US Legal Expertise

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US Legal Services and Expertise in American Law

Norris Echetebu Law provides American legal services in the following areas:

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BUSINESS ORGANISATION

Unlike domestic business organisation rules, the federal system of the United States provides that the business entities are governed by both state and the federal laws and regulations. Every state has different laws which affect the choice of entity form, owner liability, tax liability, regulatory compliance, and operational costs of business entities. Without American legal advice, a foreign investor wishing to organize a business in the United States is in peril of organizing in a state that does not meet its needs and increases the cost of doing business in the US. Norris Echetebu Law provides analysis of your specific business needs to match you with the most advantageous state forum. Norris Echetebu Law also provides you with the state specific legal documentation needed to ensure that your new business is fully protected under American laws. In addition to our legal advice, we also provide the following services:

  • Name Availability Searches
  • Local Registered Agent for Service of Process
  • Registration of Corporations or other Business Entities with federal and state governments

(corporate kits and seals available)

  • Partnership Agreements
  • Limited Liability Partnership Agreements
  • Limited Liability Company Agreements
  • Operating Agreements
  • Holding Corporations
  • Multi-layered Corporate Structures

CONTRACT DRAFTING, REVIEW AND NEGOTIATION

International commercial contracts often include provisions that touch on US legal issues. Norris Echetebu Law can review or draft your contracts to ensure that you are fully protected under the state and federal laws of the United States, and in keeping with the US case law. The attorneys at Norris Echetebu Law provide a full range of contract drafting, review and negotiating services for contracts with US businesses or otherwise connected with US laws.

COPYRIGHT

US copyright law is far-reaching and carries heavy penalties for violation, including potential extradition to the United States for criminal prosecution. Norris Echetebu Law provides US legal advice regarding the application of US copyright law to our clients’ businesses and intellectual property. We also assist our clients in protection of their copyrighted works within the United States, providing copyright registration services.

ENTERTAINMENT LAW

The growing music and film industry in New Zealand and Australia exposes our clients to Hollywood production studios and recording labels who often insist on operating under US law. The attorneys at Norris Echetebu Law have a proven track record of representing artists in contract negotiations with Hollywood. We provide our clients with expert legal advice regarding the pitfalls and traps in American entertainment contracts and offer direct negotiation services to obtain the most favourable terms possible.

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

Clients conducting actual operations in the United States will often find their operations subject to environmental regulatory oversight by both the state and federal government. Also, clients purchasing real estate in the United States need to be aware of environmental regulations which can greatly affect the potential value of their investments. Norris Echetebu Law provides our clients with analysis of potential environmental regulatory issues and expected costs. We can also provide you with access to state of the art environmental engineering firms to assist you with any clean up or pollution analysis.

IMMIGRATION LAW

As ties between New Zealand and the United States continue to grow, many New Zealand firms, individuals, and families are confronted by US visa and US immigration issues. Part of any New Zealand business’ plan to expand into the US must include a US visa and US immigration plan. It is essential for your key employees to be able to travel to, work, and live in the US. Our lawyers are experienced in US visa and US immigration law and specialize in business and family immigration matters.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Clients wishing to export or import goods to/from the lucrative US market will need to structure their transactions to take advantage of US trade agreements and customs laws. Norris Echetebu Law will review and/or structure international transactions to both maximize the potential benefits under the laws regulating imports/exports (e.g., duties payable, country of origin marking, admissibility, etc.) and to limit penalty and tariff exposure with respect to those transactions.

We provide access to representation before Customs Port offices around the US, Customs Headquarters in Washington DC, the Court of International Trade, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and other various agencies in relation to import and export transactions. Additionally, Norris Echetebu Law provides access to experienced counsel and representation before Federal District Courts regarding seizure and forfeiture cases and criminal penalty actions as well as counsel and representation before Customs in connection with investigations that can result in heavy penalties, both civil and criminal, against individuals and corporations.

LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

At Norris Echetebu Law, we understand that our clients’ often have global work-forces and global employment issues. We help our clients’business grow by developing cross-border solutions to centralize their employment, human resources and compensation practices. We provide our clients with custom streamlined global codes of business ethics and employment handbooks concerning:

  • Codes of Conduct
  • Sexual harassment and discrimination policies
  • Finance and sales policies
  • Computer usage and business property usage policies
  • Financial and health information privacy policies
  • Trade secret and confidentiality policies
  • Employment termination and retirement policies
  • Employee benefits and severance polices

Clients that have employees in the United States or US employees located here are potentially under the jurisdiction of US state and federal labour and employment laws and regulations. These laws and regulations require strict compliance, and violations can lead to statutory penalties and exposure to state and federal litigation claims. We can assist you with internal investigations and legal audits regarding a wide variety of labour and employment law/human resources issues and claims including:

  • Wrongful Termination
  • Sexual Harassment Claims
  • Whistle-blower Claims
  • Equal Opportunity (Race/Gender/Religious/National Origin) Claims
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

In addition, we can assist you with negotiating employment contracts which will protect your business

  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secret Agreements

Finally, we can provide you with legal investigations and audits to ensure your business operations are in compliance with state and federal workplace safety and health laws and regulations.

LITIGATION

Clients conducting business in the United States or with US businesses will find themselves exposed to litigation in the courts of the United States or in international arbitration forums. Our attorneys have significant commercial litigation experience in both state and federal courts, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, and have a 94.3% trial success rate. We understand the hard-nosed litigation practices in the US and can provide you with tough aggressive litigation representation.

Norris Legal Consultants also represents individuals and businesses in a variety of non-commercial disputes such as negligence claims, personal injury, medical and professional malpractice, and probate disputes.

For clients that already have litigation counsel in the US, Norris Echetebu Law can provide case supervision and legal auditing services to ensure that legal fees and case expenses stay within the norm of expected costs given the type of litigation confronted by our clients.

OIL & GAS

Oil and gas exploration and production in New Zealand and Australia often requires dealing with US firms. Norris Echetebu Law can provide US legal advice to domestic clients dealing with US oil and gas firms. Our attorneys have experience in the oil and gas industry and are familiar with issues confronted by non-US businesses or property owners dealing with potential oil and gas production and exploration by US oil and gas firms. We can review and/or structure your transactions and agreements to ensure that your interests are fully protected when US laws apply.

Norris Echetebu Law also has offices in Houston, Texas (the “energy capital of the world”) and provides access to a number of oil field service companies and oil and gas exploration companies. We can negotiate lucrative agreements with these US companies in connection with domestic oil and gas exploration and production.

POWER OF ATTORNEY SERVICES

Clients wishing to conduct business in the United States but who are unable to travel to the United States can hire the attorneys at the Norris Echetebu Law under specific power of attorney agreements to represent their needs on the ground in the US.

PROPERTY/ REAL ESTATE LAW

Investment in property in the United States involves multiple legal issues including property law, environmental law, tax law, securities law, and other state and federal agency regulations. The attorneys at Norris Echetebu Law have experience in putting together residential and commercial real estate developments and can provide our clients with legal advice, agreement structuring, and negotiation services to achieve an efficient closing on real estate purchases and investments. Norris Echetebu Law also provides access to skilled and experienced real estate brokers that can assist our clients in locating and selecting property acquisitions.

TRADEMARK

Clients operating internationally should seek to take advantage of US trademark law whenever possible in order to protect their business goodwill and brand identity. Norris Echetebu Law provides trademark services for clients exporting goods to the United States. We can assist you from creation of your trademark to registration of your trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office in Washington DC.

US MARITIME & SHIPPING LAW

US maritime and shipping law often comes into play when dealing with US firms operating in international waters or when exporting goods to the United States. The attorneys at Norris Echetebu Law have extensive experience handling all aspects of the shipping industry—cargo disputes; seaman’s claims, including those under the US Death on the High Seas Act, US Jones Act, and US Longshore & Harbour Workers’ Compensation Act; maritime products liability claims; maritime oilfield claims, maritime insurance disputes; maritime finance agreements; and related issues.

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Proudly Admitted to the State Bar of Texas

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