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An international lawyer may work on a wide variety of issues that have international aspects to them. Most of these lawyers specialize in one specific area of law, such as corporate issues, like negotiating business deals for companies located in different countries. Alternatively, a lawyer can focus on litigating cases involving citizens or businesses with locations in multiple countries. These attorneys may also specialize in working on inter-nation agreements or treaties.
Some of the common areas requiring the services of an international lawyer include trade, business, tax, and law. Typically, an international trade lawyer counsels clients on the rules associated with trading between countries. They can offer advice about customs requirements for countries that trade across borders. Additionally, international trade lawyers may assist clients with financing foreign transactions by preparing and negotiating documentary letters of credit or other legal trade documents. They may also interact with the World Trade Organization, an organization that was formed to formally regulate international trade.
An lawyer who specializes in international business generally deals with corporate issues abroad. These types of lawyers often negotiate contracts that affect more than one country. For example, an international business lawyer may handle a contract that involves the merger of companies located in different countries. In addition, he may advise on setting up and dissolving foreign companies as well as international rules and regulations applicable to global businesses.
Tax lawyers who work in the global arena typically advise individuals or entities with sources of income outside their domestic countries. Generally, they have a solid understanding of how the tax laws in multiple countries work and often counsel clients about the tax implications associated with cross-border transactions. In addition, they can help businesses and individuals structure deals in a manner that helps to reduce their worldwide effective tax rates. Other job functions include maximizing foreign tax credits, excluding foreign tax income, and deferring income.
An international lawyer typically advises clients about issues relating to international law. They may appear before the World Court or international arbitration tribunals in order to litigate cases. International law lawyers can also advise their clients on issues relating to human rights. For example, a lawyer may counsel a government client about how an inter-nation human rights treaty that has been ratified by that government impacts the government’s torture policies. Lawyers may also prosecute or defend clients in war crime cases.