Client and Industry Challenges

International businesses and companies with global operations regularly face significant challenges — such as foreign business practices, cultural nuances, unfamiliar legal regimes, and complex governmental regulatory requirements. However, these challenges are often offset by the tremendous growth potential offered by access to the global market. Companies and individuals are able to thrive internationally when supported by experienced legal counsel. Likewise, cross-border and international legal disputes, and government and internal investigations involving international operations may require specialized counsel to reach a successful outcome. 

Snell & Wilmer's international group is uniquely positioned to assist our clients in projecting domestic operations, goals, and values onto the international stage. Our comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to international matters enable us to help our clients both plan and implement strategies to thrive in the global market while minimizing exposure to legal disputes and unnecessary investigations. 

Areas of Service

Snell & Wilmer's international group consists of attorneys practicing in each of the firm's domestic and international offices under the guidance of our international attorneys. These attorneys have experience in various practice areas with an emphasis on global operations, allowing us to offer a wide range of international services, including:

  • Anti-boycott disclosures and violations 
  • Anti-corruption (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and conflict of interest matters
  • Antitrust and foreign competition laws
  • International Arbitration
  • Bankruptcy, workouts, international asset recovery and debt collections
  • Claims under the Alien Tort Act
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Joint ventures with foreign entities
    • Inbound and outbound foreign investment issues
    • Real estate purchases in the U.S. by foreign individuals and entities 
  • Cross-border commercial disputes and litigation
  • Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, including Authorized Economic Operator and international supply chain protection
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • Export controls and economic sanctions
  • Extraterritorial application of U.S. labor and employment laws
  • Foreign Trade Zones 
  • Franchise and distribution structure and regulatory compliance
  • Gaming licensing and regulatory compliance laws
  • Global compliance programs
  • Global encryption controls
  • Global sourcing and customs law
  • Corporate Immigration and naturalization
  • International intellectual property matters
  • International real estate and commercial finance
  • International supply and distribution relationships
  • Cross-border Mediation
  • Overseas real estate development
  • Private equity fund formation and investment matters
  • Product liability litigation
  • Section 337 proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission
  • Tariffs and other Duties
    • China Section 301-Tariff Actions and Exclusion Process
    • Anti-dumping and countervailing duty transactions and investigations 
  • U.S. tax implications of both inbound transactions (i.e., foreign investors doing business in the U.S.), and outbound transactions (i.e., U.S. investors doing business abroad)

Clients We Serve

Snell & Wilmer's international group has represented financial institutions, private equity firms, franchise companies, importers, exporters, distributors, multi-national corporations, trade associations, energy companies, engineering firms, government entities, insurance companies, real estate developers, gaming entities, manufacturers and technology companies (including semiconductor and related technology), among others. 

We regularly advise clients worldwide who are seeking to establish themselves in the United States. 

We are also well-seasoned in counseling U.S.-based entities in their global operations. We can assist with expanding businesses and operations around the globe. More recently, we have counseled clients in windowing down international operations and identifying and pursuing financial incentives to onshore operations. 

Our clients can be assured that Snell & Wilmer's attorneys are abreast of legislative changes, and are connected within a long-established global network, which allows us to better serve our clients.

Why Clients Select Us

Connected Internationally; Lex Mundi Affiliated: Snell & Wilmer is a member of Lex Mundi, a leading association of the world's top 160 independent law firms. Our attorneys are well-versed in collaborating with local counsel around the world through this network to meet our clients’ needs. In addition to Snell & Wilmer's membership with Lex Mundi, individuals from Snell & Wilmer's international group hold several leadership positions within the organization. Through our involvement with this recognized worldwide resource, our clients can have the confidence that they will receive quality representation from an elite selection of law firms with local market knowledge. This extensive network, together with Snell & Wilmer's offices in the U.S., enables us to stay on the forefront of our profession and to provide a full range of quality legal services to our clients in more than 76 countries worldwide.

Comprehensive Approach: Our international practice integrates the services of attorneys from all of our offices and across all practice areas of the firm, creating an expansive infrastructure of experienced advisors available to represent our clients in all types of cross-border and international matters. Our attorneys also collectively speak more than 20 languages and have lived and worked in several international trade hubs outside the U.S., providing us with an even greater opportunity to communicate clearly with and for our international clients.

Experienced and Involved: Our attorneys are recognized authorities in their practice areas and leaders in the international legal and business community. They are featured speakers at seminars around the world on subjects ranging from foreign investments, cross-border mergers, and acquisitions, international taxation and dispute resolution to global product branding, distribution and franchising, and patent protection. Several of our attorneys are also actively involved in facilitating cross-border trade through their participation in various international business organizations and economic councils.


