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Are you considering expanding into new jurisdictions? Are you aware which foreign laws and legal issues matter most? Have you prepared a detailed statement of facts, plans and questions for counsel?

The latest edition of our Field Guide to Going Global helps you examine foreign law issues for taking business models, products and technology international. Our guidance should be helpful whether you are working for a start-up company or a large multinational enterprise that is broaching new frontiers.

Which foreign laws and legal issues matter most to a company expanding into new jurisdictions depends on the degree of nexus it has or will establish abroad. Companies should prioritize their consideration of particular areas of law based on their phase of global expansion:

Passive PhaseCompanies are passively accepting orders from abroad. Particularly relevant areas of law are intellectual property, export controls and sanctions, and choice of law and dispute resolution.
Active Online PhaseCompanies are actively selling online to customers abroad. Companies sometimes refer to virtual global expansion as soft launches when they intentionally start targeting particular markets in other countries. Rules for e-commerce, data privacy and cybersecurity, and product and regulatory compliance are becoming more important.
Intermediary phaseCompanies are appointing distributors, resellers, sales representatives, or other intermediaries abroad. Companies now need to focus on distribution law, franchise law and competition law.
Boots-on-the-ground PhaseCompanies incorporate subsidiaries and hire employees. Now they have to fully comply with all foreign laws applicable to their new presences and consider rules for foreign incorporations, employment and global equity.
All PhaseCompanies have to consider tax compliance and planning and corporate development.
Field Guide to Going Global Cover


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Author

Lothar Determann has been helping companies in Silicon Valley and around the world take products, business models, intellectual property and contracts global for nearly 20 years. He advises on data privacy law compliance, information technology commercialization, interactive entertainment, media, copyrights, open source licensing, electronic commerce, technology transactions, sourcing and international distribution at Baker McKenzie in San Francisco & Palo Alto. He is a member of the Firm's International/Commercial Practice Group and the TMT and Healthcare industry groups.

Author

Susan Eandi is the Chair of Baker McKenzie's North America Employment and Compensation Practice Group, head of the Global Employment and Labor Law Practice for North America, and a member of the North America Regional Management Council. She also serves on the Firm's Antiracism Legal Impact Board.
Susan speaks regularly for organizations including ACC, Tech GC, Silicon Valley AGC and World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Susan publishes extensively in various external legal publications in addition to handbooks/magazines published by the Firm.
Susan is a recognized leader in employment law by International Employment Lawyer, The Daily Journal, Legal 500 PLC and is a Chambers-ranked attorney.

Author

Barbara Klementz is the chair of Baker McKenzie’s North American Compensation Practice. She has practiced in the area of global equity and executive compensation for over 20 years. Barbara has authored several articles on global equity issues for the BNA Executive Compensation Journal, Journal of Corporate Taxation and San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journal, among others, and she is the author of a blog on global equity related topics called the Global Equity Equation. She is also a frequent speaker on a variety of global equity topics. Barbara is recognized as a ranked practitioner by Chambers USA. Chambers states that she "consistently delivers top-notch assistance and work product, and is a true expert in the field." Barbara is admitted to private practice in California and Düsseldorf, Germany.

Author

Irina Shestakova is a transactional partner in Baker McKenzie's San Francisco office. Ms. Shestakova’s practice is focused on complex, multijurisdictional corporate reorganization projects, including divestitures and spin-offs, post -acquisition integrations, holding company and supply chain restructurings, global expansions and entity rationalizations.
Ms. Shestakova serves on the Firm's North America Cross Border Transactions & Integration Steering Committee and is the member of the Firm's Corporate Reorganization practice.

Author

Mo Alturk has a broad-based business-transactional practice focusing on complex corporate and commercial contract matters, with strong emphasis on global transactions involving public and private companies. His experience extends to cross-border joint venture transactions, international franchising, licensing and distribution transactions, international mergers and acquisitions, international regulatory compliance, and international corporate formation and maintenance. He graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University and from Boston University School of Law.

