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Adding Value to Companies’ International Strategic Choices.

HBS international attorney John Parkerson was guest lecturer on November 11, 2014 at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business. He spoke to Professor Dr. John McIntyre’s “International Business Environment and Strategy” advanced graduate MBA seminar about “How Lawyers Add Business Value to Companies’ International Strategic Choices.” Dr. McIntyre is Executive Director of Georgia Tech’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). Parkerson’s basic message was that a business lawyer who has strong international experience can add positive value to a company’s analysis as it considers whether, when, where, and by what method it might enter the international market. Key to adding value is that the lawyer know more than just the laws and regulatory framework that may apply to the various modes of entry into foreign markets (e.g., export, distributor/sales representative, license, franchise, direct investment, or other mode) and the legal implications of each. The successful international business lawyer also must understand the company’s business, its strategies and goals; and the importance of working as an integral member of the company’s business team, alongside subject matter experts from diverse disciplines (e.g., marketing, finance and accounting, logistics, operations). The lawyer then will be positioned to help the team to integrate the lawyer’s knowledge of law and the company’s business into an entry strategy that can be implemented to meet the company’s business goals.