Our experience extends to and beyond the following representative matters:

Corporate and Securities

  • Facilitated multimillion dollar mergers, acquisitions, and foreign investment while helping to ensure compliance with CFIUS regulations
  • Represented a Mexican financial group in the tender offer and acquisition of a publicly held U.S. financial institution
  • Represented companies in financing transactions with collateral in Canada, England, and Singapore
  • Represented U.S. companies in debt recovery efforts in Mexico and Canada
  • Negotiated joint ventures in Mexico between U.S. and Mexican companies
  • Represented U.S. investors in joint venture and investment in Mexico Tier One suppliers to the automotive industry
  • Represented U.S. companies bidding on foreign governments and international organizations procurement opportunities
  • Advised companies in regard to government mandated offsets
  • Advised companies in regard to governmental international trade incentives and economic development opportunities

Commercial Finance

  • Represented developers and construction companies regarding all aspects of real estate projects in Mexico's coasts
  • Represented U.S. financial institutions in connection with real estate secured cross-border loans in Mexico
  • Advised a publicly held mining company on all matters related to the negotiation, due diligence, corporate incorporation, and acquisition of mining claims in Mexico
  • Represented one of the largest loan servicers of commercial mortgage loans in the U.S. in connection with regulatory issues concerning the servicing of securitized loans secured by real property in Mexico
  • Assisted a U.S. publicly held company in the acquisition of a U.S. manufacturing company with Mexican subsidiaries and a Maquiladora plant in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico
  • Assisted in the cross-border corporate restructuring of a U.S.-based corporation with multiple subsidiaries in Mexico and other tax and general business law related issues

Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

  • Represented a U.S. company and its Italian subsidiary in Los Angeles federal court action against a Korean company to enforce a license and royalty agreement relating to power supply design for plasma display panels
  • Represented a corporation in foreign judgment enforcement matters in Arizona
  • Structured contractual terms and advised on issues regarding arbitration and dispute resolution issues and options relating to Asian venues
  • Represented a German-based manufacturer in U.S. litigation and alternative dispute resolution involving both U.S. and German lawsuits

Compliance and Internal Investigations

  • Assisted with the coordination of corporate compliance analysis in 22 Central and South American countries for a U.S.-based global manufacturer
  • Assisted with an internal investigation related to regulatory compliance issues in South America, Europe, and Asia
  • Assisted multiple U.S. companies addressing impounding and possible forfeiture of imports by Customs and Border Protection related to allegations of transporting counterfeit goods or illegal contraband
  • Assist multiple companies in internal investigations, voluntary disclosures, and negotiations with federal agencies responsible for enforcement of export controls and economic sanctions
  • Assisted multiple companies regarding internal investigations and voluntary disclosures concerning U.S. Census Department export reporting violations.


  • Advised a bulk sodium producer and importer based in France concerning environmental reporting obligations arising from importing sodium into the U.S. and storing sodium at port facilities in various states
  • Assisted with a natural resources damages case arising from mining operations in the Philippines conducted for several decades by an international mining company

Export and Import Controls and Economic Sanctions

  • Obtained export licenses to embargoed countries and parties under a presumption of denial 
  • Advised a variety of companies on anti-corruption laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the U.K. Bribery Act
  • Assisted clients to become C-TPAT certified
  • Worked with companies that wish to act as Authorized Economic Operators
  • Have counseled clients on the benefits of USMCA program and other trade agreement programs
  • Advised an Italian manufacturer of optical scanning devices in connection with U.S. Customs compliance for products assembled in China
  • Represented electronics manufacturers in the export of defense articles and wireless telemetry to Australia, Canada, England and Middle East
  • Represented a U.S. distributor of electronic vapor products involving FDA regulations concerning the import of products from China
  • Provided consultation to manufacturers in the analysis of commodity jurisdiction and commodity classification requests to the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security
  • Prepared and audited company export compliance programs

Anti-Bribery and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

  • Counseled multiple clients in regard to opinions related to foreign operations and compliance with U.S. and foreign anti-bribery laws
  • Prepared and audited anti-bribery compliance programs for companies operating globally
  • Provided training in regard to foreign transaction compliance related to anti-bribery for companies operating globally
  • Prepared annual notification to third-party vendors related to anti-bribery and ethical compliance in international transactions for multiple clients
  • Assisted with audits relating to program compliance, internal investigations in regard to anti-bribery allegations, prepare voluntary disclosures, and represented companies involved in foreign and domestic investigations


  • Represented a U.S. restaurant concept in structuring area development and franchise agreements and assisted with compliance with regulatory requirements in Mexico, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Japan, India and the Middle East
  • Advised quick-service U.S. restaurant company in documenting a development agreement in Taiwan
  • Advised a U.S. hotel company on compliance with franchise laws in China
  • Represented a New York-based specialty dessert concept in compliance with Korean franchise law
  • Represented a Qatari distributor of energy drinks in agreement with California-based manufacturer
  • Represented a German real estate brokerage subfranchisor in compliance with California franchise law
  • Assisted a U.S. restaurant concept entering Canadian market in structuring master franchise programs in Canada
  • Advised a U.S. fitness concept on preparing agreements and disclosure documents for franchise program in Canada, Australia and Malaysia


  • •    Obtained Nevada gaming licenses and other state and tribal regulatory approvals for international companies and individuals, particularly from the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy

Intellectual Property

  • Obtained foreign patent protection throughout European countries, including enforcement activities for infringement and infringement clearance
  • Actively obtained trademark rights in over 40 countries for franchises and global manufacturing companies
  • Prosecuted foreign patent and trademark applications, and counseling on matters involving foreign intellectual property portfolios

Labor & Employment

  • Advised clients regarding key labor laws in Mexico and Canada
  • Represented U.S. and Mexican companies regarding application of United States labor/employment laws to cross-border operations
  • Assisted with issues regarding European privacy laws

Product Liability Litigation

  • Prepared technical defense strategy, developed expert witness testimony and identified trial exhibits on behalf of U.K.-based auto manufacturers in connection with product liability lawsuits or claims in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Australia
  • Represented and developed strategic defense for a Japanese automobile manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit in Canada

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