International Business

Georgia stands at the crossroads of the Americas with the world’s busiest passenger airport, two deepwater ports, and the most extensive surface transportation network in the country.  The Port of Savannah is undergoing a significant deepening and facilities expansion that will transform its importance as the intermodal international business gateway to Georgia. Georgia’s 2018 international trade numbers set a new record with exports surpassing $40.5 billion – a 9% increase over 2017. Total trade between Georgia and the world spanned 223 countries and territories, reaching a new high at $139.3 billion.  Georgia ranks as the 11th-largest exporting state in the nation; and in the past decade, Georgia exports have grown by 71%. Companies in Georgia exported to 212 unique countries and territories. The top five markets for Georgia products were Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, and Singapore. Imports grew to $98.7 billion in 2018, and Georgia ranks 7th among U.S. states for imports and total trade.  In short, international business is booming in our region.

About Our Practice

Foreign companies coming to the United States routinely require assistance in many legal areas; and Hall Booth Smith’s International Practice Group offers experienced counsel for global corporations of all sizes, regardless of corporate headquarter location. Given our attorneys’ own international backgrounds, we are able to assist clients based in the United States in legal matters involving the laws of foreign countries. HBS International Practice Group attorneys include foreign nationals who are licensed to practice in Germany, New York, and Georgia.

The attorneys in our International Practice Group have been working with international clients and U.S. based companies for many years.  Our work with international clients includes structuring legal entities for start-up operations as well as routinely advising companies with established operations in the United States.  We focus on the needs of our clients throughout the Southeastern region, yet we serve clients throughout the United States and internationally, including Germany, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the country of Georgia.

Our broad network includes contacts with national and international lawyers and other professionals to best serve our clients’ unique needs.  Our attorneys work closely with a number of bi-national and local chambers of industry and commerce allowing us to stay on top of the pulse of what is happening within the international and local business community.

HBS is proud to be affiliated with U.S. Law Network (www.uslaw.org) and Trans European Law Firms Alliance (www.telfa.org), two organizations that bring together independent law firms to provide quality legal services while enhancing respective client bases.

The voice of our law firm is heard through the individual involvement of our attorneys in various organizations including:

  • German American Chamber of Commerce
  • Netherlands-American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeastern United States
  • Honorary Consul for the country of Georgia
  • Honorary Consul General and Foreign Economic Counselor for Hungary
  • World Trade Center Atlanta
  • Georgia Economic Developers Association

Many international companies are leveraging the current global economy to expand their overseas presence, grow U. S. based facilities and subsidiaries, and capitalize on trade opportunities.  Likewise, many companies based in Georgia and the surrounding states are looking abroad for expansion and investment.

Our attorneys have extensive experience working with brokers, underwriters and claim professionals in the international insurance market, particularly with Lloyds of London. Our firm has handled many matters on behalf of various Syndicates at Lloyds, and our attorney’s understand how this unique market works. We utilize these long-standing relationships to assist foreign insurers to managing their domestic litigation, as well as assisting domestic clients to gain access to the Lloyds market.

Our administrative staff includes multilingual professionals who can assist with document preparation and communication, and we often work closely with the firm’s other practice groups to meet the needs of international clients in the following areas:

  • Corporate
    • Structuring U.S. operations and M& A assistance
  • Immigration
    • Non-immigrant and immigrant visas
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation and Arbitration
  • Products Liability
  • Employment and Operational Issues
  • Contracts
    • Cooperation agreements
    • Joint ventures
    • Distributorship/franchise agreements
  • Construction and Transportation
  • Estate matters involving foreign individuals or another country
  • Dual nationality questions

With professional integrity and skill, HBS has successfully served many entities dealing with international affairs including:

  • Assisting several German companies in their acquisition of companies based outside Georgia
  • Representing numerous German, French and other foreign clients in setting up their U.S. operations
  • Assisting an Italian company in its acquisition of a Georgia based manufacturing facility
  • Representing numerous foreign clients on an on-going basis with respect to their U.S. operations, including general corporate matters, immigration, employment and litigation
  • Assisting a U.S.-based company that has foreign operations or is in the process of setting up a foreign base
  • Negotiating tax incentives from state and local governments
  • Structuring U. S. subsidiaries of foreign parent business entities
  • Preparing contracts for foreign based consulting companies
  • Preparing Non-Disclosure Agreements for clean technology business
  • Revising contracts used in foreign countries to comply with U. S. law