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Sep 18

Kiwi Business, Litigation and American Law

New Zealand business and American Law

As the co-founder of Norris Echetebu Law, the first dedicated American law firm in New Zealand, I am very interested in finding out what kind of American legal advice is most needed by Kiwis. While we offer a full range of business advice, a large amount of our Kiwi clients are in need of expert advice regarding litigation in the US. Not surprisingly, there is a rather large disconnect between the savvy and sophisticated Kiwi business culture and the litigious American business culture. In the United States, litigation and business go hand in hand. Whether that is a good thing can be left for another day, but Kiwi businesses doing business in the US must accept and prepare for very likely possibility that disputes will result in litigation.

I say this not to discourage Kiwis from doing business with American companies, but to encourage Kiwi businesses to take the likelihood of litigation into consideration when drafting contracts, preparing budgets, and when dealing with any disagreement concerning their business in the US. I have run into several situations where our Kiwi clients’ are surprised by the readiness with which their American counter-parts will jump into court to settle a dispute rather than attempt a compromise. Often this is a function of the ultra competitive nature of the US business market. It is also a result of the legal advice being given to American businesses by aggressive US lawyers. There’s an old adage in my home state of Texas which says “don’t ever be caught with just a knife at a gunfight.” In the same sense, when doing business and handling disputes in the US, Kiwis should arm themselves with knowledgeable business and legal advice from counselors experienced in American litigation who know how to handle the aggressive US legal culture.

If you are in a business dispute with a US business or simply need American legal advice regarding your US business endeavours, give us a call. We can consult with you on what to expect, help you draft contracts to protect you from litigation in the US, review proposed settlements for often-missed loopholes, or provide direct representation for you in US courts.

 

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