Author

Aarthi Belani is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Palo Alto office. Aarthi’s practice focuses on M&A and venture deals in the tech and life sciences arena. She represents strategic acquirers, especially in cross-border deals, emerging growth technology companies, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital. She has also represented the sell-side and advised on health care, financial services, and impact investment deals. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Aarthi was a partner in the M&A practice of a top-tier international law firm. Prior to that, she was on the in-house legal team covering strategic M&A at Credit Suisse in New York, where she was also a member of the Sustainability Network, a Credit Suisse OneBank (cross-divisional) initiative to develop impact investment products. At the start of her career, Aarthi was an associate in the New York office of another top-tier international law firm for five years, where she worked on complex strategic M&A and innovative development finance. She is a mentor for the Unreasonable Group (a program for entrepreneurs); a Leadership Committee member of How Women Lead, which is part of the campaign to increase the representation of women on corporate boards; and a director of Bidoun, a not-for-profit publishing, curatorial, and educational initiative that prints a quarterly magazine showcasing art and culture from the Middle East.

Author

Erik Christenson practices in the area of general international tax planning for businesses.
Erik is a member of the steering committee for the Northern California chapter of the International Fiscal Association (IFA), and he is on the Permanent Scientific Committee for IFA USA. Erik is the liaison to Baker & McKenzie's Global Tax Practice Group for the Technology Media and Telecom.

Author

Pamela leads our New York IP & Technology Practice. She is consistently ranked by Chambers USA and World Trademark Review, and was recognized as one of the "Top 250 Women in IP" by Managing IP in 2023. Clients describe Pamela as "a legal whizz. What sets her apart is her business expertise and ability to craft viable, actionable solutions. She responds quickly and is a pleasure to work with" (Chambers USA Client Interview - 2023).
Pamela has extensive experience in structuring, negotiating and implementing transactions involving the acquisition, development, exploitation and sale of IP rights, including mergers and acquisitions, licenses, joint ventures, strategic alliances, research and development collaborations, digital publishing, e-commerce, outsourcing and corporate finance transactions.

Author

Abhishek Dubé ("Abhi") assists clients with franchise and distribution transactions, including international and M&A transactions. He counsels clients in a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, hotel and lodging, retail, fitness, automotive, and alcohol. Abhi has worked with new and existing franchise programs, and structured and negotiated franchise and distribution transactions for the world’s leading brands. Abhi is a Certified Franchise Executive. He serves as a Board Member of the ABA Forum on Franchising's International Division, as well as the International Franchise Association Foundation's Diversity Institute.

Author

Helena Engfeldt helps companies around the world expand their businesses internationally especially by taking privacy law compliance global. She is a partner in Baker McKenzie's International/Commercial Practice Group in San Francisco. She is licensed to practice law in California, New York and Washington.

Author

Jorge A. Gonzalez has considerable experience advising multinational corporations on a wide-range of cross-border business and commercial transactions and law issues. Apart from speaking English, Mr. Gonzalez is fluent in Spanish.

Author

Teisha Johnson is a member of Baker McKenzie's antitrust practice in Washington, DC. She advises clients on a wide range of antitrust and e-discovery matters, and has considerable experience counseling clients in government investigations, proposed mergers and acquisitions, compliance, and litigation matters.

Author

Kevin Maher currently leads the Dallas Office’s International Commercial Practice Group and is a member of the management committee for the Texas Offices. Kevin has a broad-based business-transactional practice focusing on complex cross-border corporate and commercial contract matters, with a heavy emphasis on global brand expansion and international business growth via franchising, licensing, joint ventures and direct investment. His broad experience extends to multiparty cross-border joint venture transactions, international franchise, master franchise and development transactions, licensing and distribution transactions, international mergers and acquisitions, international regulatory compliance, IP and tax structuring, multijurisdictional corporate reorganizations, international corporate formation and maintenance and international real estate and finance. Kevin has been listed in both Chambers Global and Chambers USA as a leading franchise lawyer and was praised by clients as "a deal maker who is highly responsive and resourceful." Kevin is also a regular speaker and writer on topics dealing with international franchising and international joint ventures. Kevin is currently a member of the International Franchise Association’s International Committee and has been named as a Leading Lawyer in Franchising by Who’s Who Legal and as a Franchise Times Legal Eagle.

