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Serving the Foreign Client: How Local Attorneys Can (and Should) Become Global Lawyers

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 90 minutes
Recorded Date: December 12, 2019
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  • Integrating Young Lawyers into the Global Legal Market
  • Developing Ambiculturalism
  • Cross-Border Ethical Awareness
  • Practical Pointers
  • Key Legal Issues in Cross-Border Transactions
  • Diplomacy and Cultural Awareness
  • Differing Legal Systems
  • Contract Language
  • Tax Implications and Tax Treaties
  • Dispute Resolution and Enforcement
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Recorded: December 12, 2019

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys only (non-transitional)


As cross-border and global business issues become more common, many law firms face, for the first time, the challenges and opportunities of acting for new foreign clients. Even law firms that already do crossborder legal work encounter new and different expectations from new clients from the other side of the world, where local customs, business and professional ethics, and legal practices may differ profoundly from the firms’ previous experience with clients from neighboring countries or one of the major business centers.

This program was recorded on December 12th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Kay Georgi

Arent Fox LLP

Kay is a Partner at Arent Fox LLP where she leads the International Trade Group. Kay formerly was an associate and partner from 1989 to 2005 with Coudert Brothers LLP. Kay is known for helping large and small clients understand, comply with, and whether the investigation storms associated with the complicated set of US laws and regulations governing US exports and non-US re-exports of goods, software, services, and technology. She also has experience advising clients on issues involving trade agreements, including World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements.

Kay has significant experience in export control matters, including advising clients on US and international laws relating to the export and import of defense articles, services, and technologies, as well as dual-use goods and technologies, and nuclear equipment and technologies. She regularly represents clients before the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce, the DDTC of the Department of State, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of Treasury.

Kay also advises clients regarding compliance with anti-corruption laws, including the FCPA, and assists in internal and US government investigations relating to the FCPA and commercial bribery. More recently, Kay has advised clients on compliance with US customs-related laws and regulations administered by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

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Paula M. Aguila

Rivero Mestre LLP

Paula Aguila focuses primarily on complex commercial litigation, including banking, securities, real estate, international, and appellate litigation. She represents foreign and domestic clients in various industries throughout the United States and Latin America in a wide range of federal, state and international litigation and arbitration matters involving business torts, contractual disputes and partnership dissolutions.

Aguila is currently co-lead counsel in the representation of 14 former bank directors, including the former chairman and president, in FDIC v. Galan-Alvarez, et al., a dispute in federal court for $257 million, arising from the FDIC’s takeover of R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico. She currently also represents the former president of Eurobank, another Puerto Rico bank that closed in the most recent banking crisis, in a federal lawsuit for $55 million.

Aguila has sustained a record of impressive accomplishments by successfully managing and providing strategic direction on some of the firm’s largest cases, including high-stakes multi-million dollar matters. Some of her many achievements include winning first decision in U.S. banking crisis on Insured v. Insured coverage issue in D&O insurance dispute in FDIC v. Stipes, et al., totaling $100 million in insurance proceeds for her clients; successfully obtaining evidence in the U.S. to seek the dismissal of bogus criminal charges in Ecuador against Chevron’s former chief in-house counsel in relation to one of the largest, most complex litigations in the world, Chevron v. Donziger; successfully securing dismissal of a 15 million Bolivars case on forum non conveniens grounds in BNC v. García; successfully defending bank’s top directors and officers in Wylie v. Stipes, et al., a shareholder’s derivative action claiming over $130 million; and securing a $3.3 million arbitral award under the American Arbitration Association against a Chinese trucks distributor in Latin America in Totrasa v. AMI-RSL.

Being fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and possessing an intimate knowledge of Latin American systems, rules, and culture, Aguila regularly oversees local counsel in foreign jurisdictions and frequently handles complex business disputes that have sensitive political, international or criminal ramifications.

Aguila serves as a leader of professional organizations devoted to raising the standards for the legal profession, promoting diversity in the legal community and building cross-border relationships, including as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Latin America and Caribbean Committee, and as Chair of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Program Development Committee.

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Fabian Pal

Managing Partner
Fabian A. Pal, PA

Fabian Pal is a Managing Partner at Fabian A. Pal, P.A. where he concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate and international law. He counsels clients with respect to domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, international transactions, corporate law, joint ventures, and capital raising. His practice encompasses the structuring, negotiation and documentation of domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic alliances involving privately owned or publicly traded companies.

