Cranfill Sumner LLP represents US-based companies with global operations, as well as multinational, and foreign-owned companies with business interests in NC. The International Business Law practice group specifically draws upon highly experienced attorneys in various practice areas across the firm, including Admiralty & Maritime Law, Aviation Law, Intellectual Property, Business Disputes and Litigation, Cyber Liability and Privacy Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Product Liability, and White Collar and Governmental Investigations, and applies their experiences and knowledge to the challenges of the global marketplace.

What We Do

Our international business attorneys help manage exposure in international legal disputes, so the company can focus on its operations. As examples of our client services, the International Business Law group can:

  • Confirm and/or vacate international arbitral awards under the New York Convention or Panama Convention, and advise on domestication of foreign judgments;
  • Advise on the application of the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG) in international contract disputes, and counsel on the understanding of “Terms and Conditions” applicable to international sales contracts;
  • Handle, negotiate and resolve international payment claims or trade credit claims, including the assessment of INCOTERMS® in international sales;
  • Draft and review contracts with global business partners, including international supplier and/or distributor agreements, commercial invoices, and non-disclosure agreements;
  • Counsel on international dispute resolution mechanisms, including international arbitration clauses, mediation requirements, choice of law provisions and venue selection, as well as representing clients in arbitration, mediation and/or litigation;
  • Advise on the implications of and compliance with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other international data privacy shield statutes and regulations;
  • Obtain United States patents on inventions, including design, utility and plant patents, secure international protection through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and secure United States registrations for trademarks and service marks;
  • Advise on protecting intellectual property rights in the United States and internationally, and enforce intellectual property rights in the United States for multinational companies;
  • Handle international commercial general liability and products liability claims, and defend global companies in breach of contract or breach of warranties claims;
  • Defend global companies in workers’ compensation and voluntary workers’ compensation claims;
  • Provide legal evaluations for pursuit of international maritime claims including personal injury, wrongful death, maritime liens, and marine salvage, products liability, breach of contract claims and cross-border disputes;
  • Defend aviation clients in international disputes, including claims under the Montreal Convention and other aviation industry international treaties;
  • Representation of clients in U.S. regulatory investigations (including Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board, Environmental Pollution Agency, National Marine Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal and local agencies) on international and environmental treaties including defense of marine pollution (MARPOL) and alleged Act to Prevent Pollution at Sea (APPS) enforcement actions;
  • Counsel and prepare tariff exclusion requests before the U.S.T.R. office and handling the Customs and Border Protection investigations;
  • Handle global investigations and government prosecutions throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, including involvement with FBI, SEC, ATF, Homeland Security, National Security Council, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, FinCEN, U.S. Coast Guard, FINRA, DOJ, U.S. Treasury Department, Customs & Border Protection, Business Industry and Security Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce, INTERPOL, National Crime Agency (UK), and the Serious Fraud Office (UK);
  • Advise on matters involving Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA), anti-money laundering claims, RICO, financial claims, trade export violations/investigations, and various white collar matters, including the added component of management of international press and media.

Our Experience

With years of collective experience in the Aviation, Admiralty, Supply Chain Logistics, Trucking and Commercial Transportation, and Retail, Restaurant and Hospitality industries, we have served many global companies. Our attorneys also have unique experiences in international legal issues. Practice group leader, Partner Mica Worthy, is also a Certified Global Business Professional (NASBITE®) and a graduate of the Cologne Academy on International Commercial Arbitration. She is currently the Chair of the Charlotte International Arbitration Society.

The Cranfill Sumner International Business group also maintains the Carolinas Global Calendar and is an active member of the North Carolina World Trade Association.

Our attorneys also regularly speak on international legal issues facing global businesses and insurance carriers. Featured presentations and articles include:

  • “Flying High: Legal Topics in Aviation in a Post-Pandemic World.” Panel moderator on the International Law Section program at the South Carolina Bar Convention (January 19, 2023)
  • “The Power of the New York Convention”Business NC (November 2022)
  • “Hot Topics” in Employment and Business Law Panel, International Arbitration Trends Presenter, Cranfill Sumner LLP Legal Summit (October 20, 2022)
  • “May the Clause Be with You”, Presenter, Cranfill Sumner LLP Webinar (July 28, 2022)
  • Charlotte International Arbitration Society Fall Symposium – Virtual War Room on Hybrid and Virtual Arbitrations , Moderator (October 2021)
  • Discovering the Widening U.S. Circuit Split on Discovery Orders from “Foreign and International Tribunals” under U.S.C. § 1782,” IADC Defense Counsel Journal Vol. 88, No. 3 (July 2021)
  • Guest lecturer on the political, legal, and technological environment of international business for the International Business course for the MBA program at Pfeiffer University (June 2, 2021)
  • Panelist on the International Dispute Resolution and Litigation panel for the 2021 Timely Aspects and Updates on International Law program with the South Carolina Bar Association. (January 19, 2021)
  • Guest lecturer on International Business and International Arbitration at UNC-Charlotte’s Belk College of Business (March 2020)
  • “Disputes that Raise Public Policy Issues: Special Problems in International Disputes,” IADC Defense Counsel Journal Vol. 86, No. 2
  • “International Commercial Contracts” International Freight Forwarders & Customs Broker Association of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
  • “International Commercial Arbitration – What Global Trade Creditors Should Know!” Association of International Credit and Trade Finance Professionals, Webcast
  • “Basics on International Contracts for US Exporters” Wake Technical Community College, Cary, NC
  • “Tips for Navigating Intellectual Property Issues for Retail Businesses” TAP Talk sponsored by the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association
  • International Anti-Suit Injunctions (a Double-Edged Sword), LinkedIn publication
  • INCOTERMS® – Terms and Usage Break-out Session at the International Law Symposium on International Contract Drafting hosted by the Charlotte International Arbitration Society
  • Legal Aspects of International Trade, Central Piedmont Community College (Small Business Center Network)

Our Network

Our International Business Law Group also has a network of other attorneys around the world through its associations with The Harmonie Group®, the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), and IR Global. We also have a network of professional service providers who can assist with various global issues, including international tax consulting, international financing, business immigration law, and translation and interpretation services.

For more information on how we can help your global business, please contact the International Business Law practice group leader, Mica Nguyen Worthy.

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