Perhaps for this reason, and the fact that the reported average annual cost for an organisation to settle international disputes was USD$6.6 million, most survey participants cited having a cross-border litigation strategy as essential for any company.
London, UK (PRWEB UK) 28 January 2015
As companies continue to expand their global business footprint, it should be no surprise that international legal disputes are also on the rise. What can organisations do to minimise the risks and complexities associated with international disputes? A recent survey conducted by global law firm Hogan Lovells has identified several key trends in cross-border disputes taking shape today and expected to grow within the next two years. The findings of this survey, which includes feedback from 146 senior attorneys and executives from 18 industries, should prove useful in helping companies establish the best legal structures and language translation strategies to protect their firm.
Countries Topping the Cross-Border Dispute List
Survey respondents had managed cross-border disputes with countries all over the world over the past two years, but the most frequently cited jurisdictions were China, England, France, Germany and the United States. Additionally, 90 per cent of the cases involved two or three countries, with some respondents handling disputes that included as many as 50 countries.
Moreover, the volume of activity appears to be on the rise. Half of all the respondents expect to see an increase in the number of international disputes over the next two years. Perhaps for this reason, and the fact that the reported average annual cost for an organisation to settle international disputes was USD$6.6 million, the majority of survey participants cited having a cross-border litigation strategy as essential for any company. Given the multilingual nature of these disputes, legal language translation must be built into the strategy. Critical legal documents must not only be readily available, but to truly minimise risk, they must also be accurately translated and localised for the relevant countries.
Areas of Law Most Frequently Involved
Commercial and contract disputes top the list, as 44 per cent of the respondents had managed such cases over the past two years. The second most common kind of dispute—intellectual property cases—were reported by 18 per cent of respondents, although these cases were less prevalent in the United States than in other countries. Cases involving competition and antitrust violations were the third most commonly handled. Although 10 per cent of respondents managed these disputes, professionals in the United Kingdom and Europe dealt with them significantly more often than respondents in other parts of the world. Also, competition and antitrust cases, and product liability disputes were handled much more frequently by the professionals who managed the highest overall number of cases and by those who expected their cross-border dispute case load to grow over the next two years.
Country-Specific Legal Challenges
Survey participants also noted that cross-border disputes tend to be more difficult to manage in some countries than in others. According to the respondents, the United States, Brazil, China and India were the most challenging countries to settle cases in. In Brazil, China and India, viewed as emerging markets with comparatively high levels of legal corruption, the handling of cross-border disputes is inherently more complicated than cases involving countries with mature markets and legal structures.
Regardless which countries they were dealing with, 31 per cent of respondents cited that the most challenging aspect of setting cross-border disputes was finding reliable local counsel, whilst 27 per cent said their lack of familiarity with foreign laws and legal systems was their greatest obstacle.
One way to alleviate some of these challenges is to engage the services of a language translation provider with legal translation experience in the laws for each country in which your company conducts business. This approach will make communications with local counsel much easier.
No one can predict exactly which kinds of cross-border disputes your company may face in the future—or the countries involved—but it is safe to say that international legal cases are on the rise. To best prepare your organisation to handle legal issues abroad, consider partnering with a reputable language services provider before, rather than after, a potential litigation matter arises.
Hogan Lovells, Global Currents: Trends in Complex Cross-Border Disputes, February 2014, http://www.hoganlovells.com/custom/Global%20Currents_Trends_in_Complex_Cross-Border_Disputes.pdf (accessed September 30, 2014).
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