By Alon Harnoy, Esq., Alexander Bau, Esq., and Emily Collins, Intern
In any cross border transaction working with local counsel is essential to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. The purpose of local counsel is to assist the lead counsel in all stages of the business transaction. In order to form a strong relationship between both counsels, the lead counsel should begin by establishing clear and effective lines of communication, which will work to ensure a quick, effective, and favorable transaction.
How you select your local counsel is crucial to the transaction…
The first step to finding the right local counsel is to determine a specific selection criteria tailored to the case. This will ensure the deal aligns with the expertise of the local counsel. In addition, references are extremely important to ensure you have found a competent and reliable local counsel. Local counsel is practically an extension of the lead counsel, so a thorough selection process is important to illustrate to the client the capability of not only the local counsel but also the lead counsel.
Defining the role of local counsel…
The involvement of local counsel can range on a spectrum from barely to fully involved in the day to day tasks. It is imperative to stay organized and decide the logistics of the case beforehand such as:
- Who will be in charge of litigation
- Who will respond to court notices
- Who will draft documents and agreements
- Who will review and have the final say for the documents and agreements
- Who will communicate directly with the client and opposing counsel
Having a clear understanding of the role of the local counsel ensures nothing is overlooked throughout the transaction.
A “community insider”
There are several advantages to working with local counsel. Most notably, local counsel warrants that all actions governing the transaction comply with local laws and regulations. They are able to provide an opinion on the enforceability of documents under their governing laws. Beyond their familiarity with the local laws, they also have the upper hand by knowing local courts and judges. Most likely, they can use their strong relationship and influence within the community to your advantage. Sometimes local counsel can even have a strong relationship with the opposing counsel. Economically, local counsel serves to decrease the cost of travel and lodging throughout the entirety of the cross border transaction.
Managing Partner, Alon Harnoy, said, “Working with various local counsels has been a tremendous part of our international practice here at Shiboleth. Through my many years of experience in cross border transactions I have seen firsthand the impact that local counsel has on the efficiency and success of the transaction.”