He has significant experience executing complex cross-border transactions in both Latin America and Europe and exceptional knowledge of international regulations and cultural idiosyncrasies which are key in dealing with cross-border transactions.

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Norman Clark

Walker Clark LLC

Norman Clark is one of the founders of Walker Clark LLC. His consulting practice specializes in issues of international business and legal practice strategy, mergers, risk management, internal productivity, partnership governance and compensation, and lawyer performance and profitability. He is also one of the world's leading authorities on business and marketing strategy for law firms in emerging markets, working with progressive law firms in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, central and eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Norm's 46-year career in the legal profession includes experience as a trial lawyer, trial judge, law professor, and manager of legal services on a global scale, including the management of an 800-lawyer legal services organization in 50 locations on three continents. He was a pioneer in the application of quality management concepts and methods to the practice of law, and was one of the first legal managers to exploit the potential of information technology to bring about breakthrough improvements in the delivery of legal services worldwide.

Norm Clark speaks, writes and publishes widely on a variety of timely issues and is a sought-after speaker for major conferences of professional associations and organizational retreats. He is the principal contributor to the Walker Clark WorldNotes blog. His recent publications include Good Governance in Law Firms: A Strategic Approach to Executive Decision Making and Management Structures (Globe Law and Business, 2014), which he edited and for which he authored several chapters, as well as chapters in recently published books on law firm business development and partner compensation. He also co-authored, along with his Walker Clark colleague, Lisa Walker Johnson, Sustainable Profitability in a Disrupted Legal Market (Globe Law and Business, 2019).

Norm's academic credentials include Bachelor of Science, Juris Doctor, and LL.M. (Law, Psychiatry, and Criminology). He is a retired member of the Pennsylvania Bar.

He is a past Chair of the 3,600-member Law Firm Management Committee of the International Bar Association (2009-2010), and a member of the IBA Latin American Regional Forum and the IBA Asia-Pacific Forum. He also is active in the IBA's Poverty and Social Development Committee.

He also is a member of the Section of International Law of the American Bar Association, a past co-chair of its Cross-Borderl Practice Management Committee, and a member of the Steering Group of the ABA Latin America & Caribbean Committee.

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Victor Olabode Munis

Partner, Transactions Department

Victor is a Legal Advisor based in the United Kingdom. He was a Partner in the Transactions Department of TRLPLAW Solicitors & Advocates. Victor holds an LL.B (Hons) degree from University of Lagos and LL.M (International Business & Commercial Law) from The University of Manchester. He specializes in Energy & Natural Resources Law, Banking & Finance, Insurance, Corporate/Commercial Law, International Trade, Property Law and Arbitration. Victor has represented clients in trial and appellate courts for commercial and energy litigation matters. He has advised several clients on compliance with various legislations in the Nigerian shipping industry, power industry and the alienation of property in Nigeria. Victor has drafted several agreements for various oil and gas projects. He carries out a lot of due diligence necessities and research on the local content regime in Nigeria. He conducted a major research on investor guarantees by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and participated in advising clients in securing foreign investment in the Banking sector in Nigeria. Victor has provided company legal and company secretarial services to the concessionaire of the largest hydro power plant in Nigeria. Victor has a keen interest in virtual currencies, digital banking and fintech.

Victor worked with a team of lawyers in the privatization of the PHCN companies in the recent power privatization programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria where he represented a consortium that bid and won the concession of two large hydro power plants. Victor acted as legal adviser to the Association of Power Generation Companies in Nigeria.

He has written several articles on Banking and Corporate Finance in Nigeria published by International Law Office (ILO). He is a contributor to the annual World Bank Group Flagship Report “Doing Business”. Victor was recently a recipient of the 40 Under 40 category at the Nigerian Legal Awards 2016. The 40 Under 40 category is for 40 leading Nigerian Lawyers under the age of 40 who will shape the future of the legal profession in Nigeria.

Victor is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), International Bar Association (IBA), American Bar Association (ABA), Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK (CIArb). Victor currently serves as the Co- Chair (Membership & Policy) of the Cross-Border Practice Management Committee of the Section on International Law of the American Bar Association.

Victor mentors young people. He has been mentoring students on the University of Manchester’s “Manchester Gold Mentoring” program since 2012.

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