What Are the Biggest Differences between Domestic Litigation and International Business Litigation?

Oct 10, 2016 | Business Law

If you’re contemplating international business litigation, you’ll want to read this first.

Whoever said business was simple never needed to pursue international business litigation. Cross the border to carry out your company’s business, and you’ll understand how fast matters can get complicated. From collecting debts to pursuing judgments, there’s another layer of complexity awaiting companies in a global marketplace.

Litigation here or abroad is all about resolving disputes and protecting rights. Most people know what a lawsuit is. But few understand the differences between international and domestic litigation. Here is a brief explanation of why international litigation is so challenging.

What Is Domestic Litigation?

Domestic law deals with the behavior and actions of an individual or company within our borders. So, domestic litigation happens between two parties based in the same country. The nation’s laws determine the outcome of a domestic lawsuit. The matter is relatively simple compared with an international dispute.

What Is International Business Litigation?

International business litigation describes a lawsuit between parties based in different countries. It can take place between individuals, companies, states, and even countries. It’s easy to see how matters can get complicated with two or more different sets of laws. It’s not unusual for the regulations and laws of multiple countries to contradict each other. This situation makes trade barriers nearly insurmountable in some cases. It’s challenging enough to do business internationally when everything is running smoothly. Throw in a legal dispute, and it can become infinitely more complicated.

Here are just a few common causes of international litigation:

  • Disputes between employers and employees
  • Violation of intellectual property rights
  • Breach of contract
  • Dereliction of fiduciary duties
  • Fraud

As you can imagine, it can be hard to predict the outcome of international business litigation. Every step of the process is more complicated in these cases.

In an international lawsuit, you’ve got to proceed with particular caution. There are issues of cultural sensitivity and tradition to take into account. Negotiation and arbitration may be the best course of action – but sometimes going to court is unavoidable.

Crossing a national border adds complexity at every step. From gathering and presenting evidence to collecting awards and settlements, you will need help. While your case might be simple and straightforward if both parties were located in the States, just by going global, it becomes another matter entirely.

The smartest next step you can take when you realize you’re headed for international court is to find an experienced international business attorney. The rules change when you cross the border – but you don’t have to feel lost.

Schedule your complimentary consultation by calling (706) 335-2355 now. The international business litigation team at the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. can help you protect your interests both here and abroad.