Author

Sam Kramer is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Chicago office in the Intellectual Property and Technology practice. He represents customers in managed services, IT procurement, complex licensing, and supply chain agreements, with a focus on the financial services industry. He is a frequent speaker on outsourcing, cloud services and blockchain.
Mr. Kramer is Chair of the Firm's North American FinTech practice and is a member of the Firm's Global FinTech Steering Committee. He is recognized in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, the Legal 500 USA and Who's Who Legal.

Author

Mr. McKenzie's practice is focused on cross-border transactions and international trade regulation, including: - Export Controls, Economic Sanctions Regulation, Customs and Import Regulation - Integrated Corporate Compliance and Anti-Corruption Compliance: Advisory and Investigations - International commercial and technology development and transfer transactions Mr. McKenzie was articles editor at the Harvard Law Review from 1975-1976. Between college and law school Mr. McKenzie served in the Peace Corps in the northwestern mountains of Guatemala. He joined Baker & McKenzie in 1976. Since that time, he has worked in Baker & McKenzie offices in Caracas, Venezuela and Taipei, Taiwan, in addition to San Francisco. For the past 40 years, Mr. McKenzie has arranged and chaired the annual Baker McKenzie Import/Export Conference, the leading international trade regulation and compliance conference in the West Coast of the United States.

Author

Dr. Michaela Nebel is a partner in the Frankfurt office of Baker McKenzie. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie she studied law at the University of Passau. She obtained her Doctor of Law degree on a topic related to privacy in the Web 2.0. From July until December 2014 she practiced at the San Francisco office of Baker McKenzie. She is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), since May 2015 a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E) and since May 2017 a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US). She is also the author of numerous articles on information technology law, in particular on data protection law and e-commerce law, and the co-author of an English language commentary on the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

Author

Alison Stafford Powell co-leads the Firm's West Coast Trade Compliance team. She has considerable experience counseling US and non-US companies on managing trade compliance in the areas of export controls, trade and financial sanctions and US anti-boycott laws. As a dual-qualified lawyer, she provides practical advice to help non-US companies reconcile US and foreign trade regulations and on the extra-territorial impact of US trade restrictions. Chambers USA quotes clients' praise for her being "extremely knowledgeable, responsive, commercially strong and understanding complex issues well." Legal 500 describes here as an "outstanding specialist." She has worked in the Firm's London, Washington, DC and Palo Alto offices since 1996.

Author

Jonathan Tam is a licensed attorney in California and Ontario. He focuses on privacy, advertising, intellectual property, content moderation and consumer protection laws. He is passionate about helping clients achieve their commercial objectives while managing legal risks associated with activities involving data, information technology and media. Jonathan regularly writes about information technology and privacy, and is the Vice Chair of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Law Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He has completed secondments at a global payment services provider based in London, England and a world-leading tech company based in Silicon Valley. He joined Baker McKenzie as a summer associate in 2012 and has also worked in the Firm's Toronto office.

Author

Brian K. Wydajewski practices in the area of compensation and employment. He also heads the Chicago Office’s Global Equity Services Practice which assists multinational corporations with the design, implementation and operation of global equity compensation plans. Mr. Wydajewski has authored numerous articles, and is a frequent speaker on employee benefits, executive compensation and global equity compensation issues. In addition, Mr. Wydajewski is past chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Section Council, and is an adjunct professor at the Center for Tax Law and Employee Benefits at the John Marshall Law School.

Author

David Zaslowsky is partner in the Litigation Department of Baker McKenzie's New York office. He helps companies solve complex commercial disputes in arbitration and litigation, especially those involving cross-border issues and Section 1782 discovery. David has a degree in computer science and, as a result, has worked on numerous technical-related disputes, including, most recently, those involving blockchain. He is the editor of the Firm's blockchain blog and co-editor of the firm's International Litigation & Arbitration Newsletter. David has been included for a number of years in the Chambers USA Guide and Chambers Global Guide for his expertise in international arbitration. He also sits as an arbitrator and is on the roster of arbitrators for a number of arbitral institutions. David sits on the Board and chairs the governance committee of the New York International Arbitration Center, and is a founding member of the International Arbitration Club of New York. As detailed below, for over 30 years, he has written and spoken often on the subjects of arbitration and international litigation.

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