learn about other approaches to tax problems in the relationship between the two tax systems.
Cross-border enforcement: A French member firm had obtained a judgment against a Russian airline before a French Court. Considering the uncertainty of recognition and enforcement of the judgment in the Russian Federation, the client aimed to seize the debtor’s airplanes situated in a German airport. Through our network, a German member firm was contacted and within few days obtained a court order and seized two passenger airplanes of the debtor in order to secure the Client’s credit. The seizure served its purpose: after a few days the debtor contacted the French member firm and honored the judgment.
Domain name disputes: Internet domain names exist in a twilight world of semi regulation. Effectively these are trade marks which are issued and used without regard to trade mark rights. The international nature of their use and issue makes enforcement in different jurisdictions difficult and expensive. Domain name authorities do however, provide a dispute resolution facility.
Recently a client rang one of our member firms on a Monday morning. Copycat domain names of his own were being used to link browsers to a pornography site in America. By 4.30 pm the internet service provider was persuaded to bring the names off-line. Nominet UK (the domain name authority) obtained agreement from the pirate to hand the domain names to our client.
Employment law and transfers of undertakings: Acting for an international logistics company, advising on transfer of undertaking/ employment law considerations in 29 countries as part of a client bid to take over a European distributor network. These services were co-ordinated through one member firm and the client was provided with a detailed report within 10 working days of the instruction.
Software company acquisition: Acting for a stock exchange regulated Hungarian company who design and produce a market leading range of Cad/Cam software, on the acquisition of a UK software house.
Multi-jurisdiction due diligence legal audits: Acting for a French company and Benelux based subsidiaries who produce medical products and providing legal audits for each of the companies in anticipation of an acquisition by a US company.
Trade mark protection: Advising software development companies in maintaining a portfolio of registered trade marks in countries such as India and the US which clients have found extremely useful, particularly when expanding their businesses on the internet.
Commercial property acquisition: Our member firm in Scotland acted for an Edinburgh based company in the acquisition of a development site in the south west of England. Owing to the difference in the English and Scottish property laws the member firm in the south west of England was instructed to deal with the land acquisition. The local member firm reported to the Scottish member, who continued to be the sole point of contact for the client. The client was delighted that we were able to recommend a firm we knew to obtain a very quick estimate of costs and was also particularly pleased to know that we have contacts throughout the EU since the company may be expanding into other countries and wishes us to co-ordinate the legal services overseas.
Collateralised sale/leaseback transaction: A USA based international equipment leasing company client of a USA west coast member firm entered into an equipment sale/leaseback transaction with a Hong Kong company, which was affiliated with a German parent. The lease to the Hong Kong company was collateralised by a collateral assignment of the obligation of a French company to the Hong Kong company unrelated to the equipment financed. The transaction had a value of approximately USD 20 million.
- The USA firm participated with the client in the negotiation of the transaction and drafted most of the operative English language documents, including the collateral assignment of the obligations of the French company.
- A Hong Kong firm (known well to a World Link for Law US member firm) drafted and registered the necessary collateral security agreements in Hong Kong.
- A German member firm reviewed the guarantee of the German parent in favour of the USA company, and reviewed the good standing of the German parent under German law, and advised the USA firm of the enforceability of the guarantee in Germany.
- A French member firm advised on the method of perfecting the assignment of the obligations of the French company to the USA company, translated the applicable English language documents into French, and saw to the perfection of the security interest of the USA company in the obligations of the French company.
Cross border dispute resolution: A US company bought a shipload of rice from a Cyprus company, whilst the rice was still in transit to Germany. The Cyprus company had bought the rice in India. The shipping company was based in France and the insurance company in England. The Buyer (US company) and the Seller (Cyprus company) had contractually agreed to apply Swiss law on the purchase agreement and to bring disputes before arbitration in the Zurich Chamber of Commerce. When the rice arrived in Germany (Hamburg), the rice was completely rotten. The Cyprus company required Swiss counsel for the arbitration, an Indian lawyer for recourse issues against Indian seller; French and English lawyers for recourse against shipping company and English lawyers to deal with the insurance issues.
Chasing debtors: A Swiss citizen pursued a debtor who was living in the UK. The debtor filed for bankruptcy and moved to Spain. He had assets in the UK (real estate, which he had transferred to his wife); bank accounts in Switzerland; a business in France; and real estate in Spain. Member firm lawyers from all these countries were involved since the bankruptcy had to be recognized in each country and assets had to be found and seized.
Product liability: A UK member firm had a UK based client who manufactured public works machines and contacted one of our Paris member firms to defend their client who was being sued in the French Courts on a case concerning product liability and hidden defects. The claim had been introduced by the final customer (the user), against both the English company and the French importer. The defence of this important and complex matter was achieved through the excellent co-operation between the two member firms involved, for the benefit of the client.
Application of French Civil Code in litigation situation: An English company had a subsidiary in France. A fire started in the premises of this company and spread to adjoining buildings. The amount of damage was €3 million. The fire was caused by an employee of the company. Neighbouring companies affected by the fire claimed damages. Litigation ensued and at one time there were 5 claimants against the company, including the client's insurance company. One of our member firms in Paris handled the case from the beginning and successfully defended the case up to the Court of Appeal. The case was successful and based on the interpretation of one provision of the French Civil Code applied to the facts in this case. The client successfully recovered 100% of their losses.