International Law & Trade Regulation


Companies of all sizes have business needs and operations in many countries. As business globalization has occurred, the need for business savvy legal advisors has also increased. Dykema provides advice on a wide range of issues to businesses with international operations, both foreign companies with activities in the United States and U.S. companies conducting business abroad. We regularly work with clients to assist in the implementation of global expansion and sourcing strategies. We have advised companies with operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Mideast and North America. Our lawyers have a wide array of experiences in representing clients on international legal and business matters. This includes lawyers that have served as general counsels for major U.S. multinational companies. 

Our international legal services include:

  • Mergers and acquisitions/joint ventures/corporate structures/tax
  • Legal and social responsibility compliance programs
  • Agency/distributorship/marketing and sales/supply agreements
  • Real estate and environmental matters
  • Intellectual Property protection
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • U.S. Government Contracting
  • Homeland Security and Safety Act
  • Foreign Agents Registration Act
  • Immigration matters
  • Employment

Our international and U.S. adversarial services include:

  • Export and re-export controls
  • Customs and border protection laws
  • Representing clients in international tribunals/alternative dispute resolution
  • Representing international clients in U.S. courts on business litigation issues, such as product liability, employment disputes and contract litigation
  • Prosecuting and defending intellectual property claims

International Relationships

To help our clients with their international needs, we strive to establish relationships with the international business and legal community. We are a member of World Services Group (WSG), a global association of large local, national and international providers of legal advice and professional services in 180 jurisdictions worldwide. Dykema is the exclusive Michigan member of this organization. Membership in the WSG network allows us ready access to professionals around the world. Our professionals are fluent in 13 foreign languages.

International Business Disputes

International business continues to grow, and to constitute a larger and larger part of American business.  Cross-border investments also make up a growing share of nationwide investment portfolios. Accordingly, international business disputes are increasingly being encountered not only by longstanding multinationals, but also by American middle market companies and closely-held concerns doing business abroad, and by American investors with international exposure.  We resolve international business disputes for operating companies, investors and private clients from the United States and overseas.  We have particular expertise in disputes in North America and Latin America, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East, East Asia, and offshore financial centers. We have acted in litigations and international arbitrations involving jurisdictions and parties around the world, from the earliest signs of trouble through to settlements, final awards and judgments. We also have deep expertise in the legal and practical aspects of injunctive measures, asset tracing and recovery, and enforcement in jurisdictions around the world, and thus are able to ensure that legal victories result in actual recoveries – or that faulty rulings are limited in real effect.

Inbound and Outbound Employment Representation

Dykema’s International Employment practice services foreign employers with operations in the United States and U.S. corporations with international operations regarding employment issues associated with global operations. Dykema is the point of contact for multinational companies and consults with a strategic network of employment attorneys in Asia-Pacific and the European Union, with whom we develop working relationships/contacts with or have access to through the WSG.

Dykema provides the following services to its international employment clients:

  • Counsels foreign companies doing business in the United States on U.S. employment issues and laws
  • Reviews and revises employee handbooks and policies and procedures for compliance with U.S. law and the various state jurisdictions in which the employer operates
  • Drafts and reviews employment agreements of expatriate and local officers and employees of non-U.S. businesses
  • Advises U.S. companies on extraterritorial effect of U.S. laws in foreign countries
  • Advises employers on the rights of employees under foreign laws (China and the EU primarily) governing contracts and dismissal of employees (done in consultation with WSG employment lawyers in relevant countries)
  • Advises employers regarding choice of law issues where foreign nationals are employed outside of their home country
  • Provides counsel and training on global implications of numerous human resource laws such as transborder data protection and privacy such as European Directive, Internet and email issues
  • Advises employers regarding the protection of trade secrets and confidential information.
  • Coordinates compliance audits for employers with operations in several countries (done in consultation with WSG employment lawyers in relevant countries)
  • Handles mediation, arbitration and litigation with respect to employment claims, including wrongful discharge and breach of contract (done in consultation with WSG employment lawyers in relevant countries outside the United States) 

Contracting Issues and Export Controls

The firm assists clients in the development of international marketing plans to ensure development of sound contractual relationships; compliance with the Federal Corrupt Practices Act, the Buy American Act and the related Berry Amendment; and creation of export-compliant programs. We provide guidance on obtaining commodity jurisdiction decisions, obtaining export licenses and complying with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Customs and International Trade Regulation

The increasingly globalized economy presents many challenges for domestic and foreign companies alike. U.S. manufacturing companies often face significant competition in the U.S. marketplace from imports; yet these same companies frequently encounter insurmountable trade barriers in the exporting countries' home markets. Similarly, foreign countries, offshore U.S. affiliates, and U.S. importers, are often frustrated in their efforts to enter merchandise into the United States, whether by virtue of any number of Customs issues, the threat of an antidumping or countervailing duty investigation, or the loss of a tariff preference. We represent companies both within and outside the United States, on a broad range of Customs and International Trade matters:

  • Customs valuation, classification, country of origin, and protests
  • Antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, including administrative and sunset reviews
  • Global safeguard investigations
  • Market access investigations
  • Preferential trade programs
  • Patent, copyright, and trademark infringement
  • Unilateral economic sanctions laws  

Events & Speaking